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Letter from Dean Finnegan


August 13, 2010





I have some news to share about the Respiratory Health Survey of Taconite Workers and Spouses, a part of the larger state-funded Minnesota Taconite Workers Health Study being undertaken by the University of Minnesota.


Our research team has been working at the Virginia Regional Medical Center for nearly a year and has tested more than 1,000 current and former mine workers.  While we are pleased with the response, for the results to be representative, it is important for the sample to include more participants in the working age group from the east side of the Iron Range.  In conversations with potential study participants, we heard from many that distance was a barrier to participation in the study.  To address this concern and our need for a fully representative sample of miners and their spouses, we are moving the Respiratory Health Survey testing site from Virginia to Silver Bay.  The clinic in Virginia will close on August 15 and the new site will open in mid-September.


We intend to hold a community meeting in Silver Bay this month to answer questions about the study before the new site opens.  You will receive a notice of that meeting as details are confirmed and would be more than welcome to attend.  If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact me.




John R. Finnegan Jr., Ph.D.

Professor and Dean, School of Public Health

(612) 625-1179