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Federal Grants Advance Public Health Jobs-Training, Emergency Preparedness Throughout Northeastern U.S.

Photo Gallery From left, University Council Chair Dan Tomson, UAlbany President George M. Philip and N.Y.S. Commissioner of Health Richard F. Daines, M.D.

From left, University Council Chair Daniel C. Tomson, UAlbany President George M. Philip and N.Y.S. Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. at the School of Public Health. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

News Release icon Contact: Media Relations Office (518) 956-8150

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 24, 2010) -- – The University at Albany's School of Public Health has been awarded $7.9 million in new grants to support research and education initiatives designed to advance public health jobs-training and emergency preparedness throughout New York and the Northeastern United States.

One of the awards is a five-year grant totaling $4,688,285 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the School’s Center for Public Health Preparedness (CPHP) to develop one of only 14 Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers (PERLCs) in the United States.  The other grant is a $3.25 million five-year award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to launch the Empire State Public Health Training Center, to help strengthen New York's public health infrastructure.

The announcement was made during the School of Public Health's 25th anniversary convocation ceremony which welcomed new undergraduate and graduate students to campus. The school is commemorating 25 years of academic and research excellence with a series of lectures, a film and fiction series, and other special events.   

"These grants will allow scientists at the University at Albany to promote public health and safety in New York and around the world," said President George M. Philip. "I congratulate Dean Nasca and members of the School for their dedication in advancing this vital health training."
 
The unique integration of UAlbany's School of Public Health with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) allows the School to develop training closely aligned with the State agency’s needs and priorities.

"It is essential that public health workers are prepared to do their jobs effectively in the event of an emergency," said New York State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., guest of honor at the convocation ceremony. "I applaud the School's team of researchers and commend them for providing New Yorkers with essential training and emergency management skills."

"UAlbany's School of Public Health researchers and educators are committed to improving the quality of life for people all over the world," said Dean Philip C. Nasca. "We are grateful to be recognized for our hallmark public health training programs by the CDC and HRSA."

UAlbany School of Public Health Professor JoEllen Welsh and summer intern Teresa Lloyd-Coronado

The new grants will help the School provide health workforce and emergency preparedness training. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

$4.7 Million CDC Grant Provides Emergency Preparedness Training for Public Health Professionals
The grant will support the development of one of only 14 national Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers (PERLC) tasked with identifying specific training needs, developing curricula, and delivering training and education for mid-level public health professionals on nationally recognized competencies related to emergency preparedness and response. The University at Albany, Harvard University and Columbia University are the only learning centers serving the northeast region of the United States.

The school has a successful track record of providing training in emergency preparedness and response for New York’s public health workforce through its Center for Public Health Preparedness (CPHP), funded by CDC since 2002. Training has been made available to the 18,700 public health workers in New York through interactive online courses, in-person trainings, exercises, and satellite broadcasts on topical areas. Collaborating with preparedness experts at the School of Public Health at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in the PERLC project, the partners will continue their important work of training public health professionals throughout New York and New Jersey by making intensive use of distance learning technologies which have proven to be cost-effective and easily updated to reflect the best-available information.

$3.25 Million to Create the Empire State Public Health Training Center
The School's award from HRSA is designed to launch the Empire State Public Health Training Center (Empire State PHTC) to support the public health workforce and strengthen the public health infrastructure in New York State, particularly in medically underserved areas. Empire State PHTC will be a partnership between UAlbany's School of Public Health and the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions.

Training and collaborative projects developed by Empire State PHTC will be based on ongoing assessment of the public health workforce throughout New York. Because of barriers that limit participation by public health workers in face-to-face training and in order to reach the largest number possible, Empire State PHTC will emphasize a distance learning approach.

One of the collaborative projects currently in development in the Preventive Medicine Residency programs at both schools involves faculty and students working on issues related to Native American health.

School of Public Health Celebrates 25 Years of Academic, Research Excellence
With more than $30 million in new funding over the last 22 months, the School is conducting high-level research on some of the most profound health issues facing the world today: cancer; the threat of bioterrorism; the spread of HIV/AIDS and other emerging diseases; the lack of affordable and accessible healthcare for individuals and families; environmental hazards; substance abuse and social violence; maternal mortality in developing countries; the promises and threats of genetic engineering; and protecting food and water supplies.

Through a unique partnership with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the School fosters growth and development on the 87-acre East Campus through collaborative initiatives with established and start-up biotech firms, as well as Tech Valley High School and the University's Cancer Research Center.
With programs in Health Policy Management and Behavior, Environmental Health Sciences, Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Biomedical Sciences, the School offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees as well a dual MD/MPH degree program with Albany Medical College.

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