A new center opening in Iowa City next month could improve workplace safety in Iowa and three other states. The University of Iowa will run the Heartland Center which will teach graduate programs in occupational health and safety. Nancy Sprince, a medical doctor and professor at the U-of-I, says they’ll focus on several key areas, occupational medicine, industrial hygiene and occupational health nursing.Sprince says the nursing program is one of the most important aspects of the training, as nurses do most of the training to prevent injuries.Sprince says the University won a three-year, one-point-two million dollar federal grant to set up the center to serve Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. She says the center will also offer continuing education courses in workplace safety.Sprince says there are 15 other such federally-funded regional centers across the country. She says the Midwest region has needed such a center as a study shows higher rates than the national average for occupational disease and injuries.Sprince says they’re interviewing candidates for the program and hope to begin classes July 1st.
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