CONTACT: DEBRA VENZKE
College of Public Health
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Aug. 15, 2000
Central European health professionals take part in UI training program
IOWA CITY, Iowa The University of Iowas Center for International
and Rural Environmental Health (CIREH) is hosting a group of Central European
health professionals for a five-month training program that began in late
July and ends with the close of the fall semester in December. The group is
participating in CIREHs International Training and Research in Environmental
and Occupational Health program, which is funded by the Fogarty International
Center of the National Institutes of Health. The program addresses environmental,
occupational and public health issues.
The international Fogarty scholars will spend the summer session learning
about the U.S. university system and attending seminars, presentations and
field trips to better understand U.S. health care and public health systems.
They will visit several farms and rural areas throughout Iowa and learn about
ongoing research projects conducted by UI investigators. In late August the
group will attend the meeting of the International Society for Environmental
Epidemiology in Buffalo, N.Y.
The International Training and Research program is beneficial to everyone
involved, says Thomas Cook, director of CIREH and professor of occupational
and environmental health in the UI College of Public Health.
"It provides the visiting scholars from Central Europe with opportunities
to advance their professional knowledge and skills and to work closely with
a faculty mentor from the University of Iowa," said Cook. "Likewise,
the visiting scholars' participation in university classes and research activities
enriches educational experiences for both students and faculty and provides
a greater appreciation and understanding of the truly global nature of many
public health issues."
During the fall semester the scholars will be full-time graduate students
taking a variety of courses offered by the College of Public Health and other
departments. The scholars are assigned to faculty mentors who will involve
them in ongoing research and help develop new collaborative projects. Scholars
and mentors also will plan a program for a two- to three-day workshop on a
topic of mutual interest.
Once the scholars return to their home countries, the continuity of the training
program is maintained through the workshops and collaborative research projects.
Mentors travel to the scholars' home countries to team-teach the workshops
with the scholar. This activity provides current research data and techniques
to a wider range of Central European professionals and establishes networking
potential among all participants.
The 2000 Fogarty Scholars are:
Andrea AdamcakovaA doctoral student in Public Health at the
University of Trnava, Slovakia. Adamcakova is also a research assistant in
the Department of Environmental Toxicology at the Institute of Preventive
and Clinical Medicine in Bratislava, where she is currently engaged in two
research studies. The first study, which involves collaboration with the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, is an epidemic investigation
of allergic diseases among children in the Slovak Republic. The second study
investigates the link between the contamination of the human placenta by organic
and inorganic compounds/contaminants and subsequent development of allergic
diseases in infants. Adamcakova received a diploma of Public Health and Epidemiology
at the School of Healthcare and Nursing in Trnava, Slovakia, in 1998. Her
UI faculty mentor is Peter Thorne, professor of occupational and environmental
health - College of Public Health, and environmental engineering-College of
Nadja DeklevaA trainee at the Ministry of Agriculture and a
student at the Nova Gorica Polytechnic School of Environmental Sciences, Slovenia.
Dekleva completed her undergraduate studies in microbial biotechnology. Her
research interests are focused on finding solutions to the problems of environmental
pollution, particularly as they relate to soils, and the capabilities of certain
strains of microorganisms to degrade toxic molecules to less toxic and more
naturally degrading forms. Her UI faculty mentor is Jerald Schnoor, professor
of civil and environmental engineering - College of Engineering.
Dr. Jana Kubienova--Graduated with a medical degree from the University
of Olomouc, Czech Republic, in 1998. In her fourth year of study, she was
awarded the Faculty of Medicine Deans Prize for a project on short-term
physical movement and its effect on the levels of cardioselective enzymes.
Kubienova is now conducting postgraduate study in epidemiology, focusing on
life style as a risk factor in cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention,
with a particular interest in physical activity and nutrition. Her UI faculty
mentor is James Merchant, professor of occupational and environmental health
and dean of the College of Public Health.
Dr. Attila Sarvary--Earned his medical degree in 1995 at the University
Medical School of Debrecen, Hungary. He is now a resident in Preventive Medicine
and Public Health and is also seeking a Ph.D. in immunology. Sarvary is looking
forward to learning more about environmental, occupational and rural health
during the semester. His UI mentor is Lar Fuortes, associate professor of
occupational and environmental health - College of Public Health.
Dr. Marek Mikulski--Occupational physician, The Nofer Institute of
Occupational Medicine, School of Public Health, Lodz, Poland. Mikulski was
a 1999 Iowa-Fogarty scholar and is now returning as a long-term scholar to
enter the Master of Public Health degree program in the College of Public
Health. He graduated from the Medical Academy of Lodz in 1994 and completed
postgraduate training in Organization, Management and Economics in Healthcare
from the School of Public Health in Lodz.
Since the Fogarty program began in 1996, 25 occupational and environmental
health science professionals have completed this training and research program
and returned to their home countries and institutions. Some 14 University
of Iowa faculty members have also traveled to Central and Eastern Europe to
provide expertise and maintain contact with the trainees.
CIREH, based in the College of Public Health, is an interdisciplinary research
and training program in international health which focuses on causes, consequences,
and prevention of communicable, chronic, environmental, and occupational diseases
in countries with substantial agrarian economies. CIREH supports faculty and
student international health research, conducts a short-term training program
for international researchers, hosts international visiting scholars, develops
seminars and workshops on international health issues, establishes international
linkages with environmental, educational, and public health institutes, and
provides technical and administrative support to facilitate international
health and service projects.
University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the
UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care,
medical education and research programs and services they provide.