CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSON
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax(319) 335-8034
Release: March 13, 2000
I-CASH trains health care providers on agricultural
IOWA CITY, Iowa To help health care providers
address the health risks and injuries encountered every day by Iowa farmers,
Iowa's Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH) maintains several
initiatives to train and educate health care professionals about agriculturally
related injuries and illnesses and their treatment.
The Iowa Agricultural Health and Safety Network (IAHASN)
consists of six regional and 16 affiliate clinics throughout the state. These
clinics offer occupational health services to the farming community. Health
care personnel at these clinics are specially trained to deal with agricultural
injuries and health issues. The clinics create and use outreach programs to
bring health care services to farm families at events like county fairs and
pesticide applicator training sessions.
"The clinics often function as the initial point of
entry for farmers who have infrequent contact with the health care system,"
explained Natalie Roy, an I-CASH consultant who coordinates agricultural health
training for the center. "Farmers often do not seek treatment until they have
an emergency arise. When members of the farming community visit the clinic,
they meet with health care providers trained in agricultural health issues
and gain access to the larger health care system."
When a farmer visits the clinic, for example, an occupational
health nurse reviews an extensive occupational health history form completed
by the farmer. The nurses also perform standard diagnostic tests including
blood pressure checks, pulmonary function screenings and cholinesterase screening
to help assess the condition of the patient's overall health. The information
gathered during this process helps the nurse respond to the unique health
care needs of the farmer and educate and inform the patient about preventive
measures that could make the farmer's job less hazardous.
At this initial visit, if the patient needs services
not available at the clinic, he or she is referred to a primary caregiver.
The occupational health nurse is able to provide substantial information to
the primary caregiver regarding health issues of the patient.
"The work done by the nurses
in the OHNAC program complements and supplements the work done by primary
caregivers," Roy said.
From May 17 to 19, and June 21 to 23, I-CASH will
offer an Agricultural Occupational Health Training program for health care
providers who treat farm families. Topics to be discussed include: agricultural
health delivery, respiratory illness, acute trauma, skin diseases, noise induced
hearing loss, mental health issues, toxic and biological hazards, and other
"The information presented is fundamental to all health
care practitioners working with agricultural health issues. All the training
sessions will be led by recognized experts in the various topic areas," Roy
Nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, physician
assistants and other health care providers are invited to participate. For
more information about these training sessions or to register, contact Kristi
Fisher at (319) 335-4219 or Brenda Countryman at (319) 335-4438.
Iowa's Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH)
is a consortium including the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, the
Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and
Land Stewardship. The consortium represents and helps maintain a statewide
network of public and private agricultural health and safety organizations.
Located on the UI Oakdale Research Campus, I-CASH's key objective is to reduce
illness and injuries among Iowa's agricultural population.
(NOTE TO EDITORS: Natalie Roy may be reached
at (301) 293-1203.)