The Gates Foundation Gives to the Population Health Initiative

Bill and Melinda Gates did it again. Their recent generosity has enabled the work of public health efforts to improve the state of health in Washington state and abroad. has grants for health and medical nonprofits, for profits and small businesses around the United States and internationally.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donated $210 million to the Population Health Initiative of the University of Washington (UW). This initiative works toward a 25-year vision to unite the UW community and Washington area to advance the health of those people who live locally and of those who live around the world.

There are 5 areas of focus for the initiative: Education and Capacity Building, Diagnostics and Critical Assessments, Developing and Testing Innovations, Implementation Science, and Strategy and Planning. Through the combined efforts of the 5 areas of focus, UW hopes to bring together the university in an inter-disciplinary effort toward improving the health of the community and the world at large.

Specifically, the donation will go toward a building that will house university units working in population health. It will also serve as a place of collaboration for faculty and students from differing university departments as well as global collaborators.

According to the Population Health Initiative, there are 3 pillars that affect billions of lives around the world. These are: human health, environmental resiliency and social and economic equity. The initiative follows the Kindig/Stoddart definition of population health which states that medical care, public health interventions, aspects of the social and physical environments, genetics and individual behavior are all determinants of population health.

By helping to create a new generation of leaders who appropriate scientific data, assess interventions, approach health issues using the scientific method, and empower the community and world with tools to make decisions, the Population Health Initiative of the University of Washington will help to improve the current state of health outcomes.

For low-income and rural areas, domestically and abroad, access to healthcare is an issue. Poverty or distance to healthcare can prevent a population from receiving the proper care needed in 21st century life. 

In addition to Health and Medical, GrantWatch has grants for complimentary disciplines like environment, HIV/AIDS, Mental Health, Nutrition and Research and Evaluation. If you are an institute of higher education interested in beginning or advancing a similar program as the Population Health Initiative, check out grants for Higher Education.

About the Author: Sabeen is a Master’s in Public Health and currently writes for GrantWatch and its affiliated websites.