University of Washington
The magazine of the University of Washington School of Public Health

From the Dean

Translating evidence into action: our commitment to public health practice
Hilary Godwin, PhD

I am thrilled to join the University of Washington as the new Dean for the School of Public Health (SPH) and look forward to meeting each of you. One of the things that drew me to the UW and SPH is our deep dedication to public service, training and engagement. Our commitment to public health practice and translating evidence into action is ingrained in everything that we do.

In the last year, we formalized a new academic health department with Public Health – Seattle & King County and the UW School of Nursing, and a separate one with the Washington State Department of Health. These agreements formalize longstanding relationships and further encourage and institutionalize resource sharing and collaboration. Importantly, these initiatives are not just about the UW working with individual agencies; they are designed to provide a framework that all of us can leverage as we work together to improve health in our region.

Another part of our renewed commitment to translating evidence into practice is our recent appointment of Professor Janet Baseman (PhD ’05, Epidemiology) as acting associate dean for public health practice. Read more about the exciting work Janet is doing in this issue.

This commitment is also visible in our efforts to revamp our MPH curriculum. One of the primary goals of this project is to ensure that we are preparing both public health practitioners who understand research and the value of evidence, as well as researchers who appreciate practice.

Finally, I’m thrilled about three recent collaborations that highlight our School’s obligations to help fill the needs of underserved communities, including rural and tribal populations:

  • The Latino Center for Health is the first research center in Washington to focus on advancing Latino health and is housed in UW SPH; Professor Maggie Ramirez is an industrial engineer and health services researcher who has just joined our faculty there.
  • The new Solutions in Health Analytics for Rural Equity program is led by NWCPHP Director Betty Bekemeier in the SPH.
  • And the SPH’s new Center of Anti-Racism and Community Health is concluding a search for a founding director.

These efforts are critical to our collective mission to reduce disparities and achieve better health for all.

The opportunity to work with folks in local health departments and other public health practitioners was one of the greatest pleasures in my previous position. As Dean of the UW SPH, I look forward to learning more about our partnerships with you and hearing about how we can work together to build upon them!

Hilary Godwin
Hilary Godwin, PhD
Dean, UW School of Public Health
Professor, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences