Center for the Study of Community and Society
The Center brings together faculty, staff, students and members of the community to research and find solutions to pressing social problems through a variety of research and education projects.
The Center’s research and educational programs in the humanities and social sciences focus on community issues, social justice leadership, labor and civil rights concerns, and multi-cultural education.
The Center collaborates with other projects and centers and helps to support the Community and Social Change degree track of the Masters of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences department at the University of Washington Tacoma.
Research conducted by University of Washington Tacoma scientists at the Center for Urban Waters seeks to understand and quantify the sources, pathways and impacts of chemical pollutants in urban waterways.
Highly sensitive analytical tools to measure contaminant levels are combined with sophisticated computer models to track pollutant sources and transport in the Puget Sound region.
The Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies supports a network of scholars in cutting-edge research, education, and outreach about work, workers and their organizations.
The Center engages students in labor studies through courses and field work. It promotes connections between students, faculty, and labor communities locally and around the world, and inform policy makers about issues confronting workers.
The mission of the DeRouen Center, established in 2017, is to promote collaboration and inclusivity in scientific and clinical research that impacts global oral health. Through dedicated teamwork, our center promotes worldwide oral health. We are strategically targeting our efforts to four geographical areas with sites where we have been successfully working: Southeast Asia (with Thailand as our lead site), Africa (with Kenya as our lead site), South America (with Peru as the lead), and Seattle.
Thailand: For over 25 years, the School of Dentistry, University of Washington (UW), has collaborated with Khon Kaen and Thammasat Universities to conduct The Fogarty International Center Training Program in Clinical, Public Health and Behavioral Oral Health Research for Thailand. Through comprehensive workshops and Summer Institutes in Clinical Dental Research Methods, participants received education and training in biostatistics, clinical epidemiology and study design, behavioral research methods, data analysis, clinical trials, grantsmanship, research ethics, and research proposal development. A selected subset of participants completed a two-year long program requiring one year of coursework at UW (which applied towards a Ph.D. program at their home institution) implementation of a research study, Ph.D. dissertation defense, and article publication. Founded in 2002, the revolutionary program has brought Thailand to the international forefront of oral health research.
Kenya: The Universities of Washington and Nairobi have a more than 25-year partnership in maternal-child HIV research. In 2015, we established a new working group focused on improving oral health in HIV-infected and HIV-exposed non-infected children. This collaborative effort is nested within the NIH funded Kenyan Pediatric Studies (KPS) and the study team consists of specialists in molecular epidemiology, pediatrics, dentistry, integration and implementation sciences, epidemiology and neurocognitive science. We initiated our work in 2015 with parents’ assessment of oral manifestations of HIV among the KPS cohorts. In January 2016, with the support of a UW Global Innovation Award, Dr. Seminario conducted training and calibration of dental community health officers and medical providers in the diagnosis of oral manifestations of HIV in Nairobi. Currently, Dr. Seminario has been awarded the 2017 UW SunStar Preventive Dentistry Award to investigate correlations between oral inflammation with general inflammation among these children. In addition, we have expanded our collaboration to Nigeria and were awarded by the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Regional Development Program for the development of a regional site in Africa targeting the impact of HIV on the oral health of children and adolescents.
Peru: Since 2014, we have had two supplemental NIH (from Fogarty International Center) grants that allowed the development of two 5-day workshops in clinical dental research methods. Approximately seventy junior dental faculty participated in these trainings including attendees from various geographical areas within Peru as well as from other Latin American countries (Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Brazil). Participants were from various specialties, including: orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, endodontics, implantology, community dentistry, special care needs, esthetics, prosthodontics, and periodontics. Workshop topics included general scientific principles in planning and carrying out clinical research projects; levels of evidence in evidence-based clinical research; study designs, their applications, and the levels of evidence they produce; principles in the design and conduct of randomized clinical trials; statistical concepts and principles in testing hypotheses and evaluating evidence from clinical studies; basic behavioral models and principles in clinical dental research; ethical issues in the conduct of research on human subjects; and grantsmanship. Currently, we are partnering with our colleagues in Landscape Architecture and in Environment Health to assess the impact of environment interventions on oral and gut microbiome in a floating community on the Amazon River, in Iquitos, Peru.
