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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 13, 2003

Iowa Public Health Professionals Complete Preparedness Training

A cross-section of public health professionals from around the state of Iowa has completed an eight-month training program designed to strengthen knowledge in public health science, emergency response systems, and community leadership. The program is offered by the Iowa Center for Public Health Preparedness (ICPHP), based in the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Fifty-three participants completed the 2003 "train-the-trainer" program. The group was the second to complete the training. Topics covered in the program included disaster response planning and coordination, animal and human health, informatics and risk communications, and public safety and public health law.

The group held its final meeting Nov. 4 and 5 at Camp Dodge near Des Moines, where the trainers took part in tabletop simulations of health emergencies and practiced utilizing the Incident Command System. The participants received a certificate of completion and will continue to support training efforts in their own communities.

"This program is an important way of strengthening public health information and emergency procedures at the local level," said ICPHP director Christopher Atchison, UI College of Public Health associate dean for public health practice and associate professor of health management and policy. "We appreciate the time and effort the participants put into this course, as well as their willingness to share with their communities information about managing public health threats and leading local response efforts."

The Iowa Center for Public Health Preparedness was established in May 2001 by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Bioterrorism Preparedness Initiative through a cooperative agreement with the Association of Schools of Public Health.

One of 21 academic Centers for Public Health Preparedness located throughout the United States, the ICPHP places special emphasis on partnerships with agricultural and emergency management units. The center's mission is to ensure that Iowa's public health workforce has the skills to prepare for, promptly identify and respond to current and emerging health threats.

More information about the ICPHP and its training program is available online at www.public-health.uiowa.edu/icphp/TTT/ or by contacting Laurie Walkner, ICPHP project coordinator, at 319-335-6836 or laurie-walkner@uiowa.edu.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647, debra-venzke@uiowa.edu