The magazine of the UW School of Public Health

Northwest Public Health Fall/Winter 2009

Bridges to the Future:
New Partners. New Tools.

Fall/Winter 2009 • Volume 26 Number 1

Public health is a dynamic field that is using new tools, forming new coalitions, and moving into new areas of research and assessment. This issue explores new ways of doing things, and new ways of thinking about the public health practice.

Guest Editorial: Take the Path to New Opportunities
Patrick Libbey
The recent director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials suggests a major change in the culture of public health.

Viewpoint: The Value of Public Health from a Philanthropic Perspective
Thomas Aschenbrener
The president of the Northwest Health Foundation is optimistic about social change and the future of Public Health.

Viewpoint: Putting the Public’s Health into the Health Care Reform Debate
Hon. Tina Kotek
An Oregon State Representative sees an opportunity for the public health community to become a more visible part of health reform.

New Tools for Public Health
Twitter, Facebook, and other new tools were topics at the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice's Summer Institute for Public Health Practice in August.

Viewpoint: Developing an Evidence Base
Susan Allan
Several factors are converging to prompt us to develop a stronger evidence base for public health.

Health Impact Assessment: Promoting Health Across Sectors
Andrew Dannenberg
A leader in the HIA movement at the CDC discusses how this new tool has been used in the Northwest and beyond.

Health Impact Assessment: Spokane
Kat Hall, Elizabeth Wallace, and Heleen Dewey
The nonprofit Lands Council teamed with the Regional Health District to produce a Rapid HIA to introduce nonmotorized transportation policies into a new downtown plan.

Health Impact Assessment: SR 520
Barbara Wright
The first mandated HIA in the United States was required by the Washington State Legislature as part of a King County bridge project.

Health Impact Assessment: Oregon
Mel Rader, Yvonne Michael, and Leslie Purdue
Oregon developed the first-ever HIA for a climate change policy.

Building a Statewide Health Impact Assessment Program: A Case Study from Alaska
Aaron Wernham
A multi-agency collaborative is working to institutionalize the use of HIA as part of natural resource permitting and regulation.

Saving $2.4 Million: The Idaho Tobacco Program
Lee Hannah, Katherine Quinn, and Kallie Penchansky
Idaho’s seven public health districts put together a tobacco cessation program that saved the state nearly $2.4 million a year in health care costs.

All Hands on Deck: The Alaska Multi Agency Coordination Group
Michael Bradley
A pandemic flu coordinating group broadened its scope, allowing it to address multiple disasters that hit Alaska in May 2009.

Lok-It-Up: Partnering for Safety
Tony Gomez
Washington’s Lok-It-Up program uses public health practices and leadership to address the concerns of unsecured firearms.

Satisfaction Up, Numbers Down: Rural Public Health Nurses Needed
Sandra Cole, Karen Ouzts, and Mary Beth Stepans
Rural public health nurses express high job satisfaction, yet Wyoming and other Northwest states face a shortage.

Student Viewpoint: Obstacles and Opportunities
Janessa Graves
Public health students enter a dynamic field that can be exciting and invigorating, and at times overwhelming.

Web specials

Rapid HIA to Support Multimodal Transportation in Spokane
Kat Hall, Elizabeth Wallace, and Heleen Dewey
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a tool that can be used to improve communication between planners and public health officials, encouraging projects and policies that promote health.

Transportation, Health & Climate Change: Promoting Healthier Transportation Policy in Oregon
Mel Rader, Yvonne Michael, and Leslie Purdue
West Coast governors have formed a partnership to address global warming, including a new vision for transportation and land use systems that shifts investments toward healthier transportation options.

Clear Emergency Communication
Devora Chavez
The Northwest Center for Public Health Practice is partnering with public health and public safety agencies to improve emergency communication.

New Tools for Public Health Bibliography
Laura Larsson
A public health librarian compiles links to new tools for public health practitioners. While not comprehensive, this list provides many entry points into new technologies.

Annotated Bibliography
Laura Larsson
Our librarian locates resources to help you dig more deeply into all of these topics.

Related links

RWJ/Pew projects seeks HIA submissions
The Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts, has launched an online forum to document the rapidly expanding health impact assessment (HIA) work around the country. Submissions will become part of a searchable directory. Log on at