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Heartland Center for Occupational Health and Safety.

Zwerling C
Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, T42-OH-008491, 2009 Aug; :1-43
The Heartland Center for Occupational Health and Safety, based at the University of Iowa (UI),. has served Federal Region VII (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska) since 2000 as a center of excellence in interdisciplinary training, education and research. Region VII, the last region in the US to be served by a NIOSH-funded Education and Research Center (ERC), is characterized by higher-than-national-average rates of occupational illness and injury and lower-than-national-average rates of trained OSH professionals. Since its inception the Heartland Center has grown from 3 academic training programs and a continuing education/outreach program to 7 nationally recognized academic training programs, a strong administrative structure, and dynamic regional continuing education and outreach programs. The Center's work was supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); the University of Iowa, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics; and the Deere Foundation. During the reporting period, the Heartland Center offered training 1. at the master's and doctoral levels in an ABET-accredited Industrial Hygiene program; 2. at the master's level in Occupational Health Nursing and Occupational Epidemiology; 3. in an ACGME-accredited Occupational Medicine Residency program; 4. at the master's and doctoral levels in Ergonomics; 5. at the doctoral level in Occupational Injury Prevention research training; 6. in Agricultural Safety and Health as a secondary emphasis available to trainees in the other Center programs. Highlights of the Center's regional and national impact during the reporting period include: 1. 96% of program graduates are currently active in occupational health and safety, either in industry and clinical practice settings that serve thousands of workers or in more advanced training; 2. Trainees in the 7 Heartland Center training programs increased from 40 (2003-04) to 53 (2007-08); 3. Diversity improved from 3% of total trainees (US citizens) identified as underrepresented minorities at the beginning of the reporting period (2002-03) to 15% at the end (2007-08), with a high of 17% (2005-06, 2006-07); 4. Continuing Education (CE) offerings grew from 31 (2003-04) to 48 (2007-08) reaching at total of 6,805 trainees during the 5-year funding period; the number of CE participants increased 81 %, from 861 in 2003-04 to 1561 in 2007-08; 5. OSH information was disseminated through a "Health and Safety Bulletin" with an estimated readership of 12,000 employers who employ 400,000 workers; 6. The Center successfully integrated distance learning technologies into its training, as well as its continuing education and outreach services; 7. 29 pilot projects were funded through the Center's Pilot/Small Projects Program. During this reporting period, the Heartland Center completed the NIOSH competitive renewal process for the Center as a whole and was awarded 5 years of funding for all program areas. The reviewers' summary noted that "there is significant need in the region for trained OSH professionals and this Center fills the gap very well... There is good balance between research and applied practice ... Overall this Center is clearly more than the sum of its parts."
Training; Educational-research-centers; Education; Industrial-hygiene; Ergonomics; Injury-prevention; Epidemiology; Nursing
Craig Zwerling, MD, PhD, MPH, Center Director, 126 IREH, Department of Occupational & Environmental Health, College of Public Health, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-5000
Publication Date
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Final Grant Report
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NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
University of Iowa
Page last reviewed: January 29, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division