Since inception in 1982, the University of Michigan Center for Occupational Health and Safety Engineering (COHSE) has provided comprehensive graduate-level educational programs to aspiring practitioners and researchers in Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Health Nursing, Occupational Safety Engineering, and Occupational Epidemiology to help meet the nation's needs for qualified professionals. Our academic programs are complemented with our highly effective Pilot Project Research Training (PPRT), Continuing Education (CE), Outreach, and Research-to-Practice Programs. Our success as a Center of excellence is predicated on (1) an outstanding and dedicated faculty;(2) interdisciplinary curricula that prepare our graduates for modern practice;(3) vibrant extramurally funded research programs in many NORA-related areas that train next-generation research leaders;(4) multifaceted outreach and CE programs that meet the needs of professionals in our region and beyond;(5) strong institutional support;and (6) active and engaged alumni many of whom are leaders in their fields. Highlights of the past 4 year period (2008- 2012) include: seven new faculty hires in IH, OE and OHN;new OHN, OE, CE, and COHSE Directors;numerous scholarly publications by faculty and students;new courses on core and special topics, including an interdisciplinary case-based course;a research fellowship that recruits students from other disciplines to NORA-relevant research;and a Visiting Partners Program that links regional health and safety professionals with ERC faculty. During this period, 169 graduate students were enrolled, and 85 Master's and 25 doctoral degrees were awarded. Our 62 diverse CE programs were attended by over 3,400 students, and 18 Pilot Research Projects were funded. Goals for the next 5 years include: (1) continuing to enhance our curricula to meet evolving training needs;(2) increasing enrollment in all programs;(3) augmenting ERC financial support for trainees;(4) initiating new program specialties to expand our impact;(5) continuing to offer high quality CE courses and events;(6) increasing alumni engagement in recruitment and career placement;and (7) maintaining research programs at the cutting edge of occupational health (OH) science.
The US workforce continues to carry a disproportionate burden of preventable job-related morbidity and mortality. By training high-quality practitioners and researchers, the Michigan COHSE helps to meet critical shortfalls in health and safety services in most small and many larger workplaces, and thereby reduces the incidence and severity of occupational injury and illness.
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