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UA Receives $1 Million CDC Grant to Advance Public Health Preparedness Training in Native American Communities

The Mountain West Preparedness & Emergency Response Learning Center serves the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. (Photo: Pixabay)

The Mountain West Preparedness & Emergency Response Learning Center serves the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. (Photo: Pixabay)

Since 2005, the Mountain West Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has trained more than 6,500 public health professionals throughout the United States in emergency preparedness.

The Mountain West Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (MWPERLC) at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health received a one-year $1 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) to expand training to state, tribal and local public health responders.

The grant supports the move towards a national agenda to enhance training outcomes and products to improve health security.

Emergencies and natural disasters can happen at any time for any reason. Being prepared can mean the difference between a quick recovery or a slow and difficult one. Since 2005, MWPERLC has trained more than 6,500 public health professionals throughout the U.S. in emergency preparedness. The center will continue to serve the states of Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.

Being ready for a disaster can saves lives and protect property. Collaborating with tribal governments to build public health and emergency management capability and partnerships ensures continued survival of Tribal nations and communities.

“We have extensive experience working collaboratively with tribal public health practitioners," said Brenda Granillo, MS, director and co-principal investigator of MWPERLC. "Given our proven 10 year track record for successfully developing, initiating, implementing and evaluating innovative and sustainable tribal preparedness activities, we are well positioned to spearhead efforts for enhancing preparedness and the well-being of American Indian communities.”

“In the State of Arizona, Native American tribes lead the nation in examples of collaboration and communication," said Michael Fila, emergency manager and public health officer for the Cocopah Indian Tribe in Somerton, Ariz. "We expect to expand partnerships and collaborate for future endeavors.” 

Jeff Burgess, MD, MPH, associate dean for research and professor at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health, will serve as principal investigator.

About the Mountain West Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center

The Mountain West Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (MWPERLC) at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health is part of a national consortium of seven Preparedness and Emergency Response Research and Learning Centers to improve public health preparedness and response practices, policies, and programs. The center has a special focus on building an effective tribal and multijurisdictional response network through capacity and capability building, strengthening collaborations and improving communications strategies to foster diverse partnerships. The MWPERLC is actively involved in service and community engagement activities.The MWPERLC is actively involved in service and community engagement activities. For more information: www.mwperlc.arizona.edu

The University of Arizona