University of Nebraska Medical Center – College of Public Health


(upbeat music) – So the Central State Center
for Agricultural Safety and Health here at UNMC and
the College of Public Health has a wide range of research
interests and topics. We have a mission of, not
only conducting research, but education and prevention programs that all lead to reducing
the fatalities and injuries in our agricultural community. – For me, it’s really
valuable because here at UNMC I got opportunities to go
out there with a lot of professor that knows what they’re doing. And one example is being
able to participate in the Husker Harvest Day and that was a great opportunities to
really meet a lot of people in the field of farming. – These two control our ground speed and with the gear shift. With tractor safety and
training, our outreach involves going around the state and
teaching, mainly 14 and 15 year olds how to operate and
work around tractors safely. Safety clips are in place,
making sure our cylinders. So another topic that we
often times talk about at our tractor safety
trainings is we’ll talk about ATVs and ATV safety, or
all terrain vehicles, because traditionally we
saw tractors as the main source of injury and now we’re seeing the all terrain vehicles and four-wheelers climbing, if not exceeding
the number of injuries we saw from tractors. – My main career interest is the effects of agricultural dust on lung
function and lung health. We’re very interested in understanding why occupations where
the workers are exposed to these dusts may or
may not get long term chronic lung disease. I’m very interested in the
cellular, the molecular, and the biochemical
basis of these diseases. Not for the purposes of drug development or medical treatments, but
rather for the purposes of if we can understand
the injury, then hopefully we can understand a way
to prevent the injury. So my research, even though
it’s laboratory based, is all about prevention. And of course as we all know, prevention is the
essence of public health. – Many native reservations
now have a big interest in having a bison herd. It really is part of their
heritage and it brings a lot of pride and often these herds don’t really have good
facilities to handle the livestock and so we really focus on low-stress animal handling and looking at any safety
issues and personal protective equipment issues where
we can help the workers. – Farming has changed over the years. Today we have a lot of
agricultural workers who are undergoing even greater exposures who don’t necessarily
have the type of insurance where they can come to
tertiary care center. They miss a day of work,
perhaps they don’t get paid. And so to be located here at
the University of Nebraska, to be here in the center of the country, I think we are in a unique position to be able to address these needs that otherwise might go unmet. – We don’t have a lot
of research right now on the immigrant workers
in the area of agriculture. So what we want is to have
a baseline information and from there just provide
relevant, educational materials that can help
to improve the health and safety of farm workers,
cartophilic workers, especially Latinos because they
are a vulnerable population. – So I study the impacts
of climate change, extreme weather events on human health. And basically, preparing our communities for the future events that
might occur and the events that are already occurring
across the state. And by events, I’m
talking about more extreme weather events, warmer
temperatures, flooding, droughts, and all the other
things that are potentially associated with the change in climate. – So at the Center, when we see a need, we find a way to address it. And one of the needs that we’ve had, especially this year in our
region with a lot of flooding, is in mental health. And so we’re able to bring in experts, not only within the university system, but even some outside experts to help us know how to best address this
with our farmers and ranchers. – The work is important
because we try to make sure that these folks are going to work and that they’re coming
home safe to their families and that they can do
it again the next day. – So training the next
generation is exciting because we get the opportunity
to work with individuals that are potentially gonna
be leaders in their field. That are gonna go out
there and potentially make a difference. And so there’s a lot of good
work that needs to be done and there’s a lot of good
work that is happening. And so if you’re interested, come to the University of
Nebraska Medical Center and help move this forward. (upbeat music)

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