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Colorado School of Public Health News and Stories

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Students    Student and Alumni    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Graduation    Biostatistics    Environment    Worker Health

Q&A with the 2024 Colorado School of Public Health Convocation Student Speaker, Miranda Dally

Miranda Dally, MS, research instructor and DrPH candidate at the Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Health, Work and Environment and Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, was chosen to be the 2024 graduation student speaker. We sat down with Miranda to learn more about why she was selected, her future plans, and what her convocation speech might include.


Author Teryn Ferrell | Publish Date May 06, 2024
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Community and Practice    Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

Field Team Evaluates Women’s Work Exposures and Kidney Health in Guatemala

Researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) are in the middle of the first year of data collection for a study with female agricultural workers in rural Guatemala.


Author Lyndsay Krisher | Publish Date April 12, 2024
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Environment    Worker Health

Students, Faculty and Professionals Connect at Research Day

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.


Author Casey Torbet | Publish Date April 10, 2024
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Environment    Worker Health

Why We Go to Washington DC

Every February, delegates from NIOSH-funded centers across the United States gather in Washington DC to meet with staff from the offices of elected officials and provide updates on what we have done to support workers in their districts. Ultimately, we talk about how our work over the past year uses NIOSH funds to improve the health, safety, and well-being of workers. The interests of elected officials and their staff vary widely depending on their politics, the type of businesses operated within their districts, and many other crucial points.


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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Maternal & Child Health    Worker Health

Southern Colorado Study Examines Heavy Metal Exposure in Pregnancy and Impacts on Newborns

The San Luis Valley sits between two major mountain ranges—the San Juans and the Sangre de Cristos—in south-central Colorado. As the upper headwater region for the Rio Grande River, the San Luis Valley is a fertile and important agricultural part of the state, supporting the majority of Colorado’s potato and buckwheat crop.


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Research    Community    Students    Mental Health    Epidemiology    Firearm Injury Prevention    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    Student and Alumni    Cannabis    Environment    Gun Violence Prevention    Injury & Violence Prevention    Maternal & Child Health    Worker Health

ColoradoSPH's Top Stories of 2023

In 2023, some of the nation’s top public health researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health tackled a variety of the largest public health questions facing us today.


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Community    COVID-19    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

Lessons Learned from Three Pandemic Years as the 2023 Holiday Travel Season Kicks Off

This holiday season, more than 55 million Americans are expected to travel for Thanksgiving alone, with nearly 5 million taking to the skies next week. US air travel has returned to pre-pandemic levels, and US airports are anticipating the highest number of Thanksgiving travelers since 2005. Masks are a rare sight not only in airports and on airplanes, but virtually everywhere else. But due, in part, to scientific advances and the structural, cultural, and societal changes that followed the emergence of COVID-19, we have a number of tools available to protect people from respiratory viruses. The outlook on respiratory disease this holiday season may be brighter than it has been in recent years.


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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

ColoradoSPH Takes On Climate Threats to Human Health with First-of-its-Kind PhD Program

The Colorado School of Public Health on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is preparing to play a lead role in investigating and responding to the rapidly intensifying effects of global climate change.

The school is launching the nation’s first PhD program that focuses specifically on climate change and its multiple impacts on people’s health and the communities where they live. The inaugural class of the PhD in Climate & Human Health program is set for the Fall 2024 semester, said program director Katherine James, PhD, MSPH, MSCE, associate professor of environmental and occupational health and in the Center for Health, Work & Environment at ColoradoSPH.


Author Tyler Smith | Publish Date August 28, 2023
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Community and Practice    Climate Health    Community Health    Environment    Worker Health

New NIH-Funded Project Brings Public Health Faculty and Community Leaders Together to Seek Climate Justice

Record-breaking heat and drought. Thick blankets of wildfire smoke. Walls of wind-driven flames. Pelting hail. Swath-cutting tornadoes. The summer of 2023 has been a constant reminder of the powerful effects of climate change. But the trying season is only one dramatic recent reminder of the changes and the toll they have taken on neighborhoods, communities, and economies in the form of air quality, water resources, food production and other factors that affect the quality of people’s lives.


