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* M E D I A A D V I S O R Y *
Wednesday - Dec. 1
11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
WHAT: The University of Massachusetts Lowell will announce a four-year, $2 million grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to address worker safety in home healthcare, one of the fasting growing professions. By partnering with industry, labor and government, UML seeks to reduce needlestick injuries and blood exposures to a significant proportion of providers in about half the state.
WHERE: UML Trustees Room, Cumnock Hall, One University Ave.
WHY: The Centers for Disease Control estimate there are as many as 800,000 needlestick injuries nationally each year among all health care workers, putting them at risk of infection by viruses such as AIDS and hepatitis C. The new study, Project SHARRP (Safe Homecare and Risk Reduction for Providers) will identify working conditions which put home healthcare providers at risk, set up efficient systems for tracking and analyzing injury patterns, and design ways to help home healthcare providers work safely while continuing to deliver the best quality care. NIOSH awarded the grant to the University's School of Health and Environment.
It is estimated that the home healthcare industry will experience a 68 percent growth over the next decade. In Massachusetts there were 20,655 home healthcare workers in 2000, a number expected to nearly double by 2008.