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University of Iowa News Release

March 26, 2004

UI, IDPH Partner On Academic Health Department Initiative

The University of Iowa College of Public Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) have formed a partnership to develop an academic health department, a grant-funded project designed to advance collaboration in teaching, research and service between schools of public health and health departments in their state.

The main goals of the academic health department are to provide training opportunities for graduate students in public health and to stimulate greater interaction between public health education and practice.

"The UI-IDPH partnership will promote jointly managed practice-based research projects led by College of Public Health faculty and IDPH staff," said Christopher Atchison, the project's principal investigator and the College of Public Health's associate dean for public health practice. "It also will provide internship opportunities at the IDPH for public health students."

The academic health department will draw on leadership and shared resources from both institutions. The project builds on a history of strong collaboration between the College of Public Health and IDPH and reinforces academic ties between the two entities.

"Collaborating on this effort makes sense for IDPH and our partners at the college," added Mary Mincer Hansen, director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. "It fits well with the health department's efforts to enhance our culture as a learning organization and to provide information and make decisions that are science-based."

The project is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a cooperative agreement with the Association of Schools of Public Health. It is one of 14 such demonstration projects at schools of public health nationwide.

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