Today we have the great pleasure of sharing the news that UW has named our future home, the Population Health Initiative building, after the Swedish physician and 'very serious possibilist' Hans Rosling.

Next year, the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health will become home to the Department of Global Health (DGH), the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the School of Public Health, and the UW's Population Health Initiative.

The naming of our new building after Hans Rosling is particularly exciting for DGH. Rosling is known for his exploration of global health data, explaining associations between socio-economic factors and disease, and for his intense curiosity and life-long passion for educating students, world leaders and the public. He has brought an improved understanding of health inequities to many individuals, governments and multilaterals around the globe - which is at the core of all that we do.

Rosling’s book Factfulness was the DGH common book in 2018. In the book, Rosling offers facts about the world as it really is, and explains why it is better than many of us think. For example, new HIV infections have decreased tremendously -  from 549 per million people in 1996 to 241 per million people in 2016. There are positive trends worldwide in reducing infant deaths, from 14.4 million in 1950 to 4.2 million in 2016. Our department is directly involved in many efforts to improve health and well-being, and our contributions to that progress are visible in the data Hans Rosling discusses. I am proud of the many positive contributions of DGH toward these gains in health for all, and I look forward to the many more collaborations and innovations in which we will participate as a department to make even more progress in the coming decades.

The Hans Rosling Center for Population Health was made possible by a $210 million gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and $15 million in earmarked funding from the Washington Legislature, as well as funding from the University.

We are humbled and honored to be a part of the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health, and look forward to coming together in this new space that will foster more interdisciplinary, collaborative work and learning across UW and with our global partners.

For more about the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health, please see the University’s full announcement here