Author Tyler Smith | Publish Date August 22, 2023
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Environment    Worker Health

How Cortney Cuff Creates Community in an Academic Center

It’s not often you meet a person who likes change.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date August 11, 2023
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Research    Climate Health    Environment

New National Academies Report Provides Scientific Review of EPA’s Draft Formaldehyde Assessment

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provides recommendations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for improving its draft IRIS [Integrated Risk Information System] Toxicological Review of Formaldehyde.


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Community    COVID-19    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

ColoradoSPH Launches a Rocky Mountain COVID Data Dashboard to Help Public Health Officials Across the Rocky Mountain West

In May 2023, a public health emergency response spurred by the 3-year COVID-19 pandemic, came to an end in the United States. With that ending, many data feeds and indicators critical to COVID-19 planning and response also came to a halt. Many questions remain as communities across the nation settle into a longer-term relationship with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes. As the COVID pandemic made clear, public health officials need to be equipped with the best available information to optimize public health operations both now and in the future. To answer this call, researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health created and launched the Rocky Mountain COVID Data dashboard.


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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

A First-of-its-Kind Training Program for Doctoral Students Focused on Climate and Worker Safety & Health

The Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) will soon be training researchers to address the impact of climate change on the health of workers. It’s newly established training program for doctoral students, Targeted Research Training Program in Climate and Worker Safety and Health, is the first of its kind in the United States.  


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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Community Health    Environment    Global Health    Worker Health

Climate Change and the Health of Vietnamese Subsistence Farmers

The rice fields in the Mekong River Delta of southern Vietnam flood.

Extreme heat in the coffee plantations in the Central Highlands is becoming a regular weather pattern. Vietnam experienced a record-setting heat wave in April and May of this year.


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Press Coverage    Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

Here's How to Keep Wildfire Smoke Out of Your Home

With wildfire season upon us, cities across the United States are being urged by health officials to stay inside, but even indoor air can be hazardous. “There are two general ways to decrease your exposure to wildfire smoke – breathe less or breathe cleaner air." Mike Van Dyke, PhD, gives tips on how to keep your indoor air clean when under an air quality alert.


Author Healthline | Publish Date June 08, 2023
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Alumni    Environment    Worker Health

Alumni Spotlight: Janalee McKnight

Our center stands on three pillars: Research, Education, and Practice. One of the many ways we work to protect workers is through educating and training future leaders in occupational safety and health (OSH). We support trainees in OSH disciplines across six programs through the Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC).

To continue highlighting graduated trainees, we interviewed Janalee McKnight, a MAP ERC alumna working as the Senior Manager, Global Health and Safety Training Programs at VF Corporation.


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Environment    Training    Worker Health

Strengthening Future Workplace Leaders Through Interdisciplinary Education

No job is just one thing. In our work landscape, are moving farther away from ultra-specialized roles. As we look toward the future of work, we need individuals that are interdisciplined.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date June 02, 2023
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Mental Health    Environment    Worker Health

Agricultural Worker Mental Health in Southern Colorado

Katherine A. James, PhD, MSPH, MSCE, traditionally focuses her research on environmental exposures and epidemiology while holding long-standing community partners in the San Luis Valley (SLV). While doing a preliminary assessment for environmental health hazards for the agriculture workforce in Southern Colorado, her community partners sounded an alarm for a behavioral health crisis in the Ag community. James quickly redirected her attention to these health disparities.


Author Nick Stoll | Publish Date June 01, 2023
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Community    Epidemiology    Awards    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    ColoradoSPH at CSU    ColoradoSPH at UNC    Biostatistics    Community Health    Environment    Health Advocacy

Recognizing Our ColoradoSPH 2023 Award Winners

Each year, the Colorado School of Public Health honors exceptional students, faculty, and staff at an annual awards ceremony coinciding with graduation.


