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STAT Madness, $10B for global health, and rural resources for equity

The info hub for the hub of global health

STAT madness

March madness may be over, but this Fred Hutch research duo is having their own shining moment after becoming a finalist in a two-way tie for the bracket-style STAT Madness. Their research features a new gene therapy technique on mice that has the potential to treat (and even cure) herpes. The innovative method has been years in the making and also shows promising signs for potential hepatitis B and HIV treatments.

Budgeting for global health

Last week, President Biden shared a preview of his administration’s discretionary budget, which includes proposed funding increases for education, public housing, and the environment and allocates $10 billion for global health programs. The Global Health Council applauded the shift this $10 billion represents in reestablishing US leadership in global health and the importance of building resilient health systems around the world. Stay tuned for more details from the president’s budget later this spring and see what sticks through the appropriations process.

From observation to action

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is tasking her agency with rolling up its sleeves on another major public health crisis—racism. Dr. Walensky acknowledged that racism is ingrained in our health system and announced a new agency-wide Racism in Health initiative aimed at addressing just that. Knowing that change comes from within, she’s asking her own staff to move beyond documentation and develop measurable interventions to address health inequity across CDC’s portfolio from childhood immunizations to chronic disease and everything in between.

Partners in Pima County

From Ebola to COVID-19, Dr. Theresa Cullen is taking what she’s learned as a volunteer with Partners in Health to her day job with the Pima County Health Department in Arizona. Dr. Cullen is leading the pandemic response with a pilot program to treat COVID-19 patients with monoclonal antibodies free of cost, critical for a county where 20% of the population lives below the federal poverty line.

Advancing rural health equity

Indigenous and rural communities lack support from teaching hospitals, but Jason Beste, Director of the MD-MPH Track at UW Department of Global Health, is hoping to change that. In an op-ed developed alongside leaders of four teaching hospitals, he outlined his vision to build an inclusive and equitable future for resource-denied rural communities. The keys to success? Increasing rural fellowships and lowering the barriers for teaching hospitals to build partnerships with rural and tribal communities. Yes, please.

Combatting child marriage

One in five girls around the world are married before the age of 18. Through World Vision’s education and empowerment programs, community advocates like Anuradha—who was married at 13—are working to counsel families in villages and stop child marriages in India. Her goal? To finish her bachelor’s degree, become a teacher, and help girls build healthy and secure lives.

People on the move

  • Washington Research Foundation bids farewell to Ron Howell, who is retiring after 29(!) years as CEO.

Zoomin’ around town

  • April 1–30: Join the month-long Health and Wellness Festival hosted by the Fred Hutch | University of Washington Cancer Consortium, in honor of Minority Health Awareness Month.

  • April 19: Do you want to boost public trust in clinical research? Register for a digital booth at the AWARE for All – Northwest conference in May to share your work.

  • April 21: Join yours truly for a conversation with Chris Bombardier, the first person with hemophilia to climb Mount Everest. Sign up today!

  • April 29: Tune in for Malaria Partners International’s Programs of Scale webinar to hear more about their Partners for a Malaria-Free Zambia program.

  • April 29: Join RTI International and partners to learn more about the link between tuberculosis and diabetes and why integrated care is more important now than ever.


  • Check out this video of a University of Illinois gymnast who celebrated his career-high vault by flashing his vaccine card. That’s a perfect 10 in our book.

  • Become the next viral video star with Americares#MaskOnDanceOn campaign and encourage mask wearing post vaccines.

  • Recommend a high-schooler you know who’s interested in STEM for the Young Women in Bio Ambassador Program, now accepting applications for their 2021–2022 cohort.

“This is not just about the color of your skin but also about where you live, where you work, where your children play, where you pray, how you get to work, the jobs you have. All of these things feed into people’s health and their opportunities for health.”

Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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