Fall 2013  
2013 Fellows and Scholars

Improving Health in
Diverse Communities

One student wants to be an ally of Native Americans. Another plans to work with children who have special health-care needs. A third is devoted to studying – and fighting – infectious diseases, while the fourth aims to improve mental health care and awareness in Mozambique. These committed SPH students received privately funded fellowships and scholarships that will allow them to gain the skills and knowledge they need to transform communities. Read more.

Alumni Profile

Michael Phillips

China Researcher Sheds Light on Suicides

Michael Phillips, MPH ’84, our 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, thought he might be forced to leave China after publishing that country’s first major paper on suicides. Instead, he became a pioneer in mental health research and suicide prevention there. Learn about Phillips’ unique career, why he’s spent 30 years in China, and how suicide patterns are different in the world’s most populated country. Read more.

Making a Difference

Wii Fit Helps Truckers Stay Safe

Molly HalversonNintendo probably never envisioned its Wii Fit balance board being used to improve truck driver safety. But that is what master’s student Molly Halverson (DEOHS), pictured, is doing. One of the main causes of acute injuries in trucking is falls, she says. Previous studies show a significant difference in truck-driver balance before and after an eight-hour shift. Halverson has been researching what type of seat reduces a driver’s imbalance and the risk of falling when exiting the truck cab. Read full story.

New Master’s Program in Health Informatics

Gretchen MurphyHealth Services launched a unique master’s program this fall designed to produce senior leaders in health informatics and information management. The new Master of Health Informatics and Health Information Management (MHIHIM) is a two-year program believed to be a first, says Director and Senior Lecturer Gretchen Murphy (Health Services). It’s unique because it partners faculty from the Health Informatics and Health Information Management program with faculty from the Executive MHA program, she says. The current students range from about 23 years of age to more than 50.

The Impact of Food on Health, Environment

Students in DumpsterOne group went dumpster diving. Another took on the subsidized corn industry. A third explored fair trade and organic food labels. The 70 students in “Food Studies: Harvest to Health,” taught last spring by Jennifer Otten (Health Services) and TA Sara Diedrich (grad student, Public Health Nutrition) were assigned to produce short videos about a food topic raised in class. The aim? To craft a message for peers about how food is produced and its impact on our health and the environment. Thirteen videos were made on topics such as food waste, fair-trade chocolates and organic coffee. Watch a few of them.

Alumni Updates

Gita Krishnaswamy, COPHP 2012,
 was awarded $250,000 in Race to the Top federal grant money to implement problem-based learning in the Kent, WA, school district, where she is a curriculum coordinator overseeing science and health/fitness.
Victor Giancarlo Sal Y Rosas CeliPhD 2011, Biostatistics, is a faculty member of La Catolica Univ in Lima, Peru.
Jose VazquezPublic Health Major 2011, is in his second year as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. He is working with a banana cooperative that provides health services to workers and their families living in rural and marginalized communities.
Mohamed Ali, MPH 2008, Global Health, co-chair of the King County, WA, Somali Health Board, received a national Champion of Change award for his public health efforts during a recent winter storm.
Kathleen O’Leary, MPH 2005, Health Services, has received a lifetime achievement award from the Oregon Public Health Association. She plans to retire later this year, after 30 years of working in public health at the state and county levels, and spend time volunteering.
Jared Baeten, PhD 2001, Epidemiology, won the ASPPH/Pfizer Young Investigator’s Research Award for his outstanding research in HIV epidemiology.
Bruce M. Psaty, MPH 1986, Epidemiology, professor of medicine in the UW School of Medicine, professor of epidemiology and health services in the UW School of Public Health and an investigator at Group Health Research Institute, was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
Glenn Talaska, MS 1982, Environmental Health, gave the Peter A. Breysse Memorial Lecture in October. He is director of the Environmental and Occupational Hygiene Division in the Department of Environmental Health at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
See all Alumni Updates
Please update us! Send your news to sphalum@uw.edu

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