Scope of WVU health major broadens to include infectious diseases

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MORGANTOWN — As COVID-19 and its variants proceed to unfold all through the nation, office security has taken on a brand new that means. West Virginia College’s Grasp of Science in industrial hygiene, newly moved to the WVU Faculty of Public Well being, is designed to assist college students handle modern-day occupational well being points as they acquire the flexibility to anticipate, consider and management occupational well being hazards.

“On this pandemic period, the well being and security of our workplaces and complete employee well being have develop into paramount,” stated Erik Carlton, affiliate dean for skilled applications within the Faculty of Public Well being. “Industrial hygienists have at all times been — and can proceed to be, much more so — a vital a part of our present workforce.”

The commercial hygiene program is designed for college students with undergraduate coaching within the areas of engineering, chemistry, biology, medical sciences, animal sciences or the bodily sciences who’ve an curiosity in occupational and environmental well being and security.

“We’re leveraging our current programs, property and assets to optimize this system’s influence — each in our college instructing load and the connections in our pupil alternatives,” Carlton added. “We’re happy to proceed the custom of collaboration and partnership with the Nationwide Institute for Occupational Security and Well being, which has supported this explicit program since 1980.”

Carlton stated the Benjamin M. Statler Faculty of Engineering and Mineral Assets had been accomplice in the course of the transition following approval of the shift by the WVU Board of Governors in April. Whereas its formal organizational dwelling has shifted, this system itself isn’t any stranger to Public Well being, with most of the faculty’s college already engaged in instructing a lot of its programs.

Weimin Gao, chair of the division of occupational and environmental well being sciences, and Warren Myers, industrial hygiene program director and professor emeritus of commercial and administration programs engineering, see this system as a strategic complement to the varsity’s present choices.

“The addition of the commercial hygiene MS program to our division will increase our coaching portfolio into this high-demand discipline, complement our current actions in Occupational Well being and foster larger collaboration with NIOSH Morgantown, and promote partnerships with trade,” Gao stated.

“I consider this is a crucial transfer for the Grasp of Science in industrial hygiene program due to the pure synergy that exists between the tenets of commercial hygiene and public well being, notably occupational and environmental well being,” Myers added. “This program has a protracted historical past of interplay with the occupational drugs program. It’s my perception that industrial hygienists should work cooperatively with occupational and public well being professionals to realize most influence on employee well being.”

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