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UNMC College of Public Health awards five agriculture safety/health program grants | KTIC Radio

UNMC College of Public Health awards five agriculture safety/health program grants

The Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (CS-CASH), an agricultural safety and health center in the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, recently awarded five pilot program grants. Two of the recipients are UNMC investigators.


CS-CASH receives funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).


Investigators funded and their research projects included:

·                     Bethany Lowndes, Ph.D., assistant professor, UNMC neurological sciences: “Parkinson’s Care for Nebraskans in Agriculture.” 

·                     Carey Wheelhouse, director of clinical assessment/assistant professor, UNMC Division of Physician Assistant Education: “Improving Agricultural Worker Health and Safety Awareness through Multimodal, Case-Based Physician Assistant Education.”

·                     Christine Chasek, associate professor, addiction counseling certificate coordinator, University of Nebraska at Kearney: “Investigating Opioid and Alcohol Risk and Misuse among Rural Agricultural Workers.”

·                     Missy Berry, Ph.D. candidate, North Dakota State University: “Investigation into the Respiratory Properties of Snow Molds.”

·                     Katherine Schofield, Ph.D., assistant professor, mechanical and industrial engineering, University of Minnesota, Duluth: “Injury Prevention in Greenhouse and Nursery Workers through Engineering Design Innovation.”


CS-CASH was able to provide a total of $100,000 in funding for the five projects through a partnership between UNMC’s Vice Chancellor of Research, Jennifer Larsen, M.D., and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Office of Research and Economic Development.


This program supports project investigators with awards up to $20,000 over an 18-month period. The program goal is to enable investigators to collect preliminary data to support submission of grant applications for independent, longer-term, projects related to agricultural safety and health.


The projects selected for support by this program must address a critical issue in agricultural safety and health and lead to a more extensive study of the issue.


The Pilot Projects Program has been an essential component of CS-CASH since the center was established in 2011. In addition to NIOSH funding, funding from UNMC’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research has allowed CS-CASH to fund 45 pilot projects from 2011 through 2018.


Data from pilot projects have been used to generate more than $8 million in additional funding related to agricultural safety and health. Programs and curriculum developed as part of this program have impacted farmers and ranchers, their families, and communities.


Applications for the next round of research awards will be in May. Contact for information on the application process.

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