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School of Medicine

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Ali Rowhawni-Rahbar

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Allison M Cole

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Andrew Saxon

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News | April 3, 2017

As Central District gets whiter, new barriers to health care

Last week while lawmakers in Washington, D.C., were gnashing their teeth over what health insurance in the U.S. should look like, patients and providers in King County were wrestling with some of the same challenges they faced before the Affordable Care Act was in place.   In 2014, students in King County who are black,…


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Benjamin Danielson

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Brian E. Saelens

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News | August 1, 2019

Burien takes a new, compassionate approach to criminal justice

At a time when angst about homelessness, drugs and other causes of arrests seems to have reached a breaking point in the region, King County officials are expanding a number of key programs meant to tackle some of society’s stickiest problems. Instead of delving further into the urban core, though, these new programs are being launched in…


News | October 31, 2019

California fires, from the Getty Center to Kincade, unleash another danger: Air pollution

The defining story of the raging Sonoma and Los Angeles wildfires is one we’re barely talking about: Wildfire smoke, and its contribution to rising air pollution levels across much of the United States, is irreversibly harming human health. While the blazes may seem like a problem limited to California and the West Coast, it’s a dangerous and increasingly frequent contributor…


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Christine Yuodelis-Flores

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News | March 23, 2020

Continued Support for the Homeless from The Doorway Project

Urban@UW is a proud partner in The Doorway Project. Below we share their quarterly update: Like everyone else, we at the Doorway Project are practicing flexibility to quickly-changing systems and environments as a result of the covid-19/coronavirus global pandemic. Because of these changes, we have prioritized the health and safety of our Community Advisory Board…


News | March 12, 2020

Coronavirus is a Serious Threat to the Seattle Homeless Population

At a nonprofit providing health care and housing to the homeless population in the city, employees have begun a sprint to sanitize their facilities. Because the organization, the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC), is located in one of the U.S.’s first hotbeds of novel coronavirus infection, workers are bracing themselves for a wave of medical…


News | September 24, 2020

COVID-19 testing in King County homeless shelters shows need to create safer conditions in crowded settings

Border detention facilities, prisons and refugee camps have something in common with communal homeless shelters, University of Washington School of Medicine researchers say. They’re home to “closed, crowded conditions where people have to live in small spaces and share a lot of common facilities,” said Dr. Helen Y. Chu, associate professor at the UW School…


News | December 13, 2019

Creating mental health friendly cities for youth

What would it take to make Seattle a mental health friendly city for young people? What innovations and actions might promote adolescent mental health in Seattle, as a model for other cities? The Population Health Initiative recently partnered with the University of Washington’s Global Mental Health program and Urban@UW to host an in-depth conversation with a multidisciplinary group of…


News | December 16, 2019

Doorway Project Winter Update: Building at the Speed of Trust

The Doorway Project, a cross-campus and community-engaged project under Urban@UW’s Homelessness Research Initiative, has been busy! Check out their activities and plans for the future in their latest blog post:   With the end of the year and the end of the decade approaching in the next few weeks, this moment feels like a perfect time to…


News | July 2, 2018

Driving? Your phone is a distraction even if you aren’t looking at it

I was in the car with a friend recently when she pulled up to a stoplight, picked up her phone and replied to a text. I gave her the side eye. What? she glared back. “I only use my phone when we’re stopped.” “OK, fine,” I said. But, I wondered, is it? We all know that…


News | February 25, 2020

Fatal Fentanyl Overdoses Continue to Climb in King County.

Last year marked the fifth in row in which fentanyl overdoses continued to climb in King County. Three fatal overdoses on the same day earlier this month prompted county officials to issue statements. The three deaths, which happened in South King County, add to the grim toll health officials have documented in recent years. Already…


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Frederick Rivara

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News | February 1, 2019

Got the flu? Seattle wants to swab your nose for a massive health data project

Calling all feverish, coughing, achy Seattleites: Your germs could help prevent the next big pandemic. At least, that’s the hope of a new project from the Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine (BBI). The Seattle Flu Study will gather swabs from 10,000 resident schnozzes to better understand how contagious diseases spread in a community. Researchers have set…


Course | ORALM 651

Health and Homelessness

Addresses oral and systemic health issues in the homeless in Seattle. Service based learning and includes presentations, readings, reflections, health education, and dental care delivery with the goal of preparing dental students to work in an interprofessional environment with other healthcare providers.

Course | UCONJ 624

Health Equity and Community Organizing

The second course, health equity and community organizing (UCONJ 624) will be taught in collaboration with Sound Alliance and will help students to learn the skills to develop effective, winnable community organizing campaigns that produce greater health equity. The goal of this course is for students to be able to work upstream to address the social determinants of health—so we don’t have to keep doing direct service and charity forever without ever addressing the reason why needs exist in the first place. The course meets Thursdays (from 5:30-7:20) and the bulk of the coursework is oriented toward actually getting involved in a Health Equity Circle campaign

Course | ORLAM 652

Health Issues in the Homeless and Underserved

Students learn about the causes and challenges of homelessness and lack of access to care and how it affects systemic and oral health. The course includes a minimum of 12 clinical service learning hours in the community (clinical opportunities are provided) as well as online learning.

