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About the Center

About the Center

It is the ambition of the Illinois Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Education and Research Center (Illinois ERC) to improve, promote, and maintain the health of workers and communities.  We do this through innovative and interdisciplinary activities that:  1) Educate graduate students to be professionals and researchers in occupational and environmental health and safety; 2) Prepare professionals to be leaders and practitioners in their disciplines; 3) Enhance the expertise of employers, worker organizations, and communities through outreach and technical assistance; and 4) Enrich the knowledge base for solving current and future problems.

As educators, researchers, and professionals working to promote occupational safety and health, we believe: 1) Everyone has the right to healthy work – a job that pays a living wage, a workplace that is safe, an organization that treats them with respect, and access to qualified occupational safety and health professionals; and 2) Our public responsibility and charter requires that we give the highest priority to ensuring healthy work for everyone.

The ERC has 5 academic training programs, 2 continuing education (CE) programs, a pilot project research training program (PPRT), a targeted research training program (TRT), and center wide activities including the administrative core (including coordination of interdisciplinary activities), outreach, and diversity recruitment. The 5 academic programs include 3 core disciplines, industrial hygiene (IH), occupational medicine (OM), and occupational safety (OS), and programs in agricultural safety and health (ASH-A) and occupational and environmental epidemiology (OEE). Doctoral- level research training (PhD) is provided in 4 disciplines (IH, OS, OEE, ASH-A). The continuing education and outreach (CEO) programs provide continuing education for health professionals in all areas of occupational safety and health and a separate program provides specialized continuing education and outreach in agricultural safety and health (ASH-CE). Training in the ERC is both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. The ERC is administratively part of the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS) division at the SPH. EOHS is one of four academic divisions in the SPH and administers the graduate training programs in IH and OS, and the CWA, CEO, ASH-CE, TRT, and PPRT programs. The OM program is a two-year occupational medicine residency program in EOHS, SPH, UIC. The OEE program is administered in the Epidemiology and Biostatistics division in SPH. The ASH-A program is in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). The CWA provides support for each of the component programs and manages interdisciplinary activities. The ERC has an Executive Committee composed of the ERC Director and Deputy Director as well as each program director. The ERC also has an external advisory committee that meets 1-2 times per year.

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