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December 1, 2001

Contact: Patricia Adams

Grant Awards Expand Environmental Research and Education at the University of Maryland School of Nursing

Baltimore, Md. – Two new grants totaling $865,973 will help advance environmental research and education at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. A $430,463 grant from the U.S. Health Resource Services Administration, Division of Nursing, will fund the expansion of the School of Nursing's existing master's degree program in community/public health. An emphasis in environmental health will be added to the current curriculum to prepare nurses to assess environmental health-related exposures and health outcomes, as well as plan and evaluate interventions on a population basis.

According to project director, Barbara Sattler, DrPH, RN, Associate Professor in the School's Department of Behavioral and Community Health, graduates of the program will be prepared to compete for positions in local, state and federal health agencies, as well as careers in occupational health.

An additional grant for $435,510 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will fund a one-year Healthy Homes Demonstration and Education Project in Baltimore's Park Heights neighborhood. The collaborative effort with the Association of Community Organization for Reform Now will implement strategies to reduce environmental health risks in 80 homes with asthmatic children.

Project director, Claudia Smith, PhD, MPH, RN, Assistant Professor in the School's Department of Behavioral and Community Health, says the project will develop

community capacity to assess environmental risk factors associated with housing in the community, implement strategies to reduce those risks, educate neighborhood residents, and evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions.

"Americans have become increasingly concerned about the effects of the environment on their health," said Barbara R. Heller, EdD, RN, FAAN, Dean of the School of Nursing. "These new initiatives will help prepare an essential cadre of nursing leaders for the critical and emerging issues in environmental health and prepare citizens to recognize and respond to environmental health risks."

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