A number of Eastern European and Central Asian countries are considered by the World Bank as lower or middle income countries (LMICs). Their growing economies are undergoing rapid change. Consequently, environmental and occupational health needs are great. The University of Florida Department of Environmental and Global Health, College of Public Health and Health Professions proposes a collaboration with Babe?-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania in creating a One Health Center for Environmental and Occupational Research GEOHealth Hub at BBU. The GEOHealth Hub will capitalize on pre-existing research collaborations in partnering with 11 other academic centers in 5 other Eastern European and Central Asian LMICs: Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhztan, and Moldova. The GEOHealth Hub will focus upon 3 research and training areas 1) Aquatic Health, 2) Food Safety, and 3) Zoonotic Diseases. The long-term objective of the GEOHealth Hub is to strengthen institutional capacity for environmental and occupational research and training at the 12 participating academic centers.
Specific aims i n the first 2 years are 1) To conduct an evidence-based needs and opportunities assessment to identify environmental and occupational public health problems in Romania, Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhztan, and Moldova;2) To establish the GEOHealth Hub at BBU;3) To design research studies that address the focal research topics of the GEOHealth Hub and to plan the necessary capacity building to successfully conduct the Center's research activities;and 4) To develop an evaluation plan for monitoring the success of Aims 1-3. The proposed GEOHealth Hub is innovative as it will employ the One Health cross-disciplinary approach to engage experts in public, veterinary, and environmental health fields from each of the 12 academic institutions towards research and training projects to improve public health. The GEOHealth Hub will be supported by the University of Florida which has 16 land grant and health science colleges from which to draw research and training expertise, including One Health-oriented courses, One Health Master and PhD degree programs, and One Health research projects.

Public Health Relevance

Capitalizing upon a previously existing network of research collaborations, we will develop a GEOHealth Hub at the Babe?-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The Hub will coordinate research and training collaborations with 11 academic centers located in Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhztan, and Moldova. It will focus upon 3 research and training areas: Aquatic Health, Food Safety, and Zoonotic Diseases.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZES1)
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Jessup, Christine
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Babes Bolyai University
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Coman, Alexandru; Chereche?, R?zvan M; Ungureanu, Marius I et al. (2015) An assessment of the occupational and environmental health needs in seven Southeastern European and West-Central Asian countries. J Epidemiol Glob Health 5:375-84