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Professors Hawkins and Catalano lead national coalition to improve behavioral health of youth

July 30, 2015

A national coalition of experts that includes UW social work professors David Hawkins and Richard Catalano has a bold plan to reduce behavioral health problems such as violence and depression among young people across the country by 20 percent in a decade.

Latino Center for Health allocated $500,000 in new state budget

July 20, 2015

In July, the Washington state legislature, as part of its biennium operating budget, approved $500,000 to support the School of Social Work-affiliated Latino Center for Health. The funds will be used to advance research and improve practices that help close the gap in health outcomes for a growing but underserved community. The center is the first of its kind in the state to focus on the health needs of Latinos, who account for 12 percent of Washington state’s population, but who lack access to critical health services for chronic diseases and social stressors as well as bilingual and bi-cultural service providers.

“We are delighted that the Latino Center for Health has received state funding,” says University of Washington Interim President Ana Mari Cauce. “The center provides invaluable leadership to improve access and utilization of health care services including preventive health care and mental health services.” Social work professor and center co-director Gino Aisenberg (pictured, right) explained that the center's research will focus on Latino physical health, mental health, environmental and occupational health, and violence and injury prevention.

Edwina S. Uehara, dean of the School of Social Work, added her praise for the group: “The center is a shining example of how UW research and collaboration empowers local communities to address critical issues of health care access and equity in our state.”

Leo Morales, the center’s co-director and UW affiliate professor in public health, stated that: “by bringing together faculty from a variety of backgrounds to conduct community-engaged research we aim to develop evidence-based practices to improve the conditions and delivery of healthcare for Latino patients.”
The center’s commitment to the state’s Latino community has also attracted the attention of Washington state lawmakers such as Rep. Brady Walkinshaw, a Democrat from Seattle and a Cuban American. “As many parts of our state benefit from economic growth and prosperity, the center will work to curb health disparities facing the Latino community, and ultimately our state as a whole,” observed the state legislator.

The Latino Center for Health was launched in April 2014 to promote the health and well-being of Washington state’s Latino population through community-engaged research, student and faculty training, and policy analysis. The School of Social Work, the Graduate School and the School of Medicine provided initial seed money for the center, which collaborates with the University of Washington's health sciences schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health and social work.


Associate Professor Jennifer Stuber is named CoMotion Presidential Innovation Fellow

July 2, 2015

Jennifer Stuber, social work professor and faculty director of Forefront, a University of Washington collaborative effort dedicated to suicide prevention, was appointed a CoMotion Presidential Innovation Fellow by the University of Washington. CoMotion was established in 2011 to recognize the value that entrepreneurial thinking brings to the UW campus, the Puget Sound area and the nation. Awardees are identified as mentors to others within the University community and as partners for local, national and global innovation initiatives. Fellows receive $5,000 in discretionary innovation funds.

“Jennifer is a remarkable innovator and renowned scholar in mental health policy,” said Eddie Uehara, Professor and Ballmer Endowed Dean in Social Work. “Through her exemplary work with Forefront, she represents what is possible when a leading scholar and talented teacher takes innovative research and transforms it into significant social impact. She is an inspiration to her students, staff and faculty colleagues.”

Under Stuber’s leadership, Forefront has developed an impressive record since its inception two years ago. The research center provided key data and consultation to Washington state legislators to support the passage of three groundbreaking laws requiring suicide prevention training for health care professionals. The laws are considered models for similar legislation in other states.

This year, Forefront announced a partnership with Facebook to harness the reach of the world’s largest social network provider to bring online resources to users who are considering suicide as well as their families and friends. Locally, Forefront received a three-year, federal grant to launch Husky Help & Hope, a University-based suicide prevention initiative that provides coordinated expert outreach to students.

“I am thrilled to learn from my esteemed colleagues who are having a huge impact on the world in their respective fields,” said Stuber, “and to think through the major public health problem of suicide with these colleagues. The CoMotion funds will be used to produce a documentary short film on suicide prevention, informed by years of research—a much needed innovation to the field.” Candidates for the CoMotion Fellows Program, formerly known as the Presidential Entrepreneurial Faculty Fellows Program, are nominated by deans and department chairs campus-wide, and are approved by the president of the University.

Stuber (pictured, right) received her doctorate from the Yale University School of Public Health and served as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar at Columbia University. She joined the School in 2006 where, in addition to her groundbreaking work with Forefront, she focuses on forms of oppression, health disparities, mental health and policy-making processes.


Inspirational exhibit — I AM — highlights the healing power of art

June 22, 2015

I AM—a bold and inspirational collection reflecting the lives, struggles and hopes of Path with Art students—is now on exhibit at the UW School of Social Work first floor Gallery until Sept. 11, 2015.

Path with Art is an organization that provides powerful and engaging creative opportunities to low-income adults in recovery from homelessness, addiction, mental health issues and other trauma as a means to strengthen and improve their lives. Winner of the 2014 Mayor’s Arts Award in Social Justice, Path with Art partners with over 30 social service agencies and 25 arts and cultural organizations.

This exhibition provides an opportunity for students to be seen through a new lens—that of their achievements as artists. “Through the shared language of artistic expression, we are able to catch a glimpse of each other’s humanity. From here, we can begin to break down our differences and better understand each other as human beings,” says Jennifer Lobsenz, program director at Path with Art.

The exhibit is curated by Seattle printmaker Laurie D. Brown, who holds a BFA in printmaking from the University of Oregon. Since 1998, Brown has taught printmaking at Stadium High School in Tacoma, Washington. The artist has exhibited her prints nationally and internationally; her work is included in the collections of the City of Renton, Harborview Medical Center, City of SeaTac and many private collections.

