This re-submitted application proposes to train Romanian researchers in the prevention and management of non-communicable chronic diseases (cancer, cerebrovascular diseases, lung disease, obesity, envirnomental and lifestyle factors). Romania is a relatively large country with a population of 22 million in Central/Eastern Europe, "the worst afflicted by non-communicable chronic diseases" ofthe six WHO regions. Although significant clinical expertise exists in Romania regarding the management of chronic diseases, research expertise is almost totally lacking in regard to population-based studies, prevention strategies, and public health interventions. Over a five-year period, this program will engage early and mid-career scientists and health professionals in intermediate-term training (25), short-term training (15), long-term training (3-4), and in an innovative program of "short-term-equivalent" distance education activities that will make extensive use of Internet web-conferencing. Additionally, intermediate and long-term trainees will conduct a series of joint workshops in Romania. The primary collaborating institution for this program will be the Center for Health Policy and Public Health at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, although a number of other affliated institutions in Romania will also be involved. Expertise and mentoring in the various aspects of non-communicable chronic diseases will be provided by a cadre of highly qualified University of lowa faculty members from a number of departments and colleges as well as from several institutions in Romania. The program faculty reflects a broad range of research areas from genetics to epidemiology to clinical research to implementation science. The design of this program is based on experiences conducting previous and current research training programs in the region and on a network of well-established collaborators. Program personnel have first-hand knowledge ofthe social, economic, political, and cultural factors impacting health in Romania and the region They have developed and refined an established model for training future scientists and public health professionals that will be applied to increase understanding of, and, therefore, reduce the occurence and impact of non-communicable chronic diseases.
The most recent data indicates that non-communicable chronic diseases account for about 90% of all deaths in Romania. Although there are high rates of non-communicable chronic diseases in countries throughout the Central and Eastern European region, Romania provides a unique opportunity to have a large impact on these diseases and to have a "spillover" effect on neighboring countries in the region.
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