(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — The Texas A&M Health Science Center (HSC) School of Rural Public Health has received a five-year award of nearly $5 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish one of 14 nationwide Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers (PERLC).

Barbara Quiram, Ph.D.

Barbara Quiram, Ph.D.

Barbara Quiram, Ph.D., professor at the HSC-School of Rural Public Health and director of the USA Center for Rural Public Health Preparedness, is principal investigator and will lead the project. First-year funding is $937,657.

The three Texas schools of public health – HSC-School of Rural Public Health, The University of Texas School of Public Health, and the University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health – have formed a collaborative called the Training and Education Collaborative System-Preparedness Emergency Response Learning Center (TECS-PERLC) to execute project activities.

Key partners at the schools are James Langabeer, II, Ph.D., Ed.D., M.B.A., associate professor at The University of Texas School of Public Health and director of the Center for Emergency Preparedness at the School and Nuha Lackan, Ph.D., assistant professor of Health Management and Policy at The University of North Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health.

Other TECS-PERLC partners include the Texas Department of State Health Services, South Dakota Department of Health, South Dakota Office of Emergency Management and the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services. The learning centers will serve in a national capacity for preparedness and response training and education needs of the U.S. public health work force.

“By establishing a collaborative that involves Texas, South Dakota and New Hampshire and all the populations within each respective state, we will be able to reach both urban and rural populations as well as tribal, Spanish-speaking, community health workers and other unique populations,” Dr. Quiram said. “Further, we will be able to bring our specialty experience and expertise to the national PERLC network.”

— Rae Lynn Mitchell