MARCH 10, 2004

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Bioterrorism training begins with distance-learning

How does a rural community handle critical health care needs in the face of a natural or terrorist disaster?

Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences' distance-learning semester for bioterrorism response training, which started March 1, will help provide some answers for health care professionals. Study topics include mass casualties, chemical agents, and special needs populations.

“The training is for rural health care providers to give them accessible and relevant training to improve their clinical skills and their ability to respond to a bioterror event or natural disaster,” says John Shepherd, project coordinator.

Distance-learning locations include Ada, Anadarko, Ardmore, Bartlesville,Bristow, Durant, Elk City, Enid, Guymon, Idabel, Lawton, McAlester, Okmulgee,Pauls Valley, Ponca City, Poteau, Pryor, Shawnee, Stillwater, Tahlequah, Talihina, Weatherford and Woodward.

The training is funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Health Resource Service Administration. The 16-week training is broadcast across the state through interactive video teleconferencing or satellite broadcast.

More information is available from local Area Health Education Centers (AHEC): Northeast AHEC, Tulsa, 918-595-8404; Northwest AHEC, Enid, 580-213-3166; Southeast AHEC, Poteau, 918-647-8611; and Southwest AHEC, Lawton, 580-581-2852.

The OSU program office coordinates the statewide AHEC network. The four centers facilitate a regional approach to multidisciplinary and community-based health professional recruitment, education and training.

Contact: Karnen Wicker, 1-918-561-8215