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18th Annual PRP Symposium

Oct 9, 2017, 16:15 PM by Paul Eichert
The annual Pilot Research Project (PRP) Symposium was held on October 5-6 in the University of Cincinnati’s Medical Sciences Building, Kresge Auditorium and College of Nursing, Procter Hall.

Written by Jessica Bloomer

The annual Pilot Research Project (PRP) Symposium was held on October 5-6 in the University of Cincinnati’s Medical Sciences Building, Kresge Auditorium and College of Nursing, Procter Hall. This year marked the 40th Anniversary of the University of Cincinnati’s NIOSH-funded Education and Research Center, the longest continuously funded grant at the university. University of Cincinnati President Neville Pinto gave welcoming remarks and congratulated the UC ERC on its 40th anniversary. The symposium also had special guest, Geoff Daniels of Senator Sherrod Brown’s office read a proclamation letter on the Senator’s behalf.

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President Pinto and Dr. Bingham attending the Symposium

After welcoming remarks, Dr. Carri Casteel from the University of Iowa, Occupational and Environmental Health Department gave her Keynote presentation; “Public Health Approach to Workplace Violence Prevention in Small Businesses.” Dr. Casteel specializes in research on workplace violence prevention in retail and healthcare industries as well as how to communicate with small businesses regarding workplace safety and health training. The Keynote presentation was also live on WebEx for the first time this year to reach others who cannot attend the symposium.

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Dr. Casteel gives her Keynote presentation

2016-17 PRP awardees presented their final project results. Topics included analysis of Microcystin in the Lake Erie region, retention among Nursing Assistants based on intrinsic factors, traffic-related indoor air pollution, ergonomics in the veterinary industry, monitoring firefighter health and hazards, capture of microbeads in water treatment, and post-retirement employment among nurses.

After the awardee presentations on day 1, a special ceremony of Occupational Health and Safety Impact awards were presented to celebrate the 40th anniversary, hosted by Dr. Susan Reutman. Award winners were individuals nominated by their peers who have made significant contributions in worker health and safety throughout their careers. See the second blog post for the bios, photos, and awards of the Impact Award winners.

After the first day concluded, the attendees headed to Procter Hall for a Networking Dinner provided by Ollie’s Trolley. Thank you to AIHA and PRP Steering Committee members for your donations! Without them, the networking picnic would not be possible.

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PRP attendees gather for the networking dinner 

On day 2, 2016-17 awardee presentations continued, followed by the 2017-18 PRP awardee poster session and Q&A panel discussion, facilitated by Dr. Gordon Gillespie. Poster topics from awardees included energy storage devices for firefighters and first responders, microbiome changes marking exposures and stress in firefighters, assessment of diesel particulates in fire departments, fabric-integrated gas sensors for first responders and miners, workplace incivility in home healthcare workers, health status and exposure risk in career vs voluntary firefighters, nanofabric to protect firefighters from toxins and particles, immunotoxicity of perfluoroalkyl compounds found in firefighting foams, youth caregiver well-being and pursuing a career in geriatrics, establishment of aerosol sampling protocols.

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PRP attendees discuss poster topics with 2017-18 PRP awardees

There were also 4 invited poster presenters who had topics on occupational exposure to aerosolized drugs in residential environments, a mode-of-action model as an aid in assessments of airway irritants, virtual reality applications in education and research, and the musculoskeletal impact of residential solar panel installation.

The poster session included a new panel Q&A discussion this year that allowed for the audience and the poster presenters to discuss their project plans and current research more thoroughly and collectively.
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Poster presenters gather for a Q&A session 

The symposium concluded with a discussion panel with experts in the field and awards presented; two for people’s choice favorite poster and podium presenters and two that a panel of judges selected for best podium and poster presenters. The award winners were:

Award for Distinguished Podium Presentation: Jennie Cox 

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Award for Distinguished Poster Presentation: Sathya Narayan Kanakaraj [not pictured]

People's Choice Award for Distinguished Podium Presentation: Matthew Giovanetti 

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People's Choice for Distinguished Poster Presentation: Vianessa Ng
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The symposium gave many attendees the opportunity to interact with each other as well as learn about new research areas. This year was another successful event! 

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Department of Environmental and Public Health Sciences
Education and Research Center (ERC)
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