Seattle: We are partnering with the SeaMar Community Clinics to improve the quality of life of refugees coming to Seattle for resettlement. The goal of this collaboration is to increase dental utilization by children from refugee families as Medicaid fully covers any pediatric oral health need including treatment under general anesthesia and these families are Medicaid enrolled soon after they arrive to our country. Through this program, we will be researching the impact of oral health on children’s growth and quality of life.
The Northwest Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit seeks to reduce environmental health risks to children by providing training for health professionals, communities and families through consultation, educational activities, and referrals.
The PEHSU is a North American network of experts dedicated to providing expertise and training for health professionals, trainees and the public on environmentally related health effects in children.
PEHSU faculty are academically based at university hospitals and include pediatricians, toxicologists, exposure scientists and others.
Global Center for Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents and Children was created to break down the traditional silos between departments and capitalize on the benefits created when multiple disciplines approach a topic with the same end goal in mind. Maternal health expertise from the Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, neonatal and child health expertise from the Department of Pediatrics, and vast experience working in infectious disease, health evaluation, education, clinical research, and service delivery within the Department of Global Health all combine to create a methodology that views women, children, and adolescents not as three independent populations but as interconnected.
The HIV Technical Cooperation Group (TCG) was formed as a pragmatic ‘think tank’ where thought leaders and practitioners exchange ideas, share best practices and catalyze innovation to build capacity in Public Health for HIV prevention and care.
Its goal is to make all TCG events highly-interactive working-group sessions that focus on pragmatic approaches to infrastructure issues in HIV public health.
Suzinne Pak-Gorstein MD, MPH, PhD is Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics; Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Global Health; Co-Director of the Nutrition Think Tank for the Global Center for Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents and Children (WACh-NTT); and Co-Director of the Resident Education and Advocacy for Global Child Health-Kenya program (REACH-Kenya Pathway).
As a clinician-educator, Suzinne trains pediatric residents and graduate students, and is a course instructor and lecturer for UW undergraduate courses on the topics of global public health and global nutrition/food systems. Her main research and service interest is the provision of culturally sensitive and high-quality care for refugee children in the US with a focus on obesity, undernutrition, and caring for medically complex refugee children. She also has interests in program monitoring and evaluation in low-income country settings and has been involved with nutrition surveillance systems, national surveys, and establishment of health information systems in several countries including Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
Suzinne is the Co-Chair of the Academic Pediatric Association’s Global Health Special Interest Group, liaison to the Coalition of Centres in Global Child Health (CCGCH), and active member of the American Academy of Pediatric’s Section on International Child Health. Suzinne participated in the design and implementation of the UW Pediatric Residency Global Health Pathway Program which is a bilateral exchange program that trains pediatric residents from Seattle and Nairobi to integrate population health concepts and approaches into pediatric service through community health assessments, advocacy, and stakeholder engagement. The Global Health Pathways program (now named REACH-Kenya) was bestowed the 2014 Academic Pediatric Association Teaching Program Award.
My main career focus has been on program implementation. I’m currently the PI for a PCORI-funded comparative effectiveness study involving low-income people with asthma between the ages of 5 and 75y, who are patients at either NeighborCare Health or Health Point. We are testing two interventions: a Community Health Worker who visits the patient’s home, and an enhanced clinic intervention. Most of this work is accomplished at King Country Health Department.
We’re using this project as pilot work to prepare a large (six-year) U01 proposal to NIH to test an integrated community-based pediatric asthma intervention to reduce disparities in health outcomes. If funded, the project would be run primarily through the King and Pierce County Heath Departments.
I’m also the site PI of a large international implementation study funded by the European Commission, called Fresh Air 2020. http://www.theipcrg.org/freshair. UW is one of 14 funded centers around the world. The four target countries are Uganda, Kyrgyzstan, Greece, and Vietnam. In each of these developing countries, we are working to implement a variety of evidence based strategies to improve respiratory health (further detailed on website). I lead delivery of an online training and feedback program known as Spirometry 360, and the overall Implementation Science effort.
Since 2009, our evidence-based, 5-month online Spirometry 360 program has been delivered to over 300 primary care sites around the country, as well as to clinical sites in Australia, Holland Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and Kenya, in addition to the countries mentioned in the FA 2020 project above.
Assessment of health and quality of life of vulnerable populations including people with disabilities. Tracking of US national health goals with years of healthy life indicator.
