UA SRP Hosts Ben Gerhardstein, ATSDR Public Health Advisor

The University of Arizona Superfund Research Program (UA SRP) hosted Ben Gerhardstein in Tucson March 12, 2015. Gerhardstein is a Public Health Advisor with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR, Region 9) at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As the featured speaker for our monthly Colloquium, Gerhardstein delivered a presentation entitled, “Serving Communities through ATSDR & SRP Collaboration.” He drew from his experiences working with the UA SRP, EPA, and state and local agencies at the Iron King Mine and Humboldt Smelter Superfund Site to illustrate the ways in which multi-directional collaboration has helped to inform and complement his work at ATSDR.

During his visit, Gerhardstein also met with a number of UA SRP investigators and had lunch with UA SRP trainees and research translation/community engagement personnel. Everyone enjoyed learning more about Gerhardstein’s work at ATSDR to protect communities from exposure to hazardous waste sites in the pacific southwest, as well as his previous experiences in the field of environmental health. Pre-Colloquium he led a presentation and discussion with UA SRP trainees, describing the inter-related roles that various government agencies play in protecting our health, “Understanding the federal chemical safety system - who does what?”

"The visit was a great opportunity to explain ATSDR’s public health role at Superfund and other sites, learn about relevant and exciting UA SRP projects, and further explore how we can work together to protect the health of Arizona communities," Gerhardstein said. Although he has been to Arizona a number of times, this was Gerhardstein’s first trip to Tucson. In addition to professional collaborations, he was also able to enjoy our warm spring weather and local cuisine!

The UA SRP looks forward to continued productive collaborations with Ben and ATSDR!