Heartland Center trainees receive OSH scholarships

group photo of Heartland Center trainees
From left: Iowa Labor Commissioner Michael A. Mauro, Paul Richmond (Iowa OSH Advisory Council Treasurer), Ria Gasaway, Shaunae Alex, Darrin Thompson, Steven Flann (Iowa OSH Advisory Council Chair), and Jacqueline Roberts (Iowa OSH Advisory Council member).












Two Heartland Center trainees were awarded scholarships at the 46th Annual Iowa Governor’s Safety & Health Conference on November 2, 2017.

Darrin Thompson, a PhD student in the Occupational Epidemiology training program, received the Jack Beno Scholarship.

Shaunae Alex, an MS student in the Industrial Hygiene training program, received the Bill Dickinson Scholarship.

Iowa State University student Ria Gasaway also received an Iowa Occupational Safety & Health Advisory Council Scholarship.

The Heartland Center is always proud to see our students honored for their scholastic excellence.

Toepp honored with ASTMH Young Investigator Award

A portrait of Angela Schneider of the University of Iowa College of Public Health.Angela Toepp, a doctoral student in epidemiology, recently participated in the Young Investigator Award contest at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene’s (ASTMH) annual meeting in Baltimore. This award encourages developing young scientists to pursue careers in various aspects of tropical disease research.

Toepp received Honorary Mention from the Vectorborne Disease Immunology and Epidemiology Section out of more than 20 contestants, and was one of 15 students honored in this way out of 200 entries into the contest. Toepp works in the Dr. Christine Petersen Laboratory and presented the vaccine trial work for which she has been the primary analyst, “Field trial to assess leishmaniosis vaccine effectiveness as a potential immunotherapy in asymptomatic dogs.”

College will honor 2017 Iowa Public Health Heroes Nov. 29

The University of Iowa College of Public Health is recognizing three leaders whose contributions across a range of disciplines are helping to promote better health and prevent disease throughout the state of Iowa.

The 2017 Iowa Public Health Heroes Awards will be presented to Linda Kalin of Sioux City, executive director of the Iowa Poison Control Center; Julie Stephens of Cedar Rapids, public health emergency preparedness and disaster recovery specialist at Linn County Public Health; and Denise Wheeler of Des Moines, family planning coordinator and Title X director at the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The award recipients will be honored Wednesday, Nov. 29, at a Spotlight Series event from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Callaghan Auditorium (N110) in the College of Public Health Building. The recipients will give brief remarks then participate in a panel discussion and Q&A with the audience.

The annual Iowa Public Health Heroes Awards recognize exceptional efforts by individuals from diverse career paths who have worked to improve health and wellness throughout Iowa. Award recipients are nominated by their peers in the Iowa public health practice community.

“These outstanding public health professionals are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of all Iowans,” says College of Public Health Interim Dean Keith Mueller. “Their work makes the state stronger in emergency preparedness efforts, family planning education and services, and poisoning prevention and control, including responding to the growing opioid crisis.”

Additional information about the 2017 Iowa Public Health Heroes Award recipients follows.

portrait of Linda KalinLinda Kalin began her career as an emergency room nurse and in 1989 became Iowa’s first Certified Specialist in Poison Information. She was instrumental in the development of the statewide poison control center established in 2000. Since that time, Kalin has effectively expanded the scope, reach, and impact of the Iowa Poison Control Center (IPCC), which provides emergency advice about poisons and leads the state in providing information about poisoning prevention and control. In recent years, the IPCC has become a leading state agency in identifying and responding to Iowa’s opioid and heroin overdose crisis. Kalin has held leadership and service positions in many national and local professional organizations and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Poison Control Centers.  She is a frequent lecturer and speaker on topics involving drugs of abuse and general poison management and is an adjunct faculty member and preceptor for the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy and Drake College of Pharmacy.

portriait of Julie StephensJulie Stephens has worked for Linn County Public Health (LCPH) since 2003 and has been in her current position of public health emergency preparedness and disaster recovery specialist since 2009. She emphasizes collaboration and strives to bring different public health disciplines together around a common goal. She demonstrated leadership and expertise during the Linn County floods of 2008 and 2016, and during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009. She co-chairs the Epi Team at LCPH and serves as a leader and the fiscal agent for the 6A Preparedness Coalition. She provides leadership for the Linn County Medical Reserve Corps, Linn Area Partners Active in Disaster, Iowa’s Mortuary Operational Response Team, the state’s Highly Infectious Disease workgroup, and has served on several National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) workgroups. Stephens previously served on the NACCHO Preparedness Planning, Outcomes, and Measures workgroup and currently serves on the Incident Management workgroup.

portrait of Denise WheelerDenise Wheeler has been the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Family Planning Coordinator and Title X Director since 2009. She has expertly guided family planning services for Iowa families during a period of major change in the health system. As part of her role, she has been a voice for women, families, and adolescents seeking reproductive care and education. She is active at the local, regional and national level ensuring quality care for all Iowans. Before coming to IDPH, Wheeler spent the first 25 years of her professional career serving the communities of Des Moines and Ames as a nurse midwife and educator. Her contributions to the field of family planning extend beyond Iowa and include participation in key Office of Population Affairs and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention groups. She continues to be a resource for federal agencies and national organizations concerned about the challenges at the local and state levels, as well as implications for safety net programs such as Title X.

