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Epi Stories

Epidemiology doctoral student Anne Massey builds community trust in public health as 2022’s Miss Seafair

UW SPH | May 9, 2023
7 minutes to read

Anne Massey, Miss Seafair 2022 (Photo: Elizar Mercado) Last summer, Anne Massey was sitting aboard a U.S. Navy ship in Seattle when the tiara a top her head started to break.   Massey was 2022’s Miss Seafair and was participating in a final Seafair reception after a week of media interviews, parades and meeting the Blue...


Seattle’s Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax Results in Improved Public Health Outcomes

UW SPH | May 8, 2023
5 minutes to read

A new study has determined that Seattle’s Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax (SBT) has had numerous positive impacts since going into effect in 2018. A team of researchers from Public Health—Seattle & King County, the University of Washington, and Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute recently completed a multi-faceted evaluation of the tax’s effect on public health outcomes...


UW Epidemiology and School of Public Health Rank Among US News & World Report Top 10

Laura East | April 25, 2023
2 minutes to read

The University of Washington School of Public Health (UW SPH) has been ranked No. 5 among public health graduate schools in the US News & World Report rankings for 2023–2024, up from last year’s position of No. 9. The UW Department of Epidemiology was ranked No. 9, in this year’s first-ever public health specialty rankings in epidemiology....


Together, we are ready

UW SPH | March 31, 2023
13 minutes to read

Community trust and health infrastructure are necessary to prepare for future public health crises For years, Ahmed Ali, executive director of the Somali Health Board, has advocated for the health of Somali residents in King County, Washington. So, when COVID-19 hit, Ali asked public health leaders to bring mobile testing sites to Somali neighborhoods. Public...


We deserve clean air now

Starre Vartan | UW SPH | March 31, 2023
7 minutes to read

DEOHS Assistant Professor Elena Austin measures air quality outside a school near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Photo by Mark Stone. Together, researchers and communities improve air quality across Washington state It’s not just textbooks and homework woes that unite schoolkids of the sunny Yakima Valley with their counterparts in rainy Seattle’s urban neighborhoods. They have...


Mental Health Matters

UW SPH | March 31, 2023
7 minutes to read

Illustration of people by Lea Hidaka Together, we can heal from the trauma of COVID-19 Since the pandemic, many professors in the University of Washington School of Public Health have shifted to starting class with a check-in. Sometimes professors ask students what color best matches their emotions. Other times, they ask what brings students energy,...


The benefits of gender-affirming care

Kate Stringer | UW SPH | March 31, 2023
6 minutes to read

Photo of Transgender Flag overlayed on Supreme Court Building. Together, we can make health care inclusive for trans youth There’s a reason families across the country drive hundreds of miles to Washington state so their children who are trans can access gender-affirming care: extensive studies have found that this care benefits mental health. As state...


Communities Disrupt Mass Incarceration

Kate Stringer | UW SPH | March 31, 2023
6 minutes to read

Clockwise from top left: Brandie Flood, Jamie Garcia, Hamid Khan, Tara Moss, Mienah Z. Sharif Together, we can center community voices to address structural racism When Brandie Flood and Tara Moss intercept someone on the brink of arrest, they have one central question for that person: “What do you need?” They ask because, when the...


New Gun Violence Chapter in Handbook of Epidemiology

Bridget Garland | March 29, 2023
3 minutes to read

In the United States, someone is injured or killed by a firearm every four minutes. In 2020, 45,222 individuals died due to firearm injury, and there were 175,459 emergency department visits for non-fatal firearm injuries. Gun violence, which impacts fear, trauma, and many other aspects of health, poses a pressing global public health issue. Gun...


How RDNs can support sustainable dietary patterns

UW Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Program | March 8, 2023
7 minutes to read

March is National Nutrition Month and the theme for 2023 is “Fuel for the Future,” an invitation by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) encouraging each of us to eat with sustainability in mind. This means choosing foods that are tasty, nourishing, and foods that also protect the environment.  So, what should be on the menu...


