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Release: Immediate

Community meeting on UI's Public Health Initiative scheduled in Fort Dodge

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Residents of Fort Dodge and the surrounding area who are interested in public health and public health distance learning opportunities are invited to meet with a representative from the University of Iowa Monday, March 1 to discuss the university's Public Health Initiative (PHI).

The meeting, scheduled to take place at the Iowa Central Community College Vocational Technical Building in Conference Room 2 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., is open to the public. The local hosts for the meeting will be Trinity Regional Hospital, Iowa Central Community College, and the Community Action Network. The UI representative will be James Merchant, M.D., Dr.P.H., professor and head of preventive medicine and environmental health.

Under the PHI, a new School of Public Health would be developed at the UI and new public health educational opportunities would be made available in local communities throughout Iowa via distance learning. For the first time in Iowa, students will be able to pursue a master of public health degree as well as a non-degree certificate in public health.

In 1998 the Iowa Board of Regents approved the PHI and Gov. Tom Vilsack included funding for it in his proposed budget, which is currently before the Iowa General Assembly.