More information about the Iowa Public Health Heroes Award is available at https://www.public-health.uiowa.edu/public-health-heroes/.

Gilbert to receive leadership award at APHA

A portrait of Paul Gilbert, assistant professor of community and behavioral health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.Paul Gilbert, assistant professor of community and behavioral health, will be honored Nov. 7 with the Section Leadership Award from the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs (ATOD) Section at the American Public Health Association annual meeting in Atlanta.

The award recognizes an ATOD Section member who has made significant contributions to the Section and the ATOD field.

Congratulations, Paul!

Field to be honored with Iowa Cancer Champion Award

A portrait of William Field of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.R. William “Bill” Field, CPH professor of occupational and environmental health, will be awarded a 2017 Iowa Cancer Champion Award at the Iowa Cancer Summit Oct. 18 in Ankeny, Iowa.

Field, a nationally recognized radon expert, was nominated by Gail Orcutt of Pleasant Hill and Julie Weisshaar of Creston. He was nominated for championing policy and systems change to reduce exposure to radon and ultimately reduce radon-induced lung cancer in Iowa.

Weisshaar writes, “He helped identify radon as the leading environmental cause of cancer deaths in the United States, and remains dedicated to educating the public about the health risks of radon and ways to reduce exposure in homes, schools and at work.”

Among the efforts referenced in Fields’s nominations, were his leadership of the Iowa Radon Lung Cancer Study, acting as a scientific advisor for the School Radon Training & Support System, leading advocacy to develop policy requiring school radon testing, and advocating for required radon testing with real estate sales and required radon mitigation systems in new home construction.

Field serves as a member of United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board as well as a presidential appointee on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health. He is also the Deputy Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s funded Heartland Center for Occupational Health and Safety based at the University of Iowa.

The awards will be presented from 11:00-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny, Iowa.

Students honored by NAACCR

Kristin Weeks
Kristin Weeks
A portrait of Amanda Kahl of the University of Iowa College of Public Health.
Amanda Kahl

Two students from the University of Iowa received awards from the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) at the organization’s annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Amanda Kahl, MPH student in epidemiology, won the first place award in the oral presentation category for her presentation of The accuracy of the HPV status site-specific factor 10 variable for head and neck cancer cases in Iowa: 2010-2014.

Kristin Weeks, student in the Medical Scientist Training Program, received a third place award for her poster presentation on Racial/ethnic differenced in thyroid cancer incidence in the United States, 2007-2013.

The presentations and posters can be viewed at https://www.naaccr.org/2017-annual-conference-oral-poster-presentations/

Peek-Asa selected for Big Ten Academic Leadership Program

A portrait of Corinne Peek-Asa, Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.Corinne Peek-Asa, University of Iowa professor of occupational and environmental health and associate dean for research in the College of Public Health, has been named a Fellow in the 2017–18 Big Ten Academic Alliance Academic Leadership Program.

Established in 1989, the Academic Leadership Program (ALP) is one of the longest-serving professional development programs offered by the Big Ten Academic Alliance. This intensive experience develops the leadership and managerial skills of faculty who have demonstrated exceptional ability and academic promise. The program is specifically oriented to address the challenges of academic administration at major research universities and to help faculty members prepare to meet them.

The primary goal of the program is to help a select group of talented and diverse faculty further develop their ability to be effective academic leaders at all levels of research universities. Since its inception over 1,400 participants have completed the program.

The ALP Fellows attend three campus-based seminars, each three days in length, and participate in related activities on their home campuses between seminars. The seminars are rotated among Big Ten member institutions. Host campuses for the 2017-18 program are the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Mobley recognized for health services, health policy leadership

Erin Mobley of the PhD program at the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa College of Public Health.University of Iowa doctoral student Erin Mobley was one of four students nationally selected by AcademyHealth to receive the Alice S. Hersh Student Scholarship in recognition of her commitment to the field of health services research or health policy and potential to contribute to health services research or health policy in the future. The scholarship provides free registration to AcademyHealth’s annual research meeting.

A student in the UI Department of Health Management and Policy, Mobley’s research interests include cancer outcomes, quality of life, and survivorship; policy to improve outcomes for those with cancer; rural implications for policy change that could impact those with cancer; and payment reform proposals and implications for rural beneficiaries.

The Hersh scholarship, named for the founding executive director of the Association for Health Services Research (AcademyHealth’s predecessor), is designed to encourage professional and educational development in health services research and policy among student members.

More information is available at http://www.academyhealth.org/node/2261