Gates Foundation gifts $210M to UW in global health initiative

The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation has written the University of Washington a check for $210 million — the largest single donation the university has ever received — to support an initiative to improve population health around the world, according to The Seattle Times.

The money from the Gates Foundation will be used to build a home for UW's Population Health Initiative, announced in May. The initiative will be a major priority for UW's faculty, researchers and students for the next 25 years, according to UW President Ana Mari Cauce, PhD. Nearly every college and department of the university is expected to participate in some capacity, The Seattle Times reported.

The new building will house several UW units working on population health. It will also serve as a place for faculty, students and collaborators from across the university and its global partners to come together in their work, according to the university's website.

"We believe we have a moral imperative to bring together the tremendous knowledge and resources of the UW and the Puget Sound region and channel them towards improving health and well-being here in Washington and around the world," Dr. Cauce said in a statement. "We are grateful and honored to receive this generous support from the Gates Foundation, which recognizes that the UW is among a small subset of institutions equipped to tackle the health challenges we face on a global scale."

The availability of data and better analytical tools have enabled the institution to work together to diagnose the health of an entire community and provide a prescription to improve residents' well-being, according to Ms. Cauce. "Big data allows us to diagnose the health of communities, not just individuals," she said, according to The Seattle Times.

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