New name better reflects our outstanding department

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It’s official: We are now the Department of Health Systems and Population Health!

Letter from UW School of Public Health Dean Hilary Godwin:

I am happy to announce that, as of July 1, 2021, the Department of Health Services will have a new name — Department of Health Systems and Population Health.

The renaming process started in May 2020, when Department stakeholders suggested that a new name could better represent its research and teaching domains. This was in response to frequent feedback received in recent years that the department’s name was vague, no longer reflected the current foci of the department, and was easily confused with campus healthcare services.

The new name for the department was selected using a collaborative, inclusive process that involved department faculty, staff, and students. First, a volunteer committee brainstormed names. Next, a series of surveys and ranked ballots were used to narrow the choices down to three possible options, one of which (Health Systems and Population Health) emerged as a clear favorite. Following that, there was an open discussion in the department about the choices, and the request to change the name to the Department of Health Systems and Population Health was forwarded to the dean and the provost for approval. Feedback on the proposed name was then solicited from key stakeholders across the school and campus.

While the name change has been approved effective July 1, 2021, the full transition will be staged and will take time. The change will be implemented on the most public-facing channels first, and then on a rolling basis throughout department and school materials and communications. We thank you for your patience as we work through this process.

Huge thanks go to the many members of the department who actively engaged in this process. Given the large number of training programs housed in the department and the broad range of disciplines that the department’s faculty and trainees represent, I am particularly pleased that they were able to identify and come to consensus on a name that does such a great job of emphasizing what unites the work of this outstanding department.

Hilary Godwin
Dean, University of Washington School of Public Health

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