Eva Baharav, an associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Western Washington University, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 26, after a short battle with cancer. Dr. Baharav began her career at Western in the fall of 2003 and was a loved and respected colleague, teacher, mentor, clinician and scholar. Her primary area of research and clinic service was treatment of autism spectrum disorders. She was recognized in the North-Sound region as an expert in autism spectrum disorders and parent support. Through her teaching and clinical practice, Dr. Baharav touched the lives of hundreds of students and families.
Baharav’s clinical research investigated alternative methods for supporting families of children with autism spectrum disorders through early diagnosis, intervention and parent education. She presented her research at local, regional, national and international conferences throughout her time at Western. She published several papers and led many student research projects on the topic of parental support and innovative treatment approaches for children with ASD. In an effort to reach more families, Dr. Baharav pioneered the delivery of home-based parent-coaching services via telehealth for families who live at some distance from Western’s campus or who did not have access to reliable transportation.
Of note, she directed undergraduate students in conducting a regional screening program at preschools and daycare facilities in Whatcom County in an effort to educate students, physicians, local childcare providers and parents about the importance of early detection of autism spectrum disorders. Her Hanen family coaching program, an annual six-week intensive support and education program for families, positively impacted many students and members of our community. Families who participated in the Hanen program received evidence-based, expert support in a region of the state where such supports are sparse. Because of Dr. Baharav’s passion and energy, dozens of students have graduated from Western's Speech Language Pathology program with the desire and the skills to serve children with autism spectrum disorders and their families.
We have established a scholarship to honor and acknowledge Eva’s contributions in the area of autism and her dedication to our students and community. If you wish to contribute, please do so.
Gifts in memory of Eva can be made:
- online at www.wwu.edu/give (please type Eva Baharav Memorial Scholarship into the gift designation box);
- checks can be made payable to the WWU Foundation with Eva Baharav Memorial Scholarship written on the memo line of the check. They can be mailed to: WWU Foundation, 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225-9034;
- or, via payroll deduction.
A celebration of life open house for Dr. Eva Baharav will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, on the third floor of Academic Instructional Center East. Please join us and Dr. Baharav’s family as we celebrate her passion, energy, and compassion in life and work. Since 2003, Dr. Baharav has been a faculty member in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders teaching, providing clinical services, and conducting research. Parents and colleagues refer to her as persistent, passionate, collaborative, and astute. She has been a guiding force in the development of community supports for families and children with autism. She has touched many in the campus community and Whatcom County. She loved her career.