UW School of Medicine 2020 Annual Report

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Each year, UW School of Medicine prepares a report highlighting the school’s activities and accomplishments from the past year to the Washington State Medical Association. 

This year, the report highlights upcoming and ongoing research, clinical changes and accomplishments, legislative policy updates, and notable actions from the School, including its instrumental role in responding to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Access the entire report for an in-depth look at UW School of Medicine’s work in 2020. 

COVID-19 response

UW Medicine has helped lead the nation’s COVID-19 response, with units across the health system stepping up to provide critical information to colleagues across the country.

UW Medicine’s response included the work of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and its COVID-19 Projections Model, the UW Medicine COVID-19 Response Team, the Regional COVID-19 Coordinating Center, Airlift Northwest and its adjusted air transport protocols, and UW Medicine Virology and its creation of a novel COVID-19 assay. Other leading contributions include drive-up and walk-up testing and antibody testing.

Our community also stepped up to support UW Medicine through in-kind and cash donations; innovative solutions, like creating hand sanitizer and 3D-printed face shields; and aid for frontline workers. 

Research teams across the system made important discoveries and are continuing to study how the virus spreads and functions, what symptoms are associated with the disease, potential vaccines and more.

Legislative updates

In the 2020 legislative session, UW Medicine supported several bills, such as policy extending the International Medical Graduate Work Group, funding telehealth consult services and a provision to address the administrative, financial and patient care burden of seeking prior authorization from insurance carriers.

UW Medicine also secured funding for a new Behavioral Health Teaching Facility and sexual assault nurse examiner training among other budget priorities. 

UW School of Medicine status

According to rankings by National Taiwan University, the University of Washington is No. 7 among world universities and No. 8 in the field of medicine.

Over the past year, the School partnered with other hospitals to provide residency and fellowship training for students throughout the region, successfully matched a new class of medical students to residency programs and established educational initiatives within the community.

Scientific discoveries

UW Medicine experts received major research awards and continue to make medical and scientific discoveries across disciplines, from inventing a device that can control neural circuits through an implant to finding a genetic link for certain instances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and more.

Patient care

Patient care milestones have ranged from establishing new partnerships to advancing medical procedures and techniques. 

Some highlights include developing 3D printing for diagnostic and treatment purposes of complex heart conditions, addressing the health impacts of climate change and bolstering mental health care.