UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health Receives $158,000 Grant from U.S. Department of Labor

By Benjamin Waldrum

LITTLE ROCK — The Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) received a one-year grant for $156,800 to provide infectious disease pandemic preparedness training to 550 employers and workers across the state.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the grant as part of more than $11.6 million in grants to 93 nonprofit organizations to fund education and training on hazard recognition and prevention.

Derived from the Susan Harwood Workplace Safety and Health Training program, the OSHA grants are in the Targeted Topic Training, Training and Educational Materials Development and Capacity Building categories. These grants are a critical part of OSHA’s effort to educate workers and assist employers nationwide.

“This is an important grant for the college, as it is an affirmation that the health of Arkansas’ workforce during a pandemic is vital to the economic well-being of the state,” said College of Public Health Dean Mark Williams, Ph.D.

Through the college’s Office of Professional Development and Program Evaluation, the College of Public Health will provide up to six hours of infectious disease pandemic preparedness training to employers and workers in the general and construction industries, focusing on small businesses that may not have the resources to train and develop pandemic programs. UAMS recently created the office to elevate public health focus, knowledge and practice by providing public health training, professional development, outreach, mentoring and consultation.

Called The Next Normal: Preparing Today’s Workplace for Tomorrow’s Pandemic, the training will be designed to increase awareness of signs and symptoms of known infectious diseases, modes of transmission, methods for control and elimination, the use of personal protective equipment and other control methods.

Specifically, the training will target small businesses that employ temporary, youth and limited-English proficiency workers. Training materials and sessions will be offered in both English and Spanish.

The College of Public Health will partner with the Northwest Arkansas Council and Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield to help advertise the trainings.

UAMS is the state's only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a main campus in Little Rock; a Northwest Arkansas regional campus in Fayetteville; a statewide network of regional campuses; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Translational Research Institute and Institute for Digital Health & Innovation. UAMS includes UAMS Health, a statewide health system that encompasses all of UAMS' clinical enterprise. UAMS is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,047 students, 873 medical residents and fellows, and six dental residents. It is the state's largest public employer with more than 11,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses, Arkansas Children's, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

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