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NIOSH Funds Heartland Education & Research Center to Provide Advanced Training, Other Services

NIOSH Update:

Contact: Fred Blosser (202) 260-8519
May 11, 2000

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) today announced the establishment of the Heartland Center for Occupational Health and Safety at the University of Iowa. The new Center will provide graduate training, continuing education, and outreach in occupational medicine, industrial hygiene, and occupational health nursing in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.

The Heartland Center for Occupational Health and Safety is the newest of 16 Education and Research Centers (ERCs) funded by NIOSH to meet the nation’s ongoing needs for trained occupational health and safety professionals. The new Center is a collaborative effort among the University of Iowa’s Colleges of Public Health, Nursing, and Medicine. It is housed in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health in the University’s College of Public Health in Iowa City.

“We are pleased to welcome the Heartland Center as our newest ERC, building on the University of Iowa’s proven excellence in educating health professionals and developing strong local partnerships in its home state,” said NIOSH Director Linda Rosenstock, M.D., M.P.H. “The new Center puts NIOSH-supported ERCs in every region of the U.S., providing strong, innovative research and education in occupational health and safety.”

Among other benefits, creation of the new Heartland Center will:

  • Allow for expansion of current training and education partnerships in Iowa to the other states in the Federal Government’s Region VII � Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Under two of these programs, WORKSAFE IOWA and the Iowa Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, a network of occupational and agricultural health clinics has been created in Iowa.
  • Expand recruitment and training opportunities for groups under-represented in occupational safety and health disciplines, including Native American students.
  • Expand the number of occupational physician trainees in the University’s residency training program to serve regional needs.

ERCs graduate almost half of the nation’s post-baccalaureate occupational health and safety specialists, including the majority of occupational health nursing and occupational medicine graduates. The program was established in 1977. ERCs are funded for five-year periods by NIOSH under a competitive peer-review process. A program announcement is published in the Federal Register every year, and proposals by applicants are critically evaluated by NIOSH and independent scientific reviewers.

For further information on the Heartland Center for Occupational Health and Safety, contact Nancy L. Sprince, M.D., Heartland Center Program Director, at (319) 335-4429. For further information on NIOSH’s ERC program and other research activities, call toll-free 1-800-35-NIOSH.