The Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center (CARERC) will provide graduate and continuing education for occupational safety and health professionals for the 3-year period July 2012-June 2015. Specifically, we aim to (1) provide interdisciplinary occupational safety and health education for graduate students and occupational medicine residents;(2) enhance the research skills of students and faculty in the targeted disciplines;(3) encourage and conduct interdisciplinary research on a variety of occupational diseases and injuries;(4) deliver continuing education, consultation and outreach to address environmental and occupational safety and health concerns;and (5) translate research into prevention practice. CARERC's scope includes counties in eastern Kentucky, western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, western Virginia, and southern West Virginia, where elevated rates of occupational injuries and fatalities persist, particularly in production agriculture, forestry, mining, and transportation. CARERC combines the resources of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health (Occupational Medicine Residency, MPH and PhD in Occupational Epidemiology and Injury, and MPH in Agricultural Safety and Health);the UK College of Nursing (PhD In Occupational Nursing);the UK College of Engineering (MS and PhD in Mine Safety &Health), and the Eastern Kentucky University College of Justice &Safety (MS in Occupational Safety). CARERC will collaborate with other regional institutions as well as industry, labor, and government in its Pilot Research Program (PRP), Outreach, and Continuing Education (CE) programs to enhance research capacity and catalyze the translation of research to practice. We plan to support the following number of trainees each year: 3 occupational medicine residents;6 doctoral students, 6 MPH and 8 MS students across the core programs. Building on our existing strengths and stature, CARERC will serve as a catalyst for interdisciplinary research in occupational safety and health and a centralized resource center for innovative education and training.
Building on the strengths of our existing research programs and responding to the need for innovative, coordinated occupational safety and health training in central Appalachia, the proposed Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center (CARERC) will provide unprecedented levels of targeted instruction, training, and applied research while serving as a recognized source of knowledge and expertise.