Great Lakes Center of Excellence in Environmental Health University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health
Program Description The Great Lakes Center of Excellence in Environmental Health (GLC) builds the capacity of environmental health programs in public health departments in the Midwest by providing training and technical assistance and creating academic-health department partnerships.
Created GEOLibrary.org (www.geolibrary.org), a Web-based library of training materials in environmental and occupational health. GEOLibrary.org was developed with the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health, World Health Organization, and the Abbott fund. GEOLibrary.org is designed to house an array of educational materials and is searchable in six languages.
GLC provides technical assistance to health departments through joint health hazard evaluations on issues such as asbestos contamination of beaches and groundwater contamination with gasoline.
Practice Tools and Networking GLC provides Web-based access to practice tools and sharing of best practices: http://www.uic.edu/sph/glakes/coe/index.htm.
Budget restrictions limit face-to-face contact and force increased reliance on telecommunications and Web-based resource sharing; individual health hazard evaluations are time and resource intensive.
What Is Next
- Add CDC training resources and tools to GEOLibrary.org
- Develop a separate “practice tools” search feature for GEOLibrary.org
- Add a “Best Practices” feature to our Web site
- Complete needs assessments for remaining states
- Expand our Midwest electronic mailing list
- Conduct new health hazard evaluation of tritium contamination of drinking water
- GEOLibrary.org is a national and global resource; practice tools can be added to the site
- Midwest “best practices” in environmental health can be shared nationally
- Health hazard evaluation findings and needs assessment results will be published
- Environmental health component of the Geolibrary
- Health hazard evaluations for
- An indoor air quality investigation at Sandburg High School (requested by the Illinois Department of Public Health)
- Uncontained CTA track renovation work had the potential to contaminate soil adjacent to elevated tracks near children play areas (requested by the Chicago Department of Public Health Lead Poisoning Prevention Program)
- Environmental investigation of Phialemonium curvatum infections at a dialysis clinic that caused a systemic infection from a rare fungal pathogen in four patients.
- Air quality at a large government facility.
- Determination of asbestos contamination in beach nourishment sand at the Illinois Beach State Park.
- An outbreak of histoplasmosis in a crew of workers performing repair and renovation from bat guano.
- Vapor intrusion of refinery hydrocarbons in residential properties in Hartford, Illinois, for more than 40 years.
- Internet-based training in environmental health
- Public health learning environmental health courses ( http://www.publichealthlearning.com/Public/Catalog/Default.aspx).
- Webcasts on environmental health topics (http://www.uic.edu/sph/glakes/coe/training.htm).
- Lead poisoning prevention awareness through local retailers: toolkit and workbook for on lead safe work practice materials for local health departments to conduct outreach to retail establishments for increasing awareness and use of lead-safe work practices.