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A message from Dr. Paul Ramsey

My holiday greetings for 2021 come with my most heartfelt thanks for your contributions to UW Medicine during an exceptionally hard year in the setting of the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic. As staff, faculty, trainees and students, you have been steadfast in providing outstanding care to our patients, leading one of the world’s best research programs and fostering an innovative learning environment. Your work is characterized by outreach to those most in need and support for each other. I have never been more proud to be a member of the UW Medicine community.

Thanks to your work, UW Medicine distinguishes itself by advancing our mission of improving the health of the public and providing a higher degree of healthcare. Yet, even though “UW Medicine” was first approved as our name by the University of Washington Board of Regents in 2003, I have found that there is still confusion about who we are. Our growth over the years has made it harder for some to answer the question: “What is UW Medicine?”

The best answer is that UW Medicine is a health system — a health system that integrates patient care, research and learning to advance a mission of improving health for all people. We prioritize healthcare equity, and our evolving blueprint for equity, diversity and inclusion is a roadmap for our clinical, research and learning programs. UW Medicine includes a family of organizations that work together and prioritize lifelong learning so that we can apply the most up-to-date research and knowledge to patient care and to learning programs for our students, trainees and practitioners. To explain our identity and structure, we have created a new UW Medicine Overview and associated FAQs that are posted on The Huddle. I hope you take the time to review this important document and share it with others.

Even during the pandemic, your commitment to being a learning health system has led to positive changes, which can guide post-pandemic plans. Some of the areas in which your work has led to important progress include:

  • By recognizing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on marginalized communities, faculty and staff identified healthcare inequities and began to implement systemic solutions.
  • For the safety and convenience of our patients and practitioners, we changed how we practice medicine with the rapid expansion of telemedicine and digital health.
  • Scientists and clinicians worked together to rapidly accelerate the application of basic research to patient care.
  • Faculty, staff, students and trainees worked together to develop new approaches to learning that have kept us all safe during the pandemic.

Your leadership of clinical, research and learning programs during the pandemic has been truly extraordinary. I am exceptionally grateful for your contributions and proud to be a member of the UW Medicine community with you. Thank you! My best wishes for the holidays.


Paul G. Ramsey, MD
CEO, UW Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and
Dean of the School of Medicine,
University of Washington