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Associate dean to serve on board of Center for Border Health Research

Health education and research along the border are an important initiative for New Mexico State University's College of Health and Social Services, said Larry Olsen, associate dean for academics and research and a newly appointed board member of the Center for Border Health Research, an initiative of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation.



Larry Olsen, associate dean for academics and research at New Mexico State University's College of Health and Social Services, has been appointed to the board for the Center for Border Health Research, an initiative of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation

"The center encourages and supports health-related research efforts in this region," said Olsen, who started his two-year term on the board in January.

Olsen said that because border health is integral to many of the college's programs, he plans to use his time on the board to learn more about the regional research being conducted. The center will start its third set of health research grants this year. In the previous two grant cycles, more than $1.2 million was distributed to investigators for health research that will benefit the Paso del Norte region.

Olsen is also working on a national committee to reverify the roles and responsibilities of entry level health educators and to verify the roles and responsibilities of advanced level health educators. This study will provide the framework for a revision of the test given for certification as a health educator. He said health educators have been certified since 1989 and the current evaluation is an attempt to reverify earlier findings that determined the roles of health educators and established guidelines for the test.

He said a 16-state survey of health educators will be conducted and an external research consultant will evaluate the results, which are expected to be complete late this year.

"We want to make sure the test reflects what health educators are really doing in their jobs," Olsen said.

Olsen also just completed the fourth edition of "Health Today," a general health education textbook he co-authored with Kerry J. Redican and Charles R. Baffi, both of Virginia Tech. He said he has moved his scholarly activity toward the publication of books and has authored or co-authored more than 40 published textbooks. This book includes special activities for students on the Internet.

"There are no other books on the market set up quite this way," he said. "The book can be used in a multiplicity of settings and makes students aware of the broad resources available to them."

Olsen came to New Mexico State last fall from Towson University in Maryland. He has been a health educator since 1965.

Photo is available at http://kiernan.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/olsen_larry.jpg.
CUTLINE: Larry Olsen, associate dean for academics and research at New Mexico State University's College of Health and Social Services, has been appointed to the board for the Center for Border Health Research, an initiative of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. (New Mexico State University courtesy photo)

Julie M. Hughes
Jan. 24, 2002