Video courtesy of Theo Angell/Michi Pix.

On June 11, Dr. Ann Downer, Executive Director of the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH), received the University of Washington’s (UW) 2015 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Lifelong Learning.

“I am truly honored to be recognized by the university,” said Dr. Downer. “This award is a result of all the great work we do at I-TECH collectively. So I would like to share this acknowledgement with each and every one of my dedicated, persistent, and focused colleagues – and express my heartfelt thanks.”

The scope and scale of Dr. Downer’s contributions to continuing education at UW have been tremendous. In addition to founding I-TECH in 2002, she has been an Associate Professor in the UW Department of Global Health (DGH) since 2007 and in the Department of Health Services (DHS) for 15 years before that, where she established the Health Promotion and Health Education track.

Dr. Downer has also established two centers during her tenure at UW. She was the Executive Director of UW’s Center for Health Education and Research in DHS from 1988 to 2006 and incorporated parts of that center into I-TECH. She pioneered the use of e-learning in both departments and currently co-directs eDGH, the department’s e-learning initiative. Her Leadership and Management in Health online course attracted nearly 1,500 students in winter 2015 and is being offered twice this year due to demand.

“Her students and colleagues are in awe of her amazing ability to engage in the classroom and to cross-manage a global I-TECH team across two universities and dozens of global academic and professional educational systems,” said UW Provost and Executive Vice President Gerald J. Baldasty, before presenting Dr. Downer with her award.

At I-TECH, Dr. Downer has contributed to 229 curricula and other training resources in countries ranging from Angola to Zimbabwe. She conceptualized the adaptation and integration of classic educational frameworks into a clinical training and mentoring contexts, including instructional design, evaluation, adult learning theory, interactive teaching methods, leadership and management, and delivery of state-of-the-art content guided by subject matter experts. Her Everyday Leadership website is used throughout the world to integrate multicultural insights into training on leadership and management in a global health setting.

“Under Ann’s leadership,” concluded Dr. Baldasty, “I-TECH has played a central role in developing sustainable and effective health care systems in the poorest countries in the world.”

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