Over the past 30 years, children in the United States have become gradually less active, less able to do physical activities, and less healthy. Inactive lifestyles are taking away the capacity of children and adolescents to function and develop normally and to achieve peak health.
UW Medicine’s Sports Health and Safety Institute (SHSI) is an international education, advocacy and research organization devoted to helping people pursue an active lifestyle while providing tools to keep them safe and speed healing after illness or injury.
Founded in 2015, SHSI focuses on three core activities:
- Education. Safe sports, good health decisions, excellent care and informed policy begin with education. The Institute’s educational materials are freely available to parents, athletes, coaches and medical professionals.
- Advocacy. SHSI pursues policies and supports legislation that advance sports safety and health.
- Research. SHSI collaborates with researchers to identify best practices for effective public health education, to change behaviors and make sports safer, and to advance knowledge about sports-related concussion.
Our core works on social, behavioral and public health related research supporting HIV prevention and care.
The specific aims of the Sociobehavioral and Prevention Research Core are to support:
HIV Prevention Research, including technical assistance to CFAR investigators, organizing forums for interdisciplinary research community development, expanding our substantive expertise to include addictions, substance use, and mental health research.
Local Community Outreach, including working with CFAR’s Community Action Board to pursue community-based research priorities and translational opportunities, taking advantage of our institutional ties to Seattle & King County Public Health to stimulate collaborative research projects and evidence-based policy development.
International Community Outreach, including working with the International Core to identify collaborative research and translational opportunities with the new University of Nairobi Center for HIV Prevention and Research (UNCHIVPR) on translational research for HIV prevention. Integrating social, behavioral, and clinical science is increasingly necessary for progress in controlling HIV, and the Sociobehavioral and Prevention Research Core works to assure this synergy by providing support to behavioral, clinical, and social scientists in their research.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent global health research center at the University of Washington that provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world’s most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them.
IHME makes this information freely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources to best improve population health.
Assistant Professor based at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, focusing on a variety of population health topics, including Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vector-borne, Zoonotoc and potentially pandemic pathogens
Dr. McKinney received her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Washington in 2006. Her research interests are focused on craniofacial, oral, and nutritional health in young children. She is based in the Division of Craniofacial Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics at the UW School of Medicine.
Dr. McKinney currently studies the unique intersection of oral clefts, maternal breast milk expression, infant feeding and global health. She spearheaded the development of the NIFTY cup – an infant feeding cup for infants with breastfeeding difficulties such as infants with oral clefts and preterm infants in low resource settings – with a team of multidisciplinary experts from Seattle Childrens, PATH, the University of Washington and Laerdal Global Health. Her global research collaborations involve partners in Thailand, India and Ghana.
Prof Cox is one of the lead investigators in an International Consortium put together with the aim of identifying the genetic basis of cleft lip/palate. Patients, and particularly families with multiple affected individuals, have been collected from the US, Australia, Netherlands, Colombia and the Philippines.
The project, currently supported by federal funding from Australia, has been conducting exome and whole-genome sequencing. New candidate genes are being assessed in Prof Cox’s laboratory through functional studies involving a combination of in vitro assays and mouse models.
Additional research in the Cox lab is focused on the molecular and developmental mechanisms causing facial clefts, the role of diet in mitigating the severity of presentation, and the role of ‘cleft’ genes in other dental phenotypes commonly seen in patients. We are interested in partnering with other clinicians and basic researchers with interests in clinical outcomes in the management of individuals with clefts or other craniofacial malformations, genetic testing, or basic epithelial biology.
Dr. Beverly Green is a family physician and associate investigator at Group Health and Group Health Research Institute. Her areas of interest include population based screening within organized health care and safety net settings, improving the care of chronic conditions such as hypertension, and leveraging technology to optimize the reach and effectiveness of evidence-based health care. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor in the University of Washington Medical School Department of Family Medicine.
The University and its affiliated institutions, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Seattle Children’s Hospital, are widely regarded as leaders among the premiere biomedical research institutions in the world, with great strengths in the constellation of areas crucial for success in stem cell research and regenerative medicine.
Their strategy is to bring these interdisciplinary strengths together, and to leverage their basic research to develop therapies. ISCRM integrates diverse scientific and clinical disciplines.
