Department of Health Metrics Sciences


Chris Murray Teaching

All people living long lives in full health.

The Department of Health Metrics Sciences (HMS) applies innovative, multidisciplinary and comprehensive health metrics science to critical health problems and their drivers, and collaborates worldwide in pursuit of policy impact, change in practice, and dissemination of information to improve health for all people. HMS advances the field and the Academy through nurturing and training the next generation of diverse and high-potential scientists and leaders with mentorship by renowned faculty, and with access to top tier data, resources, infrastructure, and networking strategies.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Department of Health Metrics Sciences is committed to providing the evidence base necessary to help solve the world’s most important health problems. This requires creativity and innovation, which is cultivated by an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment that respects and appreciates differences, embraces collaboration, and invites the voices of the entire HMS community.

Established on July 1, 2018, the Department of Health Metrics Sciences (HMS) is the world’s first academic department devoted to the science of health metrics.

Health metrics sciences is an integrated scientific field that is interdisciplinary, bringing together notions, methods, and techniques from statistics, demography, epidemiology, economics, and other social sciences aimed at providing rigorous measurement, using tested and high-performing instruments, to produce indicators that provide the empirical basis to understand the levels, relationships, and trends amongst health outcomes, drivers, and systems.  It is a field that relies upon specialized knowledge and is deeply driven by data analysis.

Through broad collaborations across the UW’s schools and departments, other universities globally, as well as local and national governments and international organizations, the department will support the University’s Population Health Initiative, announced in 2016 by President Ana Mari Cauce. The initiative is defined by three major pillars — human health, environmental resilience and social and economic equity — on the local, national and global levels.

Learn more about the development of the health metrics field in this exploration of Mary Dempsey’s legacy brought to us by HMS’ Director of Academic Programs Kristofor Larsen. Mary Dempsey’s conceptualization of the health metric Years of Life Lost (YLL) is foundational to the field, even as Dempsey herself remains largely unknown.