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

Release: Feb. 7, 2002

UI Center To Receive $1 Million For Public Health Preparedness

The Iowa Center for Public Health Preparedness (ICPHP), based in the University of Iowa College of Public Health, will receive $1 million as one of 15 academic centers nationwide that will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for public health preparedness initiatives.

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced Feb. 5 that $20 million in funding for fiscal year 2002 will be distributed to the national network of Centers for Public Health Preparedness. The centers, administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within HHS, were created to prepare the nation's public health and health care workforce to respond to terrorist incidents and other emerging health threats. The funding is part of the $2.9 billion bioterrorism appropriations bill signed by President Bush Jan. 10.

"This new funding will allow our center to move ahead with vital education and training efforts that will enhance the preparedness skills of everyone on the front lines of Iowa's public health system," said ICPHP director Christopher Atchison, UI College of Public Health associate dean for public health practice and associate professor of health management and policy.

The ICPHP, which was established in May 2001 through a grant from the CDC's Bioterrorism Preparedness Initiative, has a number of projects underway, including a Public Health Preparedness Grand Rounds Series. This series of programs, broadcast statewide via the Iowa Communications Network, provides public health workers with timely and practice-focused information on a variety of preparedness topics.

The center, in cooperation with the Center for Health Policy and Research, also is sponsoring the conference, "New Models for a New Reality: Improving Iowa’s Preparedness Capacity." The conference will be held April 8 in the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City. This meeting will draw together experts in health, education, law, business and media to identify strategies for strengthening Iowa's preparedness capabilities.

The ICPHP also offers an eight-month train-the-trainer program that culminates in a certificate of public health preparedness. Approximately 60 public health professionals have been recruited from five regions in the state to participate in the training program. Once the participants have completed the program, they will return to their own communities to assist with continuing training efforts.

The center's program partners include the Iowa Association of Local Public Health Agencies, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Emergency Management Division, Iowa Hospital Association, Iowa Medical Society, Iowa Nurses' Association, Iowa Pharmacy Association, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University Extension and the UI Hygienic Laboratory.

More information about the Iowa Center for Public Health Preparedness and its projects can be found on the web at http://www.public-health.uiowa.edu/icphp/index.html.