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Release: March 1, 1999

Community meeting on UI's Public Health Initiative is March 8 in Mason City

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Residents of Mason City 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 8 to discuss the university's Public Health Initiative (PHI).

The meeting, scheduled to take place at the Mason City Public Library from 10 to 11:30 a.m., is open to the public. The public library is located at 225 Second Street SE in Mason City. The local host for the meeting will be Ron Osterholm, director of the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health. The UI representative will be Christopher Atchison, director of the UI's Center for Public Health Practice. Atchison is former director of the Iowa Department of Public 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.