During the project period 2001- 2004, the Deep South Education and Research Center for Occupational Safety and Health provided opportunities for graduate academic and continuing education training in the professions of occupational and environmental medicine, occupational health nursing, industrial hygiene, and occupational safety and ergonomics. Entering its twenty third year as an NIOSH ERC, the Deep South Center included masters and doctoral academic programs in the Industrial Hygiene at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (DAB) School of Public Health, Occupational Health Nursing at the UAB School of Nursing, Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the UAB School of Medicine, and Occupational Safety and Ergonomics at the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering, at Auburn University. In addition, the Center maintained a supplementary program in Hazardous Substances Academic Training within the Industrial Hygiene program and Occupational Injury Prevention Research within the Occupational Safety and Ergonomics program. The Center also has a Continuing Education and Outreach program at the UAB School of Public Health, which includes a Hazardous Substance Training component. The Center is administratively located in the UAB School of Public Health. The academic programs in the Center have well established curricula in occupational health and safety education and research that are taught by nationally-recognized faculty members. The research foci of the Center are the NORA priority health and safety hazards; especially those found in the forestry and related industries. During the reporting period, student and new faculty research projects were supported by the Pilot Project Research Training Program. A high priority for the Center during the past three years has been the enhancement of interdisciplinary education and research activities. In addition to the quarterly interdisciplinary field trips and research seminars, students in the academic programs at both campuses enrolled in courses together through interactive television and web-supported formats. Plans were developed to expand these activities through a multidisciplinary workplace evaluation course offered in the 2002 spring semester. In addition to these activities, students conducted interdisciplinary research that involved faculty from two or more of the academic programs. During the project period 79 masters students, 48 doctoral students and 3 residents were enrolled in Center academic programs. There were 51 graduates from these programs during that time: 38 masters, 10 doctoral, and 3 residents. The continuing education program offered 197 courses that reached over 3590 attendees. In addition, the continuing education program conducted several needs assessments for the academic programs as well as the continuing education and hazardous substances training programs. Through these activities, the Centers continued to be a "Center of excellence that promotes occupational health mid safety through interdisciplinary education and research" that served the needs of professionals in the Southeast.
Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL