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University of Iowa News Release


March 14, 2007

Health Care And Human Rights Discussed At Careers For Change Lecture March 21

The role of health care as it relates to human rights concerns in Iowa and around the world will be explored and discussed during the spring semester's second Careers for Change presentation, sponsored by the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, in the International Commons, Room 1117, of the University Capitol Centre, located in the Old Capitol Town Center.

"Serving Vulnerable Populations: The Importance of Health Care" will feature Laurence Fuortes, a professor in the UI College of Public Health, and Bob Witt, physician assistant and clinical director for Proteus Migrant Health.

Careers for Change is a semester-long series of informal presentations by professionals in diverse fields. Although the program is designed for undergraduates to learn more about careers in social justice and human rights, the series is free and open to UI faculty, staff and the public.

Fuortes received his medical degree from the University of Illinois in 1980. He is a professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health in the UI College of Public Health. His current research interests include injury epidemiology, occupational epidemiology and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Former Worker Program, a medical screening program for former employees who may be at risk for health problems as a result of their employment at DOE sites, including the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant near Burlington.

Witt's responsibilities at Proteus include administration, policy formulation, clinical coordination and collaborations as well as providing direct patient medical care to migrant and seasonal agricultural farm workers and their families primarily through outreach clinics across the Iowa. Prior to joining Proteus, he worked as a physician assistant in several private practices around Iowa and Nebraska.

For a full listing of topics and dates, visit: For more information or special accommodations to attend any of these events, contact the UICHR at 319-335-3900 or

Founded in 1999, the UICHR is a direct outgrowth of Global Focus: Human Rights '98, the yearlong UI commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of Dec. 10, 1948. Initiated by a multidisciplinary group of faculty, the center's mission is to support the promotion and protection of human rights at home and abroad by providing leadership in human rights research, education, and public service to the UI, its surrounding community, the state of Iowa and beyond.

The UICHR is a part of International Programs, which enables University of Iowa students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all University constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Joe Nugent, 319-335-2026,; Program: Amy Weismann, 319-335-0483,; Writer: Jeffrey Block