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Lee Newman and his wife, Lori Szczukowski

$1.4 Million Gift to Establish Endowed Fund for Worker Health at the Center for Health, Work & Environment

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University of Colorado Distinguished Professor Lee Newman, MD and his wife, Lori Szczukowski, MD have committed $1.4 million to establish the Endowed Fund for Worker Health. The generous gift will contribute largely to the sustainability of the Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health, ensuring dedicated resources to pursue new and expanded initiatives consistent with its mission.     

“Now more than ever, philanthropic partnerships and collaboration with key leadership are vital to ensuring that we continue to innovate and create the health solutions of tomorrow,” said Scott Arthur, Vice Chancellor of Advancement at the University of Colorado Anschutz. “This investment will continue to protect the safety, physical health, and mental health of workers in Colorado, the country, and around the globe,” he added.     

This gift is just one of many examples of Newman and Szczukowski’s lifelong commitment to serving communities and advancing health.     

Newman is the founder and director of the Center for Health, Work & Environment and a professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. He originally held an appointment in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and played a fundamental role in the creation of the Colorado School of Public Health. Over the past three decades, his service and scholarship has brought him international recognition and benefited workers on a local, national, and international level. Newman’s work has had an impact far beyond academia. He was founding president and CEO of Axion Health, Inc., an occupational health information technology company that helps ensure the safety of America’s health care workers. His tireless efforts over the course of three decades, conducting research, teaching public health and medical students, and educating policymakers, have resulted in stronger safety standards to protect workers from exposure to beryllium.     

Szczukowski, a physician for more than three decades and a former instructor at Colorado School of Public Health, began her professional career in group practice as an internist in Denver, later transitioning to the field of occupational medicine. For nearly two decades, her clinical practice involved treating injured workers at Denver Health’s occupational health clinics at Denver International Airport and the Center for Occupational Safety and Health, in downtown Denver. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Szczukowski came out of retirement to help serve others. She is currently providing telehealth support to health care workers and city employees who are ill with COVID-19.   

 “We are grateful to be able to contribute to a University, School, and Center that value the importance of preserving the health, safety, and well-being of workers. Today, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the message is more compelling than ever: We must redouble our efforts as a nation to provide safe working conditions, or else our public health and economic systems will suffer,” said Newman. “With this gift, we want to be part of a lasting contribution to the Center for Health, Work & Environment in its mission.”   

About the Center for Health, Work and Environment 
The Center for Health, Work and Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health is one of six Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health® and houses the Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center, one of 18 centers of its kind supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Main offices for the Center are located at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. The Center team works with faculty, students, and community partners on numerous projects in occupational and environmental health, safety, and well-being.     

About the Colorado School of Public Health 
The Colorado School of Public Health is the first and only accredited school of public health in the Rocky Mountain Region, attracting top tier faculty and students from across the country, and providing a vital contribution towards ensuring our region’s health and well-being. Collaboratively formed in 2008 by the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, and the University of Northern Colorado, the Colorado School of Public Health provides training, innovative research and community service to actively address public health issues including chronic disease, access to health care, environmental threats, emerging infectious diseases, and costly injuries. Learn more and follow Colorado SPH’s updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.