Marvin Oliver, 1996
This initiative, under the leadership of Dr. Mimi Fields, assistant dean for public health practice and state health officer, and Jack Thompson of our Health Policy Analysis Program, is an important component of the state's Public Health Improvement Plan (PHIP). Dr. Fields will work closely with Dr. James Gale, director of the NWCPHP, and other faculty to involve every department of the School in the education and training activities. A broad partnership is envisioned to give students, faculty, and practitioners in diverse settings more opportunities to interact through participation in courses, training sessions, distance learning, information technology development, and other projects.
Dean Gilbert Omenn will serve as the program director and Dr. Bobbie Berkowitz as the deputy director for the RWJ National Program Office based at the University of Washington. Dr. Berkowitz comes to the School from the Washington State Department of Health, where she has served as deputy secretary for policy since 1993. The National Program Office for the WK. Kellogg Foundation will be located with the National Association of City and County Health Officials in Washington, D.C. Public health systems are confronting major challenges created by market-driven changes in health care delivery and the growing movement toward managed care, changes in federal funding pathways, and the downsizing of government. Many health jurisdictions must redefine their responsibilities and priorities as they shift emphasis away from the delivery of reimbursable clinical personal health services and toward population-based public health services. These challenges will affect the financing of core functions and the infrastructure needed to ensure the health of communities.
The joint foundation initiative will help state and local health jurisdictions address these issues through modest grants designed to foster collaboration and strategic partnerships among public health, health care, and social services, purchasers, payers, consumers, and academia . Drawing upon the strengths of these relationships, the initiative will encourage health jurisdictions to assess public health governance structures, evaluate the use of technology, data, and information systems; analyze financial and human resources needs, and implement public health development plans in selected communities.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, whose president is Dr. William Richardson, former professor and associate dean of our school, will contribute up to $17 million for the local component of the program, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will contribute up to $7.25 million to support the state component.
We have hit the "information highway" with home pages for the School and its departments. These pages feature mission statements, degree and program descriptions, admission requirements, course descriptions, faculty information, seminar notices, glossaries of health care and statistical terms, and links to other important resources of interest elsewhere on the World Wide Web. Our pages also include summaries of key documents, such as The State of Washington's Children report, the annual State of the School report, "coursewebs" to facilitate communication between faculty and students taking specific courses, and special "projectwebs" such as that of the Back Pain Outcomes Assessment Team, and the Public Health Nutritionists home page.
Begun in 1983 by Gilbert Omenn and Gary Goodman, with funding from the National Cancer Institute, CARET has been directed by the research team at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the School of Public Health and conducted at six centers around the country. The CARET participants will be followed for several more years to investigate possible explanations for the observed increase in cancer (see New England journal of Medicine, May 2, 1996).
A major Finnish trial of beta-carotene and vitamin E had previously reported adverse results, but its findings were widely discounted. The Physicians' Health Study of beta-carotene alone found no benefit. These findings have prompted the removal of betacarotene from other trials around the world, and contradict claims that, regardless of benefit, the vitamins cannot possibly be harmful.
Bobbie Berkowitz joined the faculty on July 1 to serve as deputy director of the public health system development initiative sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations. For the past three years she has been deputy secretary of the Washington State Department of Health where her focus included the development and implementation of the Public Health Improvement Plan. Dr. Berkowitz previously was chief of nursing services for the Seattle-King County and Whatcom County health departments. She also served on the Washington State Health Commission and the State Board of Health. She received her Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University and her M.N. and B.S.N. degrees from the University of Washington.
Scott S. Emerson has joined the faculty as associate professor of biostatistics and associate member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Emerson received his M.D. and masters in computer science from the University of Virginia and his Ph.D. in biostatistics from the University of Washington. He previously was on the faculty at the University of Arizona. Dr. Emerson's research interests emphasize the problem of estimation following sequential monitoring of clinical trials. His FIRST Award from the National Institutes of Health explores the development of new group sequential methods and the software required to implement these methods.
Patrick O'Carroll, a contributing author to this issue of Washington Public Health, arrived at the School on December 1 to begin a two-year appointment as a clinical associate professor of epidemiology and health services. He is on assignment from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he is special assistant to the director of public health practice. He is contributing to the effort to expand the educational, training, and technical assistance functions of the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice in cooperation with the Department of Health. His special interest is information systems. He will help build advanced training, surveillance, and special applications on the INPHO system (see page 38) now in place around the state. Dr. O'Carroll, received his M.D. and M.PH. degrees from Johns Hopkins.
Charles T. Royer joined the faculty in December 1995 to serve as national program director for America's Promise, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative to secure the health and safety of children. Royer served as mayor of Seattle from 1978 to 1990, and as director of the Institute of Politics and lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University from 1990 to 1994. He holds a B,S. in journalism from the University of Oregon.
Return to Northwest Public Health