A public reception will be held on Thursday, July 30 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. First Floor Gallery, University of Washington, School of Social Work, 4101 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, Washington. (Directions to the building.)

Image: Forks and Spoons by Zeituni Abhur

Terrence Roberts—2015 graduation speaker—calls for public-education overhaul in KUOW interview

June 16, 2015

Terrence Roberts didn’t hesitate when volunteers were sought to integrate an all-white high school in Little Rock, Arkansas."We had lived so long under the aegis of separate but equal," says Roberts, who was in Seattle last week to address UW School of Social Work graduates.

Forefront awarded grant to expand suicide-prevention efforts in rural communities

June 11, 2015

Washington state’s rural communities with the highest suicide rates soon will get more resources to help with prevention training and support. Washington Women’s Foundation is giving Forefront—a School of Social Work research and innovation center—$100,000 for suicide prevention in six underserved areas.

Terrence Roberts, historic civil rights figure, to address 2015 graduates

June 1, 2015

Terrence RobertsThis year, the School of Social Work has the great honor of hosting Terrence Roberts (pictured, right) as its 2015 graduation keynote speaker.
In 1957, at the age of 15, Roberts was one of nine African-American high school students who desegregated Little Rock (Arkansas) Central High School. The entire world watched as these students, known as the Little Rock Nine, braved intimidation by the Arkansas National Guard and ugly threats from segregationists who opposed public school integration following the historic Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision.

As the angry mob grew from 400 to 1,000, President Eisenhower finally sent in the U.S. Army to protect the students. On September 25, 1957, Little Rock’s Central High School was finally desegregated. The African American students continued to endure an endless stream of verbal and physical abuse from their fellow students for the rest of the school year. When the following academic year began, the governor of Arkansas chose to close all four of Little Rock’s public high schools rather than support desegregation, denying an education to more than 3,600 black and white students. Finally, three segregationist school board members were voted out and the schools were opened for the 1959–1960 school year.

Roberts himself went on to great achievement, receiving an MS in social welfare at UCLA and a PhD in psychology from Southern Illinois University. For more than 30 years, he held academic and administrative positions at two universities and maintained a practice in clinical psychology. He has been director of an acute care mental health unit and CEO of a management consulting firm. In 1999, President Bill Clinton awarded Roberts and his fellow Little Rock Nine participants the Congressional Gold Medal, our nation’s highest civilian honor.
For complete details about the UW School of Social Work 2015 Graduation Celebration on June 11, visit this page.

SDRG researchers receive prestigious prevention research awards

May 26, 2015

Two researchers at the School’s Social Development Research Group were honored recently with national awards from the Society for Prevention Research. They are SDRG director Kevin P. Haggerty and research associate professor Karl Hill.

Kefvin Haggerty

Haggerty (pictured, left) was the recipient of the 2015 Translational Science Award. An expert on substance abuse and delinquency prevention for more than 25 years, Haggerty has focused his work on developing innovative ways to organize scientific knowledge for prevention so that parents, communities and schools can better identify, assess and prioritize customized approaches.

He has been involved with Communities That Care since 1988, helping to bring that program to cities throughout the United States as well as in Australia, Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands, Columbia, Chile and First Nation populations. In conferring the award, SPR recognized Haggerty’s ability to “effectively, efficiently and elegantly” take state-of-the-art prevention science and translate it for those who are most in need of it. His achievements in the translation of CTC to web-streamed training were also cited, as was his long-standing body of work in evidence-based preventive interventions.

Karl Hill

Karl Hill (pictured, right) received the Friend of ECPN Award, presented to a mid-career or senior prevention scientist who supports and encourages early career prevention scientists and issues. Hill was recognized for his outstanding mentorship of students, postdoctoral researchers and junior faculty. The award recognized his commitment to “helping emerging scholars see the importance of interdisciplinary collaborations and professional networking as they transition from student to academic professional.”

About the Society for Prevention Research—SPR is a leading professional organization dedicated to advancing scientific investigation on the etiology and prevention of social, physical and mental health and learning programs, and on the translation of that information to promote health and wellbeing. SPR’s multi-disciplinary international membership includes scientists, practitioners, advocates, administrators and policy makers who value the conduct and dissemination of prevention science worldwide. Former SDRG director Richard F. Catalano, who has been serving as president-elect of SPR’s board of directors, recently assumed the board presidency, a position he will hold for the next two years.

Research professor Mark Eddy honored with 2015 International Collaborative Prevention Award

May 20, 2015

Mark EddySocial work scholar and researcher Mark Eddy (right) is the recipient of this year’s International Collaborative Prevention Award from the Society for Prevention Research. He is receiving the award along with his collaborator Charles R. Martinez, clinical psychology professor and Center for Equity Promotion director at the University of Oregon.

Eddy is the research director for the School of Social Work-affiliated Partners for Our Children, which is dedicated to improving child welfare policies and practices in Washington state. This award is given annually to an individual or a team of researchers for their significant contribution to the field of prevention science in the area of international collaboration.

The two research scientists are being recognized for their cooperative work with GIZ, a German-based technical-assistance group, and professionals throughout Central America on the development of a youth violence prevention program called PREVENIR. Eddy and Martinez are responsible for the program’s school-based component called Miles de Manos, which is being implemented in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

Eddy and Martinez have collaborated on prevention science research projects for almost two decades. In addition to this recent work, they have led a variety of projects, working with immigrants from Latin America to the Pacific Northwest, with a specific focus on the well-being children and families.   

About the Society for Prevention Research—SPR is a leading professional organization dedicated to advancing scientific investigation on the etiology and prevention of social, physical and mental health and learning problems, and on the translation of that information to promote health and well being. SPR’s multi-disciplinary international membership includes scientists, practitioners, advocates, administrators and policy makers who value the conduct and dissemination of prevention science worldwide.  

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