Course | MEDEX 510

Healthcare for Rural and Medically Underserved Populations

Overview of the nature and severity of disparities in health care access and delivery to rural and urban underserved populations for practicing clinicians.

Course | UCONJ 550

Healthcare in the Underserved Community

Gives graduate/professional students in health sciences an introduction to health related issues faced by underserved populations. Credit/no-credit only.

News | September 10, 2020

Here’s how to stay safe as wildfire smoke creates unhealthy air quality in Seattle

People in the Seattle area woke up Tuesday morning to hazy orange skies and the smell of smoke over the region as winds blew wildfire smoke from Eastern Washington into the Puget Sound. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency rated the air quality in the region as “unhealthy for everyone” and advised people to take precautions to stay safe….


News | October 26, 2017

Homeless artists showcase work at UW

One way to humanize the homeless is through art. “Telling our stories: art and home(lessness)” is a show Oct. 11-Dec. 15 featuring the work of six artists living in a low-barrier supportive housing project. They are part of an artists’ collective developed out of collaboration with University of Washington researchers, the Downtown Emergency Service Center…


Course | PEDS 530

Homeless Youth and their Medical Care

Seminar and interview practice; students learn how to deal with special health problems and other related problems of "street kids" through interviews and observations.

Course | MEDEX 580

Homelessness in Seattle

Multi-disciplinary course developing knowledge and skills in the area of acute and chronic homeless health problems, understanding the history and social constructs as well as the services and disparities facing this population.

News | October 27, 2017

Homelessness is Seattle’s public health crisis

In this Crosscut editorial, UW professors Ben Danielson in the Department of Pediatrics and Bill Daniell in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences discuss homelessness as a public health crisis: “In 2015, Seattle and King County each declared a homelessness State of Emergency. Both have made commendable efforts since then to intensify outreach,…


News | March 8, 2017

Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

In honor of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting just some of UW’s brilliant female professors, scholars, and and change-makers with whom Urban@UW is proud to collaborate. Click on their names to explore their work.   Leadership: Thaisa Way, Executive Director, Urban@UW; Department of Landscape Architecture Executive Committee: Margaret O’Mara, Department of History Susan P….


News | May 21, 2020

In Seattle’s polluted valley, pandemic and particulates are twin threats

From a boat on the Duwamish River, it’s easy to see giant yellow excavators plucking crushed cars off the ground and swinging them toward an open-air shredder. At Seattle Iron and Metal, mounds of shredded steel as big as apartment buildings loom above the river. “It looks like something out of Mad Max,” James Rasmussen…


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Isaac Rhew

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Jared Baeten

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Jeremy Hess

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John Baer

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Joseph R Zunt

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Laxminarsimha Daram Reddy

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News | May 28, 2020

Less traffic means 40% drop in car pollution in Seattle but will it last?

Experts say our good air quality this spring is partially due to people driving less. However, they warn that unless big, long-term changes are made, these cleaner skies are not here to stay. From late March through the end of April, car pollution in Seattle dropped by roughly 40 percent compared to the same time…


Course | UCONJ 523

Making Science Public: Improving Farmworker Health through Community-Engaged Research and Storytelli

This year’s common book Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies by Seth Holmes, opens up important discussions on topics like structural violence, farmworker justice, and how we can participate in proactive responses that improve farmworker health. Through this course, health science students will engage in collaborative community-based projects that will reduce the harm of groundwater toxins, which is an ongoing issue facing communities in the Yakima Valley. This course meets six Monday evenings over the course of the quarter (5:30-7:20) and will include a day-trip to Yakima (TBD). This visit to Yakima will include a tour of a Confined Animal Feeding Operation (a major source of groundwater contamination) and an opportunity to meet local community activists who are working on this issue. Email Kelsen Caldwell caldweka@uw.edu for more information or to request an add code.

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Maria Busch

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Mary Larimer

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News | February 6, 2020

Medical Overdose Training for Nightlife Workers and School Nurses

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced a plan Thursday to help combat fentanyl-related overdoses in the city. The plan is in response to the overdose deaths of three King County teens last year after they took counterfeit pills. Under Durkan’s plan, the city of Seattle in partnership with community-based organizations will purchase 700 naloxone kits that…


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Nancy Sugg

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News | October 10, 2019

New UW Data Collaborative seeks to bring latest computing tools and data to researchers

Imagine a researcher at work in a small, windowless “cold room” with an automatic locking door and a desktop computer with zero chance of connecting to the internet in order to protect highly restricted health and population datasets. Cold rooms offer a strict environment that keeps data safe. But in a highly collaborative institution such…


