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SC Public Health Preparedness

Student Corp – Claflin University
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Claflin Students Receive Disaster Response and Health Disparities Training Through Center for Disease Control and Prevention Grant

Claflin, Benedict College, Coastal Carolina University, and Francis Marion University are part of a $2.7 million grant that Clemson University received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The grant, in collaboration with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), is designed to prepare a diverse group of students prepared to volunteer and assist communities during various emergencies. Although they are training on a college campus, the goal is that this network of students will expand across the state and be ready to assist when necessary.
Each university will train at least 100 students during the two years of the grant. Claflin’s Department of Biology received more than $500,000 to implement the program. Dr. Gloria McCutcheon, a professor, and chair of the department is the principal investigator. Ms. Taylor Goodwin is the program coordinator. Other biology department faculty supporting the grant are Dr. Samina Assanie-Shivji, Dr. Tantiana Burns, Dr. Ross Johnson, and Dr. Randall Harris.
Dr. McCutcheon and Ms. Goodwin are encouraging students from various majors to take an active role in the program since it launched in April. At least 20 majors are represented in the SCPHPSC at Claflin.

“Public health spans the gamut,” McCutcheon said. “We are examining natural and man-made disasters. And because there are workforce shortages in this area, we want to do our part to expand resources that communities can utilize when there is a disaster. This program covers a wide range of issues related to public health.”

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