This center was started because the regional OHS community has grown and is eager to do even more. The new center will become an interdisciplinary, cross-campus, cross-institution, cross-departmental academic home for supporting activities that people in the region want to do to improve workplace and environmental health.
Our faculty members, students, residents, and community partners already do amazing work that goes above and beyond the scope of our NIOSH-funded Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC) and their various individual contracts and grants. Examples include our robust and growing continuing education program, our public-private partnerships to address the opioid prescription epidemic, and our community-based initiative to integrate worksite health promotion and health protection, to name a few.
With the formation and funding of the new CWHE, we will be able to provide support for faculty members, students, and community partners who share the vision and mission.
Vision and Mission:
The vision is to become a sustainable, national center of excellence in occupational and environmental health.
The mission is to improve occupational and environmental health and safety through education, training, research, and public health practice.
Why belong to CWHE?
We will be inviting OSH professionals to become members of CWHE, recognizing that there will be many benefits of membership.
Here are just a few:
1. Infrastructure support that provides
a. Grant and contract applications and management
b. Marketing and advertising support
c. Technical support for creation and hosting of online learning
d. Administrative and accounting support
e. Meeting and conference support
f. Project management
g. Data management and analytic support
h. Support for new “up and coming” centers
2. Salary or other forms of compensation for participation in educational programs, consulting, community engagement
3. A clearinghouse for community and academic partners to find collaborators, students, interns
4. An incubator for supporting (and helping to raise funds) for new ideas and new initiatives in occupational and environmental health
5. Colleagueship and greater strength through collaboration
What is CWHE doing?
CWHE has taken its first steps to ensure that we can continue to train OSH graduate students, occupational medicine residents, and MPH students who concentrate in environmental and occupational health.
· We have solicited and obtained funding from philanthropic organizations to support the mission, most recently, from Pinnacol Assurance. Thank you Pinnacol for your generous support.
· We have created two new ways to give directly to the training of the next generation of occupational and environmental health and safety professionals
· We have supported faculty members who wanted to create new curriculum (for example a much needed course in Occupational Health and Safety Management, taught at CSU)
· We support faculty members who help create top quality continuing education programs, like our new “CIH Online” which is an online course to help industrial hygienists prepare for their certification exam.
· We have used Center resources and staff time to help address pressing public health challenges both regionally and nationally, including the opioid epidemic.
· We are providing logistic support to the new Center for Food Safety and Prevention of Foodborne Disease at CSPH in developing online training in the local response to foodborne outbreaks.
· Starting this summer, we will be providing funding to Colorado small businesses that seek to develop integrated health promotion and safety programs (more on this in the future!)
I hope this has given you a taste of what the CWHE will be all about. You will hear more on this topic in the coming months. I’ll keep you all updated as we complete the review of our bylaws, extend the invitation to new members, and approach official “Capital C” center launch.
For now, if you have questions or ideas, please please contact me, as we move forward to enhance what we all do to advance this shared vision. Here’s my cell phone: 720-480-0992 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee Newman, MD, MA
Director, Center for Worker Health and Environment
Director, Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center
Professor, Colorado School of Public Health and School of Medicine