CONTACT: DEBRA VENZKE
UI COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Release: Oct. 15, 2001
Heartland Center receives funding to expand training and grant programs
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Heartland Center for Occupational Health and Safety
has received $321,385 from the National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health (NIOSH) to establish three new graduate-level academic programs
and a research pilot grant program. This award increases the total annual
NIOSH funding for the Heartland Center to $806,438.
The Heartland Center, based in the University of Iowa College of Public
Health, is one of 16 NIOSH-funded Education and Research Centers that provide
training, education and outreach in occupational health and safety. The Heartland
Center serves Federal Region VII (Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri).
"The Heartland Center's new training programs and grant opportunities
will benefit the entire region," said center director Nancy Sprince,
M.D., UI professor of occupational and environmental health and internal medicine.
"There's a great regional need for occupational health and safety specialists.
The center's expanded offerings will help to fill the shortage and train the
next generation of professionals in these areas."
The new training programs will offer graduate student training in agricultural
safety and health, ergonomics and occupational injury epidemiology. These
areas add to existing programs in industrial hygiene, occupational health
nursing and physician residency training in occupational medicine. The grant
provides monies for stipends and tuition for graduate students training in
these programs. Students may earn degrees including master of science (M.S.),
master of public health (M.P.H.), master of science in nursing (M.S.N.) and
doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.).
"The expansion of the Heartland Center increases students' opportunities
to interact with a broad group of occupational health colleagues," Sprince
said. "This type of collaboration provides valuable practice, since students
will be working in interdisciplinary teams in their professional careers."
The new research pilot grant program will offer graduate students and junior
faculty grants of $6,000 to $15,000 to conduct research on topics that have
National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) priority. NIOSH and its partners
developed NORA as a framework to guide national occupational safety and health
research. The 21 top research priorities include topics such as musculoskeletal
disorders, social and economic consequences of workplace illness and injury,
and organization of work. More information on the pilot grant program is on
the Heartland Center web site: http://www.pmeh.uiowa.edu/heartland.