Field Notes, Update

VR and rhinos, trust building through data sharing, and where women sleep

The info hub for the hub of global health

Rhinos and hoatzins

Alejandro Grajal, Woodland Park Zoo’s president by day and an artist by night, introduces us to the oddest bird in the world, how animals connect us to empathy, and the zoo’s virtual reality initiative in his interview with Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce president Marilyn Strickland. Get the full picture of Taj and Glenn’s daily routine by stepping into the zoo’s rhino exhibit with your iPhone.

Dogs and cats

Huskies and Cougars are putting Apple Cup rivalries aside and joining forces to serve homeless youth and their pets. University of Washington public health and medical colleagues are working with Washington State University veterinary officials to jointly care for young people and their animals. The pilot is driven by both population health and one health.


Dadzólí is the Navajo word for trust. The National Institutes of Health, Johns Hopkins University, and RTI International are part of the first data-sharing agreement with a tribal nation. The broad research consortium studying environmental influences on child health includes Navajo Nation birth cohort data and represents an important step toward establishing trust between the nations.


Doctor, doctor, give us the news … and a good case for funding YOU

Washington Research Foundation (WRF) is looking to fund ten postdocs for three years to work on important issues from making better vaccines to helping cure diseases.

Apply today to be part of the third cohort of WRF postdoctoral fellows and work at powerhouse Washington-based research organizations like Fred Hutch, the Infectious Disease Research Institute, UW, WSU, or other eligible institutions.

If you have a project idea that is more cutting edge than our musical references, apply today.

People on the move

  • SightLife‘s Josie Noah and Jim McCorkle are moving up the ladder. Josie will drive international strategy and manage program and philanthropy teams as chief global officer while Jim will oversee all operations as chief operating officer.
  • Mike Bassoff, former foundation president at Translational Genomics Research Institute, joins the Infectious Disease Research Institute as executive vice president of philanthropy.
  • Catherine Salgado joins the Minerva Strategies team in Seattle while Minerva goddess Sara Veltkamp moves east to the other Washington to anchor Minerva’s DC office.

Shedding chaupadi

Despite threat of monetary fines and jail, the tradition of chaupadi lives on in Nepal, where in the far west, women during menses sleep outside of the home in sheds. Possible Health’s Subeksha Poudel tells NPR, “If you’re labeling and treating girls as impure, it’s the same as treating [them] as untouchable.” A local village initiative is moving prayer rooms outside the home so women can stay inside it.

Humanitarian response

For the first time in 86 years, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) deployed its emergency response team in the United States. The humanitarian aid organization now has operations in Arizona to provide services to asylum seekers from Central America. Using strategies honed in its international work, including trauma therapy developed in Syria, IRC is helping arriving children combat trauma.

Around town

  • May 22: Join Global Washington and yours truly to learn about skilled birth attendants and safer births in a panel discussion featuring speakers from Health Alliance International, PRONTO International, and the Worldwide Fistula Fund.
  • May 24: View short films, meet filmmakers, and snack on traditional foods at this celebration of indigenous film at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center.
  • June 7: Washington Global Health Alliance members debrief the 72nd World Health Assembly.
  • June 11: The Woodland Park Zoo talks Coffee, Kangaroos, and Community: A One Health Approach at the next Science in the City, Global Health and Development lecture series.

“Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.”

Melinda Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, speaking about the effects of empowering women at her The Moment of Lift book release in Seattle

Do you have a tip for Field Notes? Send it to Tiffany Cain, tcain@wghalliance.org

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