February 24, 2009

School of Medicine and Cleveland Museum of Natural History to Create New Center for Environmental Health and Human Ecology

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine's Department of Environmental Health Sciences have partnered to establish a Center for Environmental Health and Human Ecology. Museum and School of Medicine leaders recently signed a memorandum of understanding to create the new center. The agreement will allow the two organizations to provide public education and conduct research on environmental and human health issues.

The purpose of creating the center is to provide public education on current and future problems related to the environment and human health and disease. These problems could be local, regional or worldwide in nature, and affect both individual residents and the community at large. By formally aligning, both organizations can draw upon their individual strengths while sharing resources in research, graduate education and public outreach programs.

"This is an exciting collaboration that can have a positive and lasting impact on our region," said Dorr G. Dearborn, chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "Creating this new center to address the effects of our modern environment on human health will advance the well-being of our Cleveland community."

"The alliance will benefit both institutions," said William B. Bolton, chair of the museum's Health Advisory Committee. "By utilizing the School of Medicine’s scientific, medical and research expertise, and combining it with the museum's experience in educating the public about natural sciences and human health, we hope to bring attention to one of the important issues of our times."

The alliance requires a new faculty position be created and hired within the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the university's School of Medicine. The new faculty member would serve as the director of the new center. This person would teach graduate courses within the department and carry out research projects. The faculty member’s role at the museum would be to design and implement public health education exhibits and classes related to environmental health issues facing the community. The faculty member would also be expected to pursue local and federal grant support for projects. The candidate will possess expertise in environmental epidemiology, and the position's salary and benefits costs will be shared equally between the school and the museum.

The collaborating partners envision that the newly created center will provide a valuable service to the Greater Cleveland community. The group also strives to serve as a model for similar joint ventures across the country.

For more information contact Christina DeAngelis, 216.368.3635.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, February 24, 2009 01:43 PM | News Topics: Faculty, Provost Initiatives, Research, School of Medicine, news

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