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Students, Faculty and Professionals Connect at Research Day

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Written by Casey Torbet on April 10, 2024

Last week, the Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC) hosted the 15th Annual Research Day Symposium, in partnership with the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) at the Colorado School of Public Health. This annual event showcases the innovative and transdisciplinary research of trainees from the past year.

The focus of this year’s event centered around connection. The event showcased connections between disciplines, other countries, and trainees. Lee Newman, MD, MA, center director, illuminated why the transdisciplinary focus of Research Day is so important. “Environmental and workplace challenges that we have in the U.S. and internationally are growing, not shrinking,” said Newman. “The health consequences from infectious diseases to air pollution in wildfires, to the psychological impacts of a toxic workplace, all represent the work of trainees. Research Day positions them to be able to address the problems we have today and the emerging problems we can anticipate in the future.”

Poster and platform sessions covered a wide range of topics from the MAP ERC’s six training programs, while we also saw the connection between research focused on local and international workplaces. Keynote speaker, Rebeca Velasco Reyna, MD, national coordinator of occupational health, provided an overview of the extensive occupational health programs offered in Mexico by the Entornos Laborales Seguros y Saludables (ELSSA). She showcased how ELSSA is working to support all workers across Mexico through a voluntary program that provides companies with strategies to improve worker health, safety, and well-being. Attendees were drawn into the connection between our countries as well as industries.

Throughout the day, trainees connected with industry professionals including MAP ERC alumni. During poster session presentations, attendees explore the research trainees are completing, asking questions and networking with the students. These opportunities are invaluable for graduate students soon to enter the workforce or continue their professional research.

“Research Day was a great way to connect with others in occupational and environmental health and safety and see all the great work the University of Colorado and Colorado State University do. I will be back next year,” said Erin Bammann, MD, occupational and environmental medicine resident and climate change poster winner. Trainees connected with each other, faculty members, and industry members through Q&A during presentations and networking opportunities throughout the day.

We look forward to the next year of discoveries and connections that will build on this year’s Research Day Symposium. Thank you to our award sponsors: American Industrial Hygiene Association - Rocky Mountain Section, Central Rocky Mountain Health Physics Society, Society for Occupational Health Psychology, American Society of Safety Professionals- Colorado Chapter, Rocky Mountain Academy of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and the Department of EOH.

Poster Session Award Winners

  • Erin Bammann, Climate Change, “Heat Related Illness and Considerations for Adverse Long-Term Effects in Firefighters: A Case of Acute Kidney Injury in a 30-Year-Old Male Firefighter Recruit with Acquired Solitary Kidney.”
  • Sarah Sublet, Health Physics, “Characteristics of Gamma Radiation Fields in Subterranean Structures for Radiation Protection and Decision-Making.”
  • Danielle West, Occupational Health Psychology, “Alignment in Work & Life Disclosure as Predictive of LGBT Wellbeing.”
  • Julia Pangalangan, Total Worker Health, “A Mixed Methods Dissemination & Implementation Study of WELL Program.”
  • Rachel Ain, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, “Rural vs. Urban Injury.”
  • Phillip Stepherson, Industrial Hygiene, “Community Noise Exposure from Nearby Oil and Gas Extraction Sites.”

Platform Award Winner

  • Channing Bice, MS, PhD candidate, Climate and Worker Health, “Navigating the Breeze: Lessons from the Air Aware Campaign in Shaping Outdoor Workers’ Behaviors.”