The University of Washington School of Public Health will play a key role in monitoring and evaluating the success of the state’s Healthier Washington Project, which has just been awarded a four-year, $65 million grant from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.
Healthier Washington aims to emphasize health care value over volume, save the state a billion dollars, and accelerate the state’s culture of innovation. It was developed through a collaboration of state leaders, community members, legislators, and health care systems.
Principal investigator Dr. Douglas Conrad, professor of health services, has been designated to lead a team based at the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice (NWCPHP) in the Department of Health Services. The team is complemented by Group Health Research Institute (GHRI), the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), as well as state agency experts and UW graduate students.
“The opportunity to lead the state-based evaluation of Healthier Washington is one of the highlights of my 37-year career at the University of Washington,” says Dr. Conrad, an affiliate investigator at GHRI. “By leveraging the analytic and research expertise of our UW Health Services-based evaluation team with the capacity of IHME, GHRI, the School of Public Health and other Health Sciences schools, the Health Care Authority, the Governor’s Office, and other relevant state agencies, I believe this project will significantly improve the health and economic well-being of Washington State’s population. My colleagues and I are dedicated to conducting a scientifically rigorous and practically useful evaluation.”
Dr. Tao Sheng Kwan-Gett, associate professor of health services and director of the NWCPHP, is co-principal investigator. “Healthier Washington presents tremendous opportunities to increase collaborations between health care, public health, and the community,” Dr. Kwan-Gett says. “We’re excited for our faculty, staff, and students to contribute to health system transformation in our state.”