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WSU Research Healthy Communities

Healthy communities

Interventions to sustain public health

To stay vibrantly healthy, a community needs the right mix of assets. Must-haves include effective treatments for infectious disease and access to quality care. Also essential are a safe and abundant food supply and sound reproductive health. Citizens must interact with one another and the environment in ways that promote wellbeing.

WSU scientists explore the myriad dimensions of healthy populations. They develop, test, and implement new ways to help you and your neighbors enjoy longevity and wellness.

Research areas

  • Interventions to improve public health and wellness outcomes
  • Health care access in rural and underserved areas
  • Food safety and biosecurity
  • Reproductive sciences
  • Global animal health
  • A close up of a researcher working in a lab Connecting communities for health

    Join us April 18 at WSU Innovators in Seattle to learn more about how WSU’s work in Africa affects health in North America

    Attend WSU Innovators to hear from two researchers working with Dr. Call, as well as Dr. Guy Palmer, the Allen School’s co-founder and senior director for global health at WSU. Tina Vlasaty of the Washington Global Health Alliance will moderate the panel.

    The panelists will discuss the global-to-local approach needed to curb the emergence of antimicrobial resistance, and WSU’s role in developing solutions.

    Learn more and register for this free event at

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  • Young lady being treated in hospital bed Stopping the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

    Advancing the health of communities worldwide

    For decades, doctors have trusted antibiotic medicines to fight Infectious bacteria, saving lives and restoring health. Lately, though, the drugs often fail. To blame are newly emerging antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    Drug-resistant bacterial infections cause nearly 23,000 deaths annually in the United States. Globally the annual death toll could be as high as 700,000.

    WSU is part of global effort

    Stopping antimicrobial resistance (AMR) requires a global effort. Washington State University is helping to lead the charge.

    In the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, where experts study the emergence and spread of disease, researchers are examining the role … » More …

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  • A photo of three people in wheelchairs Collaborative to study health reform impact on disabled

    Inquiry to see if reforms address cost and access disparities faced by people with disabilities

    Professor of Health Policy and Administration Jae Kennedy is heading up a new initiative to establish the Collaborative on Health Reform and Independent Living, a multi-institutional effort to evaluate the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the well-being of working-age adults with disabilities. Funded through a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, the collaborative brings together disability advocates and researchers from WSU, the University of Kansas, George Mason University, and the Independent Living Research Utilization program at TIRR Memorial … » More …

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  • A closeup of Tahira Probst Measuring community well‑being

    WSU Vancouver’s Probst looking at mix of stressors, employment, resources

    Does where you live affect your ability to cope with financial and employment stress? That question is on the minds of policymakers with limited dollars to spend on social services. The answer could help them determine how best to support struggling individuals.

    The question was also on the mind of Washington State University psychology professor Tahira Probst. It seems logical that people with access to more services would fare better. But Probst wondered whether, instead, people might compare their situations’ with their neighbors’ in a “keeping up with the Joneses” fashion. If so, those … » More …

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  • A photo of a man in a lab with two researchers in the background Marshaling communities to stop substance abuse

    Program engages community members in research, training, and outreach

    Substance abuse exacts a heavy toll on American Indians and Alaska Natives. John Roll, professor and senior vice chancellor for WSU Spokane, aims to stem that population’s tide of addiction by launching a community-based research, training, and outreach center.

    The Behavioral Health Collaborative for Rural American Indian Communities will examine multiple influences on behavioral health throughout patients’ lifespans. It is funded by a $5.5 million grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (part of the National Institutes of Health).

    Working with co-investigator Sterling McPherson and other investigators at the University of … » More …

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  • A photo of a lawn in front of a mansion with palm trees One health, one medicine

    Partnership unites veterinarians and human health professionals

    The Universidade Federal de Viçosa, in Brazil, has a well-recognized veterinary school and a brand-new medical school. WSU’s own well-recognized schools of veterinary medicine and global animal health have longstanding research collaborations with UFV and a global health partnership with the University of Washington.

    It makes perfect sense, then, that WSU would be the conduit for a new partnership between the 3 universities. Together they’re developing One Health, an innovative collaboration between veterinary medicine and human health professionals to improve the intertwined lives and well-being of animals and people alike.

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  • A photo of a two researchers looking over data Making packaged food safer, more nutritious, and delicious

    Microwave-assisted thermal processing technologies transform “ready-to-eat meals”

    Foodborne illnesses sicken more than 8.9 million Americans each year and claim more than 2,300 lives. In addition to human suffering, the illnesses exact a staggering economic toll—more than $15.6 billion in medical expenses, lost income, and more according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates.1

    Dr. Juming Tang is finding new ways to make our food safer. The Regents Professor and Distinguished Chair of Food Engineering has developed new methods of controlling bacteria and viruses in “ready-to-eat meals”— frozen, refrigerated, or shelf-stable entrees sold at retail markets and used in institutions, as well as shelf-stable rations … » More …

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