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In the News: U students map Fish Town, Liberia, contribute to Ebola relief efforts

With Ebola and infectious disease response at the top of mind, University of Minnesota students and professors are evaluating what students can learn from and contribute to the west African pandemic response.

A group of juniors in the University of Minnesota’s bachelor of science in nursing program, for one, is creating maps of previously uncharted areas of Guinea and southern Liberia. Their contribution to crowd-sourced mapping tool, OpenStreetMap, is an example of a small – but vital – effort in responding to public health crises like Ebola.

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What happens to a rehabilitated eagle after release?

The Jackson Bay female is released in Hastings, Minnesota in July 2014.

Each year in September, The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota releases a small number of rehabilitated birds back to the wild at Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center in Hastings, Minnesota. While a few thousand spectators come out to observe the release and see education birds including bald eagles, great horned owls and kestrels up-close, it’s not often that the audience gets to learn what happens in the days, weeks and months following.

Did the bird make it? Did it fall prey to another urban landscape challenge such as a chimney, window or methane burner? Or is the bird we saw fly free in good health, hunting and soaring over the plains?

For one bird released in July, there was a rare opportunity to find out.

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U of M School of Nursing faculty join southern Liberia Ebola response

Photo: CDC Global/CC 2.0/ flic.kr/p/or5Vfa

Four University of Minnesota School of Nursing faculty were invited by the American Refugee Committee (ARC) to be part of a leadership team of health professionals charged with launching a new Ebola treatment center in southern Liberia. Two members of the group departed today to aid in the response efforts.

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First World Suicide Report released on World Suicide Prevention Day at University of Minnesota

Jared Keener/CC 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/fPfxTY

For the first time, the World Health Organization (WHO) has created the World Suicide Report in collaboration with nations around the world. It is being released today in the USA in recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day by SAVE, IASP and the University of Minnesota.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 800,000 people die by suicide each year, one person every 40 seconds, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for people 15-29 years old.

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U of M researcher works to prevent disease transmission in pumas

Photo: Puma via Flickr user fPat Murray/CC 2.0/flic.kr/p/64Dri6

Minnesota may not seem like the obvious place for researching disease transmission and prevention among America’s large wild felids. But through collaborations with Colorado State University, the University of Tasmania, and state and federal agencies, the University of Minnesota will soon begin work studying six wild puma populations in California and Colorado, in addition to Florida’s endangered panther.

The work to study pathogens in puma populations is made possible through a new $2.14 million grant shared among the three institutions from the National Science Foundation.

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U of M graduates first cohort of Saudi Arabia MHA students

2014 Saudi Arabia MHA cohort

A unique cohort of 25 Executive Master of Health Administration (MHA) students graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health having never before stepped foot in Minnesota, and having taken all of their classes while living in Saudi Arabia.

Similar to many students of the stateside MHA program, students of the Saudi Arabian program were all full-time professionals who completed a University of Minnesota MHA degree in 25 months.

The Saudi Arabia Executive MHA program launched at the King Fahad Medical City (KFMC) in Riyadh, Saudi in 2012. The program was the first of its kind available in Saudi Arabia and attracted healthcare professionals who wished to further grow their careers.

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