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UIS to host conference on environmental health

February 7, 2007

Contact: Rebekah Grosboll, 217/206-6348, rlanp01s@uis.edu

SPRINGFIELD – The Institute for Legal and Policy Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield and the Illinois Environmental Health Association will present "The Crisis in Environmental Health," an intensive two-day professional conference, on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 6 and 7, on the UIS campus. In conjunction with this conference, the Institute is also hosting a GIS (Geographic Information System) pre-conference session on Monday, March 5. Advance registration is required for both the conference and pre-conference.

Catastrophic events such as natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and industrial accidents pose serious threats to the public and require evaluation, preparation, and delivery of environmental health services.  Environmental health professionals are also in the first line of defense against potential effects to public health caused by pollution of food, air, and water supplies. However, at a time when these services are in high demand, the pool of trained professionals is growing smaller.

ILAPS and IEHA are taking a proactive approach to this impending crisis by presenting this conference, as well as facilitating a for-credit course, The Crisis in Environmental Health, to be offered online at UIS during the 2007 summer term.

The GIS pre-conference session on March 5 is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon in the GIS lab, located in room 111 of the Health and Sciences Building on the UIS campus. The session will cover the fundamentals of GIS programs and potential benefits to environmental health practitioners.  Cost is $25 and size is limited to 35 participants.

The conference on March 6 and 7 is designed as an opportunity for environmental health practitioners and administrators to learn strategies for converting cross-cutting scientific research into effective policy and to develop skills essential to the delivery of environmental health services during catastrophic events.  A keynote presentation, two working lunches, and 11 conference sessions will address such topics as managing the public health consequences of floods and tornadoes, disruption of services, food safety crises, the effects of e-waste, maintaining equality in access to services, communication and public relations during emergency situations, cultural competence, and workforce development.

Illinois Continuing Education Units will be available to environmental health professionals who request them.

Cost for the conference is $75, plus an additional $10 for individuals who wish to receive CEUs.  Size is limited to 150 participants; the deadline to register is Friday, February 23.

The Institute for Legal and Policy Studies is a unit of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at UIS. The Center's mission is to provide a national stage for scholars, students, policymakers, and citizens to exchange ideas, engage in research, and expand understanding of public policy issues. ILAPS is charged with helping government entities to develop and implement effective policies and programs and with focusing research and service efforts on state, regional, and national legal systems.

For more information, including a conference brochure and registration form, contact Bekky Grosboll by phone at 217/206-6348 or by e-mail at rlanp01s@uis.edu.



The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelorís, 20 masterís, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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