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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 9, 2004

NOTE TO EDITORS: Please see the alphabetical list at the end of this release to locate a participant from your area.

Public Health Professionals Complete Preparedness Training

Thirty-four public health professionals from Iowa and Nebraska have completed an eight-month training program designed to strengthen knowledge in public health science, emergency response systems and community leadership. The program is offered by the Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness (UMCPHP), based in the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Individuals completing the 2004 "train-the-trainer" program covered such topics as disaster response planning and coordination, animal and human health, informatics and risk communications, and public health and public safety. The group held its final meeting Nov. 16 and 17 at Camp Dodge near Des Moines, where trainers took part in tabletop simulations of health emergencies and practiced utilizing the Incident Command System. The participants received a certificate of completion and will continue to support training efforts in their own communities.

"This program is an important way of strengthening public health information and emergency procedures at the local level," said UMCPHP director Christopher Atchison, UI College of Public Health associate dean for public health practice and associate professor of health management and policy. "We appreciate the time and effort the participants put into this course, as well as their willingness to share with their communities information about managing public health threats and leading local response efforts."

The Upper Midwest Center for Public Health Preparedness was established by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Bioterrorism Preparedness Initiative through a cooperative agreement with the Association of Schools of Public Health, and it is one of 22 academic Centers for Public Health Preparedness located throughout the United States. The center's mission is to ensure that the Upper Midwest's public health workforce has the skills to prepare for, promptly identify and respond to current and emerging health threats.

More information about UMCPHP and its training program is available online at or by contacting Laurie Walkner, UMCPHP grants coordinator, at 319-335-6836 or by e-mail at 


EDITORS: Program participants are listed below alphabetically by state and hometown.


Ames: Richard Langholz, Jr.

Bettendorf: Ernest Hooper

Cedar Rapids: Julie Stephens

Clarion: Shawna Schutt

Council Bluffs: Jane Harwood

Council Bluffs: Jo Lightner

Davenport: Jackie Hall

Davenport: Lashon Moore

Davenport: Brian Panke

Dubuque: Richard  Miller

Fort Madison: Diane Septer

Glenwood: Larry Hurst

Greenfield: Lisa Blazek

Grinnell: Denyse Gipple

Grinnell: Chad Nath

Grundy Center: Nancy Haren

Iowa City: Lucy DesJardin

Iowa City: Mary Ebert

Iowa City: Gabriella Gerken

Iowa City: Michelle Sexton

Iowa City: Curt Thompson

Iowa City: John Vargo

Iowa City: Michael Wichman

Knoxville: Teresa Higginbotham

Logan: Glenna Guttau

Mason City: Elizabeth Faber

Orange City: Deb Bomgaars

Oskaloosa: R.D. Keep

Sioux City: Vickie Britson

Sioux City: Rita Donnelly

Sioux City: Wendy Hamblen

Webster City: Russ Milane

Woodbine: Stacey McBride


North Platte: Shirleen Smith

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,