CHanGE announces a leadership change

The Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE), an interdisciplinary center at the University of Washington School of Public Health, is pleased to announce a planned leadership transition. After five years of inaugural leadership, Dr. Kristie L. Ebi, the Center’s founding director, is passing leadership of the center this summer to Dr. Jeremy Hess, who joined CHanGE in 2015 as the center’s co-director.  Dr. Ebi joined the UW in 2014 as the School of Public Health’s strategic hire in the field of global environmental change to found CHanGE. Continuing her work at UW, Dr. Ebi will increase the time she devotes to fieldwork on climate change adaptation activities in low- and middle-income countries in the Pacific, Asia, and Africa, pioneering implementation science for adaptation in low-resource settings, a major priority for the Center. She and Dr. Hess will continue to work together closely.

CHanGE is jointly sponsored by the Departments of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences and of Global Health. The center’s goals are to advance understanding and management of the human health risks posed by global environmental change. CHanGE has grown to become one of the largest centers worldwide in this field. Under Dr. Ebi’s leadership, CHanGE recruited two key faculty members, Drs. Hess and Cory Morin, hosted Dr. Sam Sellers for a two-year post-doc, developed and initiated three new courses -- two on global environmental change and health, and established a graduate certificate in climate change and health.  CHanGE also is a founding member of EarthLab, a UW initiative to help business and society prepare for and manage environmental change.

Since its establishment, CHanGE faculty have mentored 10 MPH and 3 Ph.D. students, and engaged in projects funded by NASA, NOAA, the Wellcome Trust, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, the Ren Che Foundation, and the UW Population Health Initiative. CHanGE faculty pursued these activities while contributing substantially to national and international assessments on the health risks of climate change, including the Fourth US National Climate Assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, the Lancet Countdown on Climate Change and Health, and the Future Earth Knowledge Action Network.

The leadership transition will be effective on 1 August. Dr. Hess’ initial priorities will include furthering a substantial climate and health presence on campus by updating the CHanGE strategic plan with input from faculty across the health sciences and the wide range of other groups working on climate change at the UW and in the region. He will also be working with CHanGE affiliates to develop a new climate change and health impacts mapping and estimation platform, pursue assessment of the health benefits of climate change mitigation, and build a broad collaborative effort focused on developing, implementing, and evaluating interventions to reduce the health risks of climate change.

CHanGE looks forward to continuing and expanding our relationships with our colleagues across the UW. Please reach out to us at with any questions or suggestions for collaborations.

Preparing for change.

Global Change refers to planetary-scale changes to the Earth system, consisting of oceans, land masses, life, climate, and geological processes. These large-scale environmental changes can interact with development patterns and choices, including population, economics, urbanization, pollution, and resource utilization, to create social, political, and technical challenges to individuals and societies. The scale and velocity of today’s planetary-scale changes are exerting pressure on the natural environment and human societies. Climate change, species extinction, water and food scarcity, and ozone depletion are all interconnected parts of global change.

CHanGE (The Center for Health and the Global Environment) envisions a world of individuals, communities, and nations with the knowledge, capacity, and tools to effectively and efficiently manage the risks global environmental change is presenting to human health and well-being.


We provide in-depth, interdisciplinary training to the next generation of scholars and leaders in global environmental change and health.

Capacity Building

We increase useful and usable knowledge on the health risks of global environmental change. We recommend options to effectively and efficiently manage these risks, bridging the research and policy interface.


We integrate knowledge, data, and perspectives from health, environmental, and social sciences to promote a broad-based understanding of the needs for and opportunities to transition to sustainability.

The University of Washington MetaCenter for Pandemic Preparedness and Global Health Security

The University of Washington MetaCenter for Pandemic Preparedness and Global Health Security
aims to limit the extent of infectious disease epidemics and thereby save lives. We are fostering
a bold, comprehensive, and integrated systems approach spearheaded by top scientists and
practitioners across disciplines that focuses on improving readiness before epidemics hit.

CHanGE members Director Dr. Kristie Ebi, Co-Director Dr. Jeremy Hess, and Acting Assistant Professor Dr. Cory Morin are involved with the MetaCenter.

Read more here.

Climate and Health Adaptation Practices in the Philippines: Progress and Challenges

Join us for the November CHanGE Breakfast Seminar and connect with others at UW interested in climate change and health!

Dr. Ron Law is a Fulbright visiting scholar from the Philippines. He is a senior medical officer and health emergency and disaster expert working for the Philippine Ministry of Health.  As Chief of Preparedness, he has responsibilities in policy development, program management, capacity building and research for health system resilience. He is also adjunct professor of public health at the University of the Philippines.

Adapting to health risks brought about by climate change is of critical importance especially to highly vulnerable and resource-constrained countries such as the Philippines.  Thus far, the country had made significant progress in health adaptation however challenges in implementation need to be addressed.  Identifying key policy principles behind health adaptation in the country and looking into these challenges can potentially bring out insights that may inform current and future solutions in health adaptation programming in countries with similar settings.