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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 Illinois ERC has five academic training programs, two continuing education 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 five academic programs include three 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 four disciplines (IH, OS, OEE, ASH-A). The continuing education and outreach 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 Illinois ERC is both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary. The Illinois ERC is administratively part of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS) in the UIC School of Public Health (SPH). EOHS is one of four academic divisions in the SPH and administers the graduate training programs in IH and OS. The OM program is a two-year occupational medicine residency program in EOHS. The OEE program is administered in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the SPH. The ASH-A program is in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). The center administration provides support for each of the component programs and manages interdisciplinary activities. The Illinois 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 one to two times per year.

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