School of public health launches CDC Center for Excellence in Environmental Public Health Tracking

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has been awarded funding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish a National Center of Excellence in Environmental Public Health Tracking. The Center will play a critical role in the new CDC environmental public health tracking initiative. The initiative will develop a national electronic network to identify and monitor the links between exposure to environmental factors and chronic conditions such as autoimmune and neurological diseases, birth defects, cancer, asthma, lead poisoning, and developmental disabilities.

"The Center and the CDC's tracking initiative provide tremendous opportunities to advance our knowledge of the relationship between health and the environment, and to evaluate, track, and prevent environmental health hazards," explained Thomas Burke, PhD, principal investigator of the Hopkins Center and professor of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The CDC has committed $14.2 million in grants to state and local governments and schools of public health to develop the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. The School is expected to receive $700,000 annually over the next three years.

The Center will provide training and education to strengthen the environmental health workforce; conduct research to investigate links between health effects and the environment; and provide technical assistance and research support for the development of the national tracking network. "Environmental public health tracking brings together environmental protection efforts to characterize and control sources with public health surveillance to understand adverse exposures and health effects," explained Dr. Burke. "This offers a chance to begin piecing together a very complex puzzle, and develop a sounder public health basis for national environmental priorities and the management of environmental risks."

Dr. Burke an

Contact: Tim Parsons
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

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