The University of Kentucky (UK) Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center (CARERC) has received $5 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety to advance occupational health and safety in Kentucky and Central Appalachia. A collaboration between UK and Eastern Kentucky University, the CARERC supports graduate education for students and professionals in five disciplines and serves as a cohesive, fully-equipped resource for occupational safety and health research and training in Central Appalachia.
Each of the Central Appalachia states included in the scope of the CARERC reports high proportions of fatal occupational injuries related to transportation and highway incidents; injuries in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting; and mining?industries that are vital to the region and state but also require highly trained health and safety professionals across multiple disciplines to ensure the wellbeing of employees and the public.
In order to address the urgent regional health and safety needs?particularly in the face of anticipated shortages in the occupational health and safety workforce?the CARERC was formed in 2012 as a combination of the academic resources of the colleges nursing, public health, and engineering at the University of Kentucky (UK) as well the college of justice and safety at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). One of only 17 ERCs in the country, it provides interdisciplinary graduate education for students and health professionals in five programs: agricultural safety and health, occupational epidemiology, mining engineering safety and health, occupational health nursing, and occupational safety (at EKU). Beyond supporting students, the CARERC also serves as a resource for industry, labor, government agencies, and other stakeholders.