Skip to main content
Sign In

Colorado School of Public Health


Director's Note

2013 Annual Retreat

Highlights (27 March, 2013)​

On March 4th, the Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center conducted a full-day retreat at Chautauqua Park, facilitated by Dr. Deborah Helitzer from University of New Mexico. As a five-year old Center, we considered it a great time for examining where we are going, in the context of a number of emerging trends in education, in occupational health and safety practice, and at NIOSH.

The session was attended by faculty members, trainees, MAP ERC alumni, staff, community members including some members of our external advisory board. The energy was infectious. 

Retreat Focus:

We focused our discussion on the following questions, including just a few of the most popular ideas emerging from the breakout sessions:

1. How can we best train students in occupational safety?

Increase experiential, interdisciplinary learning opportunities, such as:

  • Internships
  • Field trips
  • Matching students with mentors and members of ASSE
  • Develop and use case studies and problem based learning
  • Include global aspects.

Define the skill sets and level of training that are needed by those who hire safety professionals in our community

  • offer more cross-training in our curriculum.

 2. How can we best integrate health promotion with health protection?

Increase outreach efforts to:

  •  Build more partnerships with industry, insurance, public health, government, physicians, and others
  • Reach community centers
  • Connect with health promotion professionals
  • Connect with health protection (safety) professionals
  • Include incentives for community members to engage

Modify our pilot projects program to attract proposals that address health promotion in the workplace

Conduct an inventory of what we are already doing at CSU and UCD in health promotion in our teaching, research, and outreach


3. What are the best approaches to training future leaders in Occupational Safety and Health?

      Collaborate with other professionals through networking opportunities, mentoring

     Model opportunities (along the lines of young leadership training programs)

      Identify corporate opportunities

     Create opportunities for our trainees to be leaders, through

  • Group experiences
  • Real work experience with community partners
  • Lead activities / ERC events
  • Work with leaders in a mentoring model
  • Empower students to take ownership of aspects of the program


4. What modes of learning should we be using to be most relevant to the way people learn?

      Do more with ‘blended models’ of interdisciplinary learning, so that faculty teach using multiple modes of learning to reach the most students.

     More hands on/practical learning

     Learn when it is appropriate to use the modes of learning (online, hybrid, problem based, classroom etc.) for their effectiveness – employ technology where appropriate and where it is best proven to be effective

     Teach critical thinking skills through writing and research

New or improved goals:

In addition to reviewing and refining our existing Center goals, 3 new goals were heavily endorsed by the group:

     1. Improve the marketing of occupational health and safety.

     2. Increase efforts to integrate MAP ERC activities with the Agricultural research center (HICAHS), with other regional partners, and other regional training programs

     3. Improve the economic sustainability of the Center

Please see our Center’s current vision, mission, and the ‘old’ goals in the set of slides from the retreat ‘kick off’ presentation, just click here: Retreat Newman 2013.pptxRetreat Newman 2013.pptx

Next Steps:

On April 4th and 5th we will be holding our annual live meeting of the MAP ERC External Advisory Panel (EAP).  We have provided retreat minutes to the board and will use it as the basis for discussion of our future direction.

After that meeting, the executive committee of the MAP ERC will discuss next steps, including the formation of several task forces to formulate strategies and actions centered on some of the new goals and recommendations emerging from the retreat and EAP review.


Thank you:

I’d like to personally thank all of those who participated and especially thank Lyndsay Krisher, Michelle Haan, Kaylan Stinson, Sara Higgins and Lili Tenney, who each had a hand in the day’s success. And I’d especially like to thank Steve Reynolds and Deborah Helitzer for their efforts in planning the retreat.


Thank you for all you do to improve worker health, safety, and productivity in our region.


Contact me:

As always, I welcome your input, insights, suggestions and any offers of assistance. Please feel free to call me any time. My cell: 720-480-0992.  Email:


Colorado School of Public Health

13001 E. 17th Place
Mail Stop B119
Aurora, CO 80045



© The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate. All rights reserved.

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All trademarks are registered property of the University. Used by permission only.