On May 3, University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce invited the University community and our partners to join in the development of an ambitious 25-year vision to advance the health and well-being of people around the world by leveraging capabilities and opportunities at the UW and beyond.
Her announcement, which was live streamed, emphasized that health is more than just the absence of disease, but rather it is affected by poverty, health care access, climate change, and polices. The new initiative seeks to build greater collaborations and connections, and create opportunities.
"We have an opportunity to help people live longer, healthier, more productive lives – here and around the world,” said Cauce.
It also emphasized the work already being done by the UW to improve health around the world.
“We have all the parts that are necessary to create the change we want to see in the world. The challenge is to make sure that the sum of the parts equal more than just the sum of the parts,” said Cauce. “This initiative is about making sure the whole is greater than the sum of those parts.”
President Cauce identified the Department of Global Health as a “crucial collaborator and leader in this worldwide mission with active projects in 138 countries”.
She also mentioned the Mobile WACh project led by Adjunct Assistant Professor Jennifer Unger that uses text messaging to ensure healthy births by connecting expectant mothers and midwives in Kenya. The Global Medicines Program was also mentioned for their work facilitating pharmacy student participation in medical brigades.
President Cauce’s remarks initiated a University-wide process for establishing the vision and how it will be implemented. Upcoming milestones include establishing a leadership council and a faculty committee, as well as inventorying current population health efforts at UW and developing a strategic plan.