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Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to address the potential impacts of the federal government shutdown on UW Medicine. We have successfully managed previous shutdowns – most recently in 2013 – and will be working closely with the University’s administration on mitigation strategies, as needed.

Research:  The government shutdown is most likely to affect research programs that are supported by federal grants and contracts. In addition to possible funding delays, the closing of government agencies and possible furloughs of federal employees could be felt in a number of ways.

    • Funding agencies, such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, will not be able to award new grants or contracts.


    • Researchers will not be able to submit proposals for federal funding, proposals in the pipeline will not be reviewed or processed, and proposal deadlines will become uncertain.


    • Cooperative research agreements between federal agencies and UW Medicine could be affected, and in situations requiring federal participation and oversight, work might not be allowed to proceed.


More information for researchers is available from the UW Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP): Federal Government Shutdown: Proposal & Award Review.

Medicare/Medicaid: We expect minimal impacts on these federal programs because their funding is not dependent on Congressional action at this time. If federal employees are furloughed, Medicare funding for graduate medical education and reimbursements for patients covered by Medicare and Medicaid could be delayed.

Our experience during previous shutdowns is that federal funds have generally remained available. The UW also has adequate cash on hand to cover anticipated short-term expenditures in the event of delayed federal reimbursements.

I hope that Congress will move quickly to end the shutdown. There is no time to lose when it comes to advancing our mission to improve the health of the public with federal funding for our research, teaching and patient care programs.



Paul G. Ramsey, M.D.

CEO, UW Medicine

Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and

Dean of the School of Medicine,

University of Washington


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