News | May 28, 2020

Pandemic lays bare the everyday stressors, inequities of marginalized communities

On March 14, two weeks after the first U.S. coronavirus death was announced here in King County and as an onslaught of social distancing policies descended on our communities, we began a research study to understand how 500 King County residents were coping with all of it. Every evening, study participants have been generously sharing with us…


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Paul Ramsey

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News | September 9, 2019

Project aims to boost care for opioid use among homeless

On August 21, the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the University of Washington’s Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute (ADAI) announced the Meds-First Initiative that expands an innovative approach to treating opioid-use disorder for high-acuity populations to four locations in Washington. The treatment sites are located across the state in North Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma and Walla Walla. “Medication…


News | June 2, 2016

Q&A: CLPP’s Sam Méndez on Washington’s pot industry and how marijuana is becoming like wine

The Cannabis Law and Policy Project, based in the University of Washington School of Law, was formed by professor Sean O’Connor in fall 2014 to be a center for researching regulatory issues around the state’s new legal cannabis industry. The group recently published its first report for the Washington state Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB),…


News | July 9, 2020

Racial justice is an urban issue: A curated list of resources from UW BIPOC scholars

Racial injustice is not a new issue. Segregation and discrimination on the basis of race has long been tied to the built environments across the country, from redlining and restrictive covenants in the mid-1900s, to white flight and suburbanization after World War II, to the current trends of gentrification and displacement in cities throughout the…


News | June 30, 2020

Seattle OKs transfer of old UW laundry near Mount Baker light rail station to build affordable housing

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously on June 22 to acquire a former UW Medical Center laundry next to the Mount Baker light rail station to develop affordable housing. The transfer comes at no cost to the city, and the project will count toward the 450 units of affordable housing the university agreed to build when the council…


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Seema Clifasefi

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Shireesha Dhanireddy

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Susan E. Collins

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News | July 8, 2016

The healthiest cities in America

At 78.5 years, life expectancy in the United States, while trailing several dozen other countries, has continuously risen in the past century. Leading this upward trajectory are the 25 healthiest U.S. cities. These cities span 14 states and are located across multiple regions, from the Northeast to the Southwest — yet most share several common…


News | June 9, 2020

To address health inequities, Black folks need the right to move without harm

On a crisp afternoon last fall, Douglas Pullen, a 69-year-old Black man, was nearly hit by a white driver during his daily walk through his Seattle neighborhood. Having witnessed this, Kate Hoerster, assistant professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at UW School of Medicine, checked on Mr. Pullen after he was safely on the other side…


News | July 11, 2016

UW researchers discuss data, trends of gun violence in U.S.

Before the horrific mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, before the U.S. Senate filibuster and House sit-in, and before the American Medical Association’s call for more federal funding into gun-violence research, two UW Medicine doctors were quietly conducting a rare study – without federal dollars – into what happens to gunshot victims after they are treated…


News | May 2, 2019

UW, WSU community partnership: Improving the health of homeless youth and their pets

Rivals in the sports arena, the state’s two largest public universities have teamed up off the field to improve the health of young adults experiencing homelessness – and their pets. The University of Washington and Washington State University are working with New Horizons Ministries and Neighborcare Health to provide health care and veterinary care to…


News | May 16, 2019

What you need to know before getting on an electric scooter

The possibility of electric powered scooters in Seattle will also come with the possibility of numerous personal injuries. Those unfortunate victims often end up at Harborview Medical Center and doctors at that level one trauma center said they want residents to take better care of themselves as they explore these new alternative ways to travel….


News | August 27, 2020

Will King County public transit survive COVID-19?

Despite coronavirus, hundreds of thousands of people living in King County continue to rely on buses, light rail, ferries and other modes of public transportation to get around. “There’s still a whole lot of people who are counting on transit as a lifeline,” said Alex Hudson, executive director of the Transportation Choices Coalition. “People know transit…


News | May 16, 2018

With world’s worst air, Indian city struggles to track pollution

In the world’s most polluted city, Kanpur in northern India, the biggest hospital is so overcrowded with patients with respiratory ailments that they are often bedded in the ophthalmology ward. Kanpur, home to 3 million people, is followed by 13 other Indian cities in a list of the places with the worst air in the…


News | February 1, 2017

Working with community to tackle homelessness

Seattle’s rapid rise in homelessness, coinciding with increasing costs in housing and living, have brought significant challenges to economically vulnerable populations in the Puget Sound. In spite of a sense of urgency regionally and in many areas of the country, sufficient resources, effective systemic fixes and broad support still have not come together to end…


News | May 25, 2017

Your neighborhood may be driving you to drink: study

A new study shows that living in poor, “disorganized” neighborhoods matters more when looking at how much alcohol a person drinks than their proximity to bars or stores that sell booze. The link between poverty and alcoholism is established. But the new research out of the University of Washington throws quality of life into the…