By meeting its mission of developing professionals who protect and promote the health and safety of workers through interdisciplinary education, research, and outreach programs, the Deep South Center has been an occupational safety and health resource to the southeast since 1982. The Center Administrative Core is located at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Public Health, and includes an Executive Committee, Board of Advisors, Outreach, Diversity, Pilot Project Research Training programs, and interdisciplinary coordination. The Center provides opportunities for masters and doctoral academic studies in the fields of industrial hygiene (IH) at the UAB School of Public Health, occupational health nursing (OHN) at the UAB School of Nursing, and occupational safety and ergonomics (OSE) and a specialty in occupational injury prevention research training (OPIRT) at the Auburn University College of Engineering. We are proposing a targeted research training (TRT) program that will include existing training programs in the UAB School of Engineering, the Minority Health Program and the Pulmonary Medicine in the School of Medicine. In the first year of this project, we are requesting support for eight full time students in IH, twelve in OHN, fourteen in OSE, three in OPIRT, and two in TRT. Our Continuing Education and Hazardous Substance Training programs, also located in the UAB School of Public Health, anticipate offering over 60 courses to about 900 attendees in each year of the project period. Our well established academic programs, taught by nationally-recognized faculty members, instill in our students an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of the occupational safety and health professions.
The regional impact of our academic programs is indicated by 65% of our graduates still practicing in the occupational safety and health professions in the southeast. We are also involved in research applicable to the industries in our region, and our continuing education and outreach programs have enhanced the knowledge and skills of practitioners through relevant training courses and seminars.
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