During the project period 1998 -2001, 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 twentieth year as an NIOSH ERC, the Deep South Center includes academic programs in the Schools of Public Health, Nursing, and Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering, at Auburn University. In addition to the occupational medicine residency offered by the School of Medicine, the three academic programs provide opportunities for study at both the masters and doctoral level. The Center also has a continuing education and outreach program, 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 caplpus enrolled in courses together through interactive television and web-supported formats. Plans were developed to expand these activitjes through a multidisciplinary workplace evaluation course to be 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 100 masters students, 50 doctoral students and 8 residents were enrolled in Center academic programs. There were 60 graduates from these programs during that time: 40 masters, 12 doctoral and 8 residents. The continuing education program offered 245 courses that reached over 5700 attendees, and 17 hazardous materials training courses that were attended by over 204 participants. 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 and 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 35294