The Great Lakes Center for Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health is an Education and Research Center (ERC) funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The ERC was established at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 1977 and serves as a regional center for occupational safety and health training, research, and outreach. The Administrative Core of the ERC is based at the UIC School of Public Health. The ERC is multidisciplinary and multi-institutional with residency training programs in occupational medicine at the University of Illinois and Cook County Hospital; graduate training in occupational health nursing at the UIC College of Nursing; graduate training in industrial hygiene at the UIC School of Public Health; Continuing Education and Outreach at the UIC School of Public Health; Hazardous Substances Training at the University of Illinois Institute for Labor and Industrial Relations; and Agricultural Safety and Health Continuing Education at the University of Illinois College of Agriculture and School of Public Health. New training programs in Hazardous Substances Training and Hazardous Waste Academic Training were added to the ERC during this 5 year reporting period. Several major programmatic developments over the past five years have enhanced our ability to meet our training mission. In 1995, our Continuing Education and Outreach Program assumed operation of the UIC Midwest Training Center that provides worker and supervisor training in asbestos, radon, and lead abatement. In 1996, the UIC Occupational Medicine Residency Program moved from the College of Medicine to the School of Public Health. That same year our Industrial Hygiene Program received the maximum accreditation from ABET. During this time period, we have also seen continued growth of the Fire Service Occupational Health and Safety Program at the UIC College of Nursing and the joint UIC/Illinois Department of Health, Health Hazard Evaluation Program. Over the past five years, our Center has achieved a dramatic growth in new sources of external support to the Center with an approximate tripling of our external budget. This expansion of investments in our Center by UIC and other stakeholders demonstrates their increased commitment to our mission. Our growth has largely occurred in three areas: global occupational and environmental health, regional outreach, and research. In 1995, our ERC became a WHO Collaborating Center in Occupational and Environmental Health with terms of reference in the Americas and Eastern Europe. In 1995, we became a NIH Fogarty Center for International Research and Training in Environmental and Occupational Health. In 1994, we established the Occupational Health Service Institute to respond to our Chancellor's Great Cities Initiative. This initiative asked faculty to fulfill UIC's land grant mission by making our expertise available to the community. Our Center has also pioneered the re-establishment of the research mission of ERCs and has developed an implemented an innovative model of research training through a NIOSH-supported mini-grants research program.
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