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University of Washington (Photo via Flickr user sea-turtle. )
University of Washington (Photo via Flickr user sea-turtle. )

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is awarding $210 million to the University of Washington’s Population Health Initiative, in one of the largest single donations the institution has ever received.

The funds will go toward UW’s 25-year mission to improve the health of people around the globe by taking a broad approach to promoting wellness.

“Issues from poverty and equity, to health care access, to climate change and government policies all combine to affect the health and well-being of populations around the world, creating health disparities between countries and even within communities,” UW said in the announcement.

The video below details the Population Health Initiative’s mission and plans for the Gates Foundation gift:

UW will use the cash to construct a new building, which will serve as a hub for the Population Health Initiative. The center will house the university’s Department of Global Health, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and some portions of the School of Public Health. Each of those departments is currently spread out across UW’s Seattle campus.

Photo via Flickr/Creative Commons/Steve Jurvetson/Bill and Melinda Gates
Photo via Flickr/Creative Commons/Steve Jurvetson/Bill and Melinda Gates

The initiative launched in May to study and improve the health of populations in Washington and around the world by focusing on “human health, environmental resiliency, and social and economic equity.” The cash infusion from the Gates Foundation will help the program increase efforts locally and abroad.

“Melinda and I are pleased to make this investment in the University of Washington to help dramatically accelerate their 25-year vision to achieve positive health outcomes for populations around the world,” Bill Gates said in a press release. “UW has long been a partner in our foundation’s global health and development efforts and this grant underscores our confidence in the school’s students, faculty, and multi-disciplinary resources to advance their Population Health Initiative.”

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