By Ana Mari Cauce and Ali H. Mokdad

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s recent gift for construction of a population-health facility will greatly advance the interdisciplinary and collaborative work of our faculty members, students, partners and collaborators across the UW, the region and the world.

Too often, where we live determines how long we live. In King County alone, data from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation show there can be up to a 15-year difference in life expectancy based on our neighborhoods. This is unacceptable, and we reject the notion that a region with our robust economy and resources should have such disparities.

While indignation may be a start, it is not a strategy, which is why the University of Washington convened the groundbreaking Population Health Initiative earlier this year. Our goal? To create a shared, 25-year vision that leads the way for improving the health and well-being of communities — not just here in King County, but around the world.


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