The Center for Cardiovascular Biology is dedicated to discovering the molecular basis of cardiovascular disease, harnessing this information to develop new therapies, and training the next generation of cardiovascular physicians and scientists.
Sarah Elwood and Victoria Lawson are collaborating on relational poverty research and teaching. Social science research on impoverishment, equity and well-being recognizes that questions of health can never be separated from questions about social, political and economic context. Our work understands poverty as more than just an economic marker and population as more than demographic categories. Instead, our work and members of the Relational Poverty Network analyze poverty as constituted by interlocking processes including socio-economic processes around the globe, cultural politics of representation, processes of racialization, gender, nationality and ability and processes of governing, norming – of making ‘common sense’.
Our own recent research focuses on poverty politics, as crucial to understanding population equity and questions of well-being/health. Poverty politics entail projects of government that identify problems, justify interventions, and inaugurate solutions that stabilize dominant forms of economic and political power AND politics that refuse existing orders of social (de)valuation (that rely on the categorization, exclusion, repression and criminalization of difference) through practices of illiberal embodiment and disidentification which rehumanize people outside of racial capitalist orders. We also study alliances across difference as potential sites for advancing unprecedented and creative challenges to impoverishment might emerge from solidarities across race, class, gender, ability, sexuality, and other axes of difference. A third strand of our work addresses epistemologies and methodologies of studying poverty. Our work begins from an epistemology of poverty that integrates multiple causal processes as they interrelate differentially across time and space. Our approach builds bridges between policymakers, researchers, and communities to build innovative concepts for poverty research.
AIMS (Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions) Center faculty and staff at the University of Washington have worked for over 20 years to develop, test and implement an approach called Collaborative Care to treat the large numbers of people suffering unnecessarily from mental illness. Collaborative Care is an integrated care model that brings high quality mental health care to primary care clinics and other familiar settings. Its strength lies in treating persistent mental health conditions like depression and anxiety that require systematic follow-up for patients to get better.
We conduct research on interventions to promote nurturing early parent child relationships in families with infants birth to five that are living in adverse circumstances. Families may be experiencing adult mental health and substance use, poverty, immigration and refuge status, and/or child maltreatment and neglect.
Based at the University of Washington Bothell, the Center for Education Data and Research (CEDR) will focus on studying the complex relationships between K-12 education policies and practices, social services geared toward students, and student outcomes.
While it will not focus exclusively on Washington State, CEDR will concentrate its efforts on helping build the capacity across Washington State to ask the right questions, frame issues and policy options, and engage in research and data analyses that make good use of the state’s expanding databases.
The de Tornyay Center serves as a catalyst for promoting healthy aging through its support of research and education in the field of gerontology.
The Center is committed to advancing and sharing knowledge about successful aging and ways professionals and systems can promote optimal experiences for older adults. Developing competent and compassionate healthcare providers is critically important.
The Center is a resource for faculty involved in teaching gerontology, for students interested in older adults, and for practicing professionals seeking continuing education and collaborative initiatives. Specifically, the Center promotes the development of researchers from undergraduate nursing students through senior nursing faculty by creating opportunities for researchers to exchange ideas, funding projects, and sharing research findings through seminars and presentations.
Nursing faculty affiliated with the de Tornyay Center for Healthy Aging come from several health sciences fields and conduct research ranging from basic research to clinical inquiry and systems research. Studies are conducted in a variety of settings, including both communities and organizations. Some examples of research topics include:
- Cognitive aging
- Dementia and dementia caregivers
- Palliative care
- Physical activity
- Technology and older adults
The Center is committed to improving the lives of older adults locally and globally. We partner with community organizations to host conferences, informational seminars, events, discussions, and more. Our faculty are members of local and national associations and research centers and often are featured speakers or guest lecturers.
Population health research projects in which I am involved follow. All of these are under the auspices of the UW Health Promotion Research Center (http://depts.washington.edu/hprc/), a 30-year, competitively funded member of the CDC Prevention Research Centers Program.
HealthLinks Dissemination in Rural WA, Co-PIs: Peggy Hannon and Jeff Harris
The Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety (NWCOHS) is a multi-component training program dedicated to prevention of work-related injury and illness in the four federal Region X states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington by providing academic training for professional workforce needs and professional education and research services to employers, workers, and health and safety professionals.
Since 1977, the NWCOHS has been funded as a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Education and Research Center (ERC), the only one in the region.