Public Release: 

U-M Bioterrorism Preparedness Initiative gets $1 million from CDC

University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR---The University of Michigan will work toward making the state of Michigan a safer place by training public health professionals who must prevent and respond to bioterrorist attacks and other infectious disease outbreaks.

The U-M Bioterrorism Preparedness Initiative recently was notified that it will receive $1 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this year, renewable for up to three years.

The initiative, funded by the CDC in collaboration with the Association of Schools of Public Health, joins a nationwide network of academic centers in public health preparedness, including Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University and the University of California-Berkeley.

"Our goal is to help the state of Michigan and the nation evolve a public health system that is robust enough to prevent or treat infectious disease outbreaks, be they a result of bioterrorist acts or naturally occurring. This grant will move us well down the road toward the goal," said Noreen Clark, dean of the U-M School of Public Health and chair of the U-M Bioterrorism Preparedness Initiative's advisory council.

Training efforts will target the more than 9,000 public health workers in the state, at 45 local public health departments and at the state Department of Community Health.

Initiative leaders hope to have Web-based training available by the end of the year, consolidating existing information into easily accessible formats. They'll begin developing new programming by spring 2003, focusing specifically on the kind of training people in the field say they need most.

The goal is to offer information that will help public health staff members better prepare for bioterrorism threats and events and give them resources they can tap in times of crisis.

Rosemarie Rowney, formerly of the Oakland County Health Department and now a U-M School of Nursing lecturer, directs the training efforts.

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The U-M Bioterrorism Preparedness Initiative was formed in the wake of Sept. 11 to pull together experts from across campus to find innovative ways to address bioterrorism concerns.

For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/. Or visit http://www.asph.org/ and http://www.sph.umich.edu/bioterrorism

Producers: U-M has professional TV studios and uplink capabilities.

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