SW Center for Pediatric Environmental Health receives federal funding for ninth year

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Recently, the Southwest Center for Pediatric Environmental Health (SWCPEH), an organization headquartered at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler, had its federal funding renewed for the ninth year.

Since its founding in 2000, the SWCPEH has received more than $1.4 million in funding.

The SWCPEH, which addresses children’s environmental health, has been awarded $161,242 for its ninth year of operations from the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, said Larry Lowry, Ph.D., professor of Occupational Health Sciences at UTHSCT.

Dr. Lowry and Jeffrey Levin, MD, chairman of UTHSCT’s Occupational and Environmental Medicine Department co-direct SWCPEH, while Debra Cherry, MD, serves as a medical director.

The SWCPEH is supported by federal funding from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and managed by the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics.

Part of the 2009 funding comes from the Dallas regional office of the EPA’s Office of Children’s Health and Environmental Education, Dr. Lowry said.

This money will be used to sponsor the “Arkansas Conference on Children’s Environmental Health: What healthcare providers need to know” on April 3 in Little Rock, Ark.

The basic services of SWCPEH include community education and outreach; training health professionals; and consultation/referral for environmental concerns such as mercury exposure, indoor mold, and chemicals in plastic as these pertain to children’s health.

The center, one of 13 in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, also provides telephone consultation services through a toll-free hotline for health professionals, public health officials, and individuals in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

For more information about the SWCPEH, visit its Website at www.swcpeh.org.

For 60 years, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler has provided excellent patient care and cutting-edge treatments, specializing in pulmonary disease, cancer, heart disease, primary care, and the disciplines that support them. With an operating budget of more than $125 million and biomedical research funding that exceeds $12 million annually, UTHSCT has a major economic impact on East Texas. Its two medical residency programs – in family medicine and occupational medicine – provide doctors for many communities in East Texas and beyond.

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