Education/Training and Outreach
Education is a primary tenet of the State Hygienic Laboratory and one of the core functions of every state public health laboratory in the nation. Several Hygienic Laboratory staff members have academic appointments at the University of Iowa; however, the educational and training section is focused primarily on developing the public and environmental laboratory workforce at the local, state and national levels.
The Education/Training areas of focus include emergency preparedness, environmental regulations, food safety, infertility prevention, influenza and newborn screening. This training extends to public health administrators, clinicians, first responders, students, healthcare workers and others.
- More than 17,000 people in Iowa received education and training from the Hygienic Laboratory in 2013. This includes 1,295 who received professional training related to their role in environmental and public health.
- Education/Training and Outreach supported the scale-up of iExploreSTEM festivals in 12 locations throughout the state as part of the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council. This was an outgrowth of the first USA Science and Engineering Festival held in 2010 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and the 2011 iExploreSTEM event hosted by the Hygienic Laboratory.
- The scope of the iExploreSTEM festivals statewide project expanded through a partnership with the University of Iowa's Living with Floods project. This statewide initiative was created to raise awareness of the effects of flooding, flood-prevention strategies and the progress made in flood mitigation in Iowa. Living with Floods hosted forums and celebrations in many of the same locations as the iExploreSTEM festivals were held.
- Funding was secured for the completion of the Center for the Advancement of Laboratory Science in the lower level of our Coralville facility. The state legislature appropriated funds in 2013 for center completion. Seed funding previously was provided by the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust and the UI Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development. The center will include a fully functioning laboratory and an auditorium. It also will serve as the primary Iowa Communications Network hub for the University of Iowa.
- Student involvement included:
- Three recipients of the Student Mentorship Program
- Thirteen interns
- Two externs who are educators
- One Environmental Fellow sponsored by the Association of Public Health Laboratories and CDC
- Online engagement included:
- More than 294,000 unique visits to the Hygienic Laboratory website
- Unique views to Facebook pages
- State Hygienic Laboratory's primary page: 9,503
- Putting Babies First (Iowa Newborn Screening Program) 8,488