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April 1998 Workshop

In April 1998, EPA convened a workshop to develop national strategies to improve the education and awareness of health care providers in dealing with pesticide-related health concerns.

"Our health care system and professional schools must keep pace with the growing role of environmental health in our society... The purpose of this national initiative is to ensure that these efforts are sustained over time."

-- Dr. Lynn Goldman, EPA

The workshop brought together an expert panel of key organizations involved in this issue, representing associations of health professionals from the medical, nursing, and physician assistant communities; farmworker and community interest groups; academic faculty; and pesticide experts. In addition, an invited group of observers from government agencies, health clinics, community-based programs, farmer and farmworker groups, and other interested organizations participated in question and answer sessions with the expert panel.

1998 workshop image

The goals of the workshop were to:

We are looking more and more at suburban pesticide use. We repeatedly see people in our clinic that have been exposed because they applied it six and seven times instead of once like the label says.

-- Dr. Mark Robson, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute

Recommendations were developed by the expert panel in four main areas:

Strategy I: Defining Recommended Competencies for primary care providers. The panel made initial recommendations for specific competencies and the appropriate emphasis of training during basic education, specialty training, and in practice settings.

Strategy II: Impacting Education and Training to motivate and train students and practitioners on the subject of pesticide-related health concerns. The panel made initial recommendations for basic education, specialty training, and practice settings.

Strategy III: Raising Awareness of the broader primary provider constituency through a variety of mechanisms. The panel identified examples such as professional meetings, marketing and outreach efforts, materials and resources development, journal articles, and support networks including the Internet.

Strategy IV: Maintaining and Developing Resources. The panel recommended exploring the centralization of resources for primary care providers and strengthening links to existing resources.

"I would like to make sure that we stay interdisciplinary, which is a critical aspect; that we stay consumer oriented; and that we deliver to the American people a quality product"

- Neil H. Sampson, Acting Associate Administrator for Health Professions, HRSA

Recommendations are outlined in more detail in the Workshop Proceedings. The next step is the development of a more detailed implementation plan for the strategies. Feedback on the proceedings and the initial strategies is welcomed. Questions and comments can be directed 703-305-7666 or by email, pesticides.safety@epa.gov.

For a copy of the Workshop Proceedings, contact the National Service Center for Environmental Publications, 1-800-490-9198, Document No. EPA 735-R-98-001.

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