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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 21, 2005

Public Health Educational Outreach Program Receives Wellmark Funding

Funding from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa will help support a University of Iowa College of Public Health-based initiative that for the past four years has delivered public health educational programming to residents in all corners of the state of Iowa.

The Educational Outreach Program (EOP) series, presented in partnership with the UI Alumni Association and local community organizations statewide, matches the expertise of public health faculty members with specific community interests and concerns. Previous programs have addressed topics such as birth defects, cancer, flu and other infectious diseases, obesity, sustainable agriculture and water quality. Seven community programs, including sessions on patient/doctor communication and recent developments in diabetes care, are being planned for the 2005 series. Additional topics, specific dates, and locations for the 2005 series will be announced early in the spring semester.

Wellmark also provided funding for the 2004 EOP series. For more information regarding Wellmark, visit www.wellmark.com. The series was launched in 2001 and was the recipient of start-up grants from the Principal Financial Group Foundation.

"The EOP series aims to provide interesting and informative educational programs on important public health topics to communities throughout Iowa," said Lawrence Prybil, Ph.D., associate dean and professor of health management and policy, who oversees the program. "These programs demonstrate the statewide mission of the University and this college and improve knowledge and understanding of public health."

Programs in the series are designed and presented in cooperation with community-based organizations, including community colleges, hospitals, local health departments and other social service agencies. All programs are free and open to the public, and some programs offer continuing education credits.

In 2004, EOP events were presented in Ankeny, Calmar, Des Moines, Marion, Ottumwa, Waterloo and West Burlington. Since 2001, a total of 27 programs have been presented throughout the state of Iowa.

"We are grateful for all the College of Public Health faculty members who have stepped forward voluntarily to participate in this series," Prybil said. "In some instances, their participation has required long drives and overnight stays, as well as considerable preparation time."

All faculty members who make presentations do so as part of their basic teaching responsibilities and receive no additional compensation. Funding from Wellmark supports outreach and promotional expenses.

More information about the EOP series can be found on the web at http://www.public-health.uiowa.edu/outreach/eops/.

STORY SOURCE: College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4261 Westlawn, Iowa City, IA, 52242.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Dan McMillan, 319-335-6835, daniel-mcmillan@uiowa.edu; Angela Feig, 515-245-4551, feigab@wellmark.com