UTHealth receives $1.3 million biosafety and infectious disease training grant

June 08, 2016

HOUSTON - (June 7, 2016) - A multi-institutional collaboration, including The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health, has been awarded a $1.3 million training grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to fund the Biosafety and Infectious Disease Training Initiative. The training program was piloted last summer in Houston under the leadership of Janelle Rios, Ph.D., and Robert J. Emery, Dr.P.H.

In addition to UTHealth School of Public Health, the collaboration includes the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, led by co-principal investigator Shawn Gibbs, Ph.D.; the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, led by co-principal investigator John Lowe, Ph.D.; Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, led by Paul Biddinger, M.D., and Dillard University, led by Beverly Wright, Ph.D.

"This project builds upon a long-standing and successful relationship between UTHealth partners and the NIEHS," said Emery, professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences at UTHealth School of Public Health and vice president of safety, health, environment and risk management at UTHealth.

The goal of the training initiative is to positively and meaningfully impact the health of communities by providing well-designed, well-delivered and practical hands-on health and safety training to prepare workers and communities for the risks associated with potentially deadly infectious diseases, said Emery.

The target audience for the program includes workers who generate, label, load, transport, unload, receive, treat, store, analyze or dispose of potentially biohazardous materials; first responders, including emergency medical technicians, law enforcement officers and fire fighters; security personnel; wastewater treatment personnel; mortuary and forensic technicians; and custodial staff, especially those working in settings in which biohazards are present.

"The training will specifically target workers who are not typically the recipients of biosafety or infection prevention training," said Rios, director of the Office of Public Health Practice and Career Service at the School of Public Health.

Ultimately, the group aims to train workers to protect themselves, their colleagues, their communities and the environment from exposure to biohazards through the development and delivery of curricula based on sound scientific methods, including research conducted by the team. At the same time, the initiative will place special emphasis on promoting the health, resiliency and financial stability of workers and their communities.

Previous UTHealth projects funded by NIEHS include the preliminary biosafety project in the summer of 2015 that trained more than 12,000 people and a large, multi-state consortium project in hazardous materials management that is currently in its sixth year.

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Related Public Health Articles from Brightsurf:

COVID-19 and the decolonization of Indigenous public health
Indigenous self-determination, leadership and knowledge have helped protect Indigenous communities in Canada during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and these principles should be incorporated into public health in future, argue the authors of a commentary in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) http://www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.200852.

Public health consequences of policing homelessness
In a new study examining homelessness, researchers find that policy such a lifestyle has massive public health implications, making sleeping on the street even MORE unhealthy.

Electronic health information exchange improves public health disease reporting
Disease tracking is an important area of focus for health departments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic likely to cause long-term health problems, Yale School of Public Health finds
The coronavirus pandemic's life-altering effects are likely to result in lasting physical and mental health consequences for many people--particularly those from vulnerable populations--a new study led by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

The Lancet Public Health: US modelling study estimates impact of school closures for COVID-19 on US health-care workforce and associated mortality
US policymakers considering physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 face a difficult trade-off between closing schools to reduce transmission and new cases, and potential health-care worker absenteeism due to additional childcare needs that could ultimately increase mortality from COVID-19, according to new modelling research published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Access to identification documents reflecting gender identity may improve trans mental health
Results from a survey of over 20,000 American trans adults suggest that having access to identification documents which reflect their identified gender helps to improve their mental health and may reduce suicidal thoughts, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

The Lancet Public Health: Study estimates mental health impact of welfare reform, Universal Credit, in Great Britain
The 2013 Universal Credit welfare reform appears to have led to an increase in the prevalence of psychological distress among unemployed recipients, according to a nationally representative study following more than 52,000 working-age individuals from England, Wales, and Scotland over nine years between 2009-2018, published as part of an issue of The Lancet Public Health journal on income and health.

BU researchers: Pornography is not a 'public health crisis'
Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have written an editorial in the American Journal of Public Health special February issue arguing against the claim that pornography is a public health crisis, and explaining why such a claim actually endangers the health of the public.

The Lancet Public Health: Ageism linked to poorer health in older people in England
Ageism may be linked with poorer health in older people in England, according to an observational study of over 7,500 people aged over 50 published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

Study: Public transportation use linked to better public health
Promoting robust public transportation systems may come with a bonus for public health -- lower obesity rates.

Read More: Public Health News and Public Health Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.