Study suggests dapivirine vaginal ring is safe to use as HIV prevention during breastfeeding

Microbicides Trial Network | February 21, 2023
6 minutes to read

A monthly vaginal ring containing the antiretroviral drug dapivirine – an HIV-prevention method that has been approved in several African countries and recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) – appears to be safe when used during breastfeeding, suggest results of a Phase IIIb open-label study presented today at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic...


How a series of questions helped Kenneth Mugwanya fight the HIV epidemic

UW SPH | Kate Stringer | January 25, 2023
7 minutes to read

Kenneth Mugwanya is a physician-epidemiologist at the University of Washington School of Public Health, where he works as an assistant professor of global health and epidemiology. (Photo credit: Elizar Mercado) Kenneth Mugwanya’s first job as a young physician in Uganda was working with HIV-infected children. This was around the height of the HIV epidemic, when...


How partnerships between tribal communities and researchers like Mandy Fretts are improving heart health

UW SPH | Kate Stringer | November 30, 2022
6 minutes to read

Diabetes was so common in Mandy Fretts’ community, she thought it was just a part of life.   Fretts, a member of Eel Ground First Nation (Mi’kmaq), an American Indian community in New Brunswick, Canada, grew up watching family members like her grandmother and father work hard to control their blood sugar by eating healthy and exercising....


More U.S. adults carrying loaded handguns daily, study finds

Kim Eckart | UW News | November 16, 2022
3 minutes to read

The number of U.S. adult handgun owners carrying a loaded handgun on their person doubled from 2015 to 2019, according to new research led by the University of Washington. Data come from the 2019 National Firearms Survey (NFS), an online survey of U.S. adults living in households with firearms, including nearly 2,400 handgun owners. Compared...


Here’s what nonadherence to gender-affirming hormone prescriptions shows us about trans people’s access to equitable health care

UW SPH News | September 7, 2022
6 minutes to read

While gender-affirming hormones are critical to trans individuals’ health and wellbeing, a new study provides insight into why people may be taking more or less than their prescribed dosages.  The study, Gender Affirming Hormone Therapy Dosing Behaviors among Transgender and Nonbinary Adults, was published September 7 in Humanities and Social Sciences Communications. To the study authors’ knowledge,...


Diet-related metabolite TMAO linked to mortality in older adults

Jacob Fong-Gurzinsky | June 17, 2022
3 minutes to read

Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) is a gut-derived metabolite that can serve as a biomarker for different aspects of human health, including diet, gut microbiome, and metabolism. Previous research has found that TMAO was associated with serious cardio-metabolic health outcomes. In a recent JAMA Network Open article, researchers found that TMAO and related metabolites are positively associated...


Epidemiology community members receive 2022 SPH Awards of Excellence

UW Epi News | May 26, 2022
2 minutes to read

Congratulations to the University of Washington Department of Epidemiology (UW Epi) nominees who were honored at the 2022 UW School of Public Health (SPH) Awards of Excellence. The SPH Excellence Awards recognize exemplary staff, faculty, and students for their dedication, service, and contributions to the school. The SPH Excellence Awards ceremony was held in person...


Researchers find patterns of handgun carrying among youth in rural areas, building foundation for injury prevention

Jake Ellison | UW News | April 4, 2022
7 minutes to read

The first results of research led by the University of Washington into handgun carrying by young people growing up in rural areas has found six distinct patterns for when and how often these individuals carry a handgun. The patterns, or “longitudinal trajectories,” suggest that youths in rural areas differ in some ways from their urban counterparts when...


More generous EITC payments benefit maternal health

UW Medicine | February 28, 2022
4 minutes to read

A study suggests that economic support reduces alcohol misuse and depressive symptoms among low-income mothers.


Gender-affirming care can improve mental health outcomes in transgender youth

Celena Adler, UW Epi News | February 25, 2022
2 minutes to read

New research published in JAMA Network Open shows that gender-affirming hormones and puberty blockers have a beneficial impact on depression and suicide risk in transgender and nonbinary youth.  The study followed 104 transgender and nonbinary youth, ages 13 to 20, over the span of twelve months as they received care at the Seattle Children’s Gender...