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CONTACT: DEBRA VENZKE
UI COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
5203 Westlawn1112
(319) 335-9647
e-mail: debra-venzke@uiowa.edu

Release: Nov. 12, 2001

UI to host program on disaster preparedness Nov. 15 in Des Moines

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa College of Public Health and the UI Alumni Association are co-sponsoring an educational program for the general public on disaster preparedness. The program, which is free of charge, will be Thursday, Nov. 15 in Beh 2 Auditorium at Mercy Medical Center, 1111 6th Ave., in Des Moines. A reception with light refreshments will begin at 5:15 p.m., followed by the 5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. program.

Christopher Atchison, UI College of Public Health associate dean for public health practice, and Mary Gilchrist, Ph.D., director of the UI Hygienic Laboratory, will address how events since Sept. 11 have profoundly changed the nation's view of security. They will discuss Iowa's efforts to respond to new threats, including plans for enhancing the training and education of Iowa's health and emergency providers and the recent formation of the Iowa Center for Public Health Preparedness, based in the UI College of Public Health.

The speakers will be introduced by James Merchant, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the College of Public Health, and joined by guest panelists L.D. McMullen, C.E.O. and general manager of the Des Moines Water Works, and Bret Voorhees, preparedness chief for the Iowa Emergency Management Division. McMullen and Voorhees will add their perspectives on disaster preparedness.

Due to limited seating, those planning to attend the program are asked to register by calling the UI Alumni Association at 1-800-IOWALUM (469-2586).

This program has been planned in cooperation with the Des Moines Water Works, the Iowa Hospital Association, Mercy Medical Center and the Polk County Health Department. It is the first event in the statewide College of Public Health Educational Outreach Series, which is funded in part by a grant from the Principal Financial Group Foundation.