PERLC Success Stories
April 16th, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden were guests at the University of Iowa College of Public Health for the dedication ceremony for the new building. Dr. Frieden gave a presentation prior to the CPH building dedication titled, “Supporting Health, Productive Lives, and Communities.” Harkin, who serves as chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, delivered the keynote address during the building dedication which stressed the importance of public health. The new $47.7 million 142,000-square-foot building opened to faculty and students this semester.
One of the CDC funded programs at the University of Iowa College of Public Health is the Upper Midwest Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (UMPERLC.) UMPERLC serves the predominantly-rural states of Iowa and Nebraska with their emergency preparedness response training efforts. UMPERLC has learning projects and resources designed to support the states’ capacity in building a strong, prepared public health workforce. UMPERLC has produced 37 innovative, online training and education programs that are accessible at no-cost to a diverse, public health workforce, including online courses (e.g., Lab Biosafety: Avoiding Laboratory Acquired Infections), and toolkits (e.g., Shelter Management, PIO/JIC).
The UMPERLC partners with several state agencies and non-profit organizations within Iowa and Nebraska to address the states’ preparedness training needs. Examples of these partnerships include:
- Community Health Centers-Provided training and resources to the Primary Care Association of Iowa, and its affiliated community health centers (CHC) to build their capacity for preparedness and emergency response. CHCs serve as an important resource for local and state health departments in a disaster.
- Laboratorians-Partnered with the State Hygienic Laboratory at The University of Iowa to provide interactive, virtual Just-In-Time trainings (e.g., Anatomy of a Foodborne Outbreak, Electronic Bioterrorism Workshop for Sentinel Labs).
- Veterinarians-Partnered with Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Center for Food Security and Public Health to develop the “Public Health Emergency Preparedness” course for practicing veterinarians completing their MPH at the University of Iowa, College of Public Health.
- Public Health Workforce-Developed a series of competency –based scenarios- to assess knowledge and skills and provide training where gaps exist. The scenarios allow the worker to demonstrate proficiency through practical exercise.
- Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council-On February, 27th UMPERLC participated in Iowa’s first ever State Strategic Planning for emergency preparedness and response for Iowans with disabilities.
- Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management-UMPERLC combined the HSEEP and Exercise Design courses from a 4 day into a 2 ½ day training course. The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management training officer will be requesting this course to be added to the national catalog of courses.
For more information on the UMPERLC, please visit their website at http://cph.uiowa.edu/umperlc/