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Environment    Worker Health

NIH Funds $3 Million Research Grant to Study Kidney Health in Guatemalan Women

Researchers from the Center for Health, Work, & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health have received a $3 million research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The five-year R01 grant from the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences will assess Guatemalan womens’ exposure to air pollution, heat, and kidney toxins in both work and non-work settings. The study will also identify how these environmental hazards could be linked to kidney disease.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date May 08, 2023
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Student and Alumni    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Global Health

Unique University Partnership Gives Students the Critical Training and Skills to Respond to Complex Humanitarian Crises on a Global Scale

In today’s global climate, more and more crises are occurring that not only involve natural hazards like tornadoes or floods, but also include conflict and mass displacement. Trained personnel are critical to the provision of appropriate responses to such complex humanitarian crises around the world. To address this growing need globally, two professors from two Colorado universities—the University of Denver and University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus—have created an experiential ‘simulation’ model that prepares students for humanitarian work. In this model, classroom-based learning leads up to a broad-scale one-day live action exercise, set in a fictional place called “Korbelia” on the DU campus.  


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Environment    Worker Health

NORA Oil & Gas Extraction Summit Spotlights Psychosocial Stressors as Top Risk

Oil and gas extraction (OGE) workers face many risk factors. These include insecure employment, long work hours, fatigue, physically demanding work conditions and high rates of substance use. Workplace overdose fatality rates are also highest among workers in mining, quarrying, and OGE occupation.


Author Courtney Cuff | Publish Date April 27, 2023
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Environment    Worker Health

Take a Walk with a Lab Guy

If you are looking for Stephen Brindley, MS, the lab might be the only place you find him sitting.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date April 26, 2023
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Environment    Worker Health

What Learners Are Saying: Total Worker Health® Professional Program

Our center is consistently looking for ways to spread Total Worker Health® knowledge to working professionals. These individuals are the “boots on the ground” practitioners responsible for creating and establishing employee health, safety and well-being programs. This audience was the genesis for creating our Total Worker Health Professional Program (TWH PRO) – we wanted to provide quality TWH education for working professionals in a flexible, self-paced online environment.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date April 25, 2023
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Community    Epidemiology    Awards    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Biostatistics    Community Health    Environment    Health Advocacy

ColoradoSPH Continues to Rank in the Top 20 Public Health Schools and Programs in the Nation

U.S. News and World Report has named the Colorado School of Public Health among the top 20 schools and programs of public health in the nation in its 2023-2024 rankings. ColoradoSPH is now ranked 17th out of 206 Master of Public Health (MPH) programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).


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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Environment

New Treatments for an Aging Population

A novel hypothesis is taking shape in the world of aging research: the idea that if everyone gets older, aging is inevitable, and chronic diseases multiply with age, then why not view aging as the problem to be investigated, rather than each disease or condition that develops


Author Hannah Halusker | Publish Date April 18, 2023
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Environment    Worker Health

What We're Taking Away From Research Day 2023

Our Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC) and the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) at the Colorado School of Public Health recently hosted its 14th Annual Research Day Symposium. The event brought together students from the EOH Department, trainees from the MAP ERC, and local professionals and academics to celebrate transdisciplinary student research in environmental and occupational health.  

This year's event explored solving the vexing problems that face the current and future global workforce.
"As educators and scientists, we are classically trained to address workplace challenges. We use approaches which falsely assume that we can control enough factors in the workplace to prevent all injuries and improve overall health. But there are factors outside of our control that can undermine our efforts to promote safe work," said Lee Newman, MD, MA, center director. "How do we begin to solve these vexing problems? Together."


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date April 17, 2023
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Press Coverage    Environment

CSU Professor Works for Environmental Justice

Stephanie Malin is a ColoradoSPH adjunct professor, associate professor at Colorado State University and one of the co-founders and steering members of the Center for Environmental Justice at Colorado State University.


Author The Collegian | Publish Date April 06, 2023
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Press Coverage    Environment

Marshall Fire Victims with Lower Incomes, Less Insurance Lag in Rebuilding, Study Finds

Lower-income Marshall fire victims in Colorado are facing difficulties in rebuilding after the wildfire, with a new study by Assistant Professor of Environmental Katie Dickinson revealing that they are lagging behind due to limited insurance coverage and financial resources.


Author The Denver Post | Publish Date April 05, 2023
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Research    Giving    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

$600,000 NIH Grant for Colorado School of Public Health Community Climate Hub

A collaborative group from Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) has been awarded $600,000 from the National Institutes of Health to support the first year of work for the newly-established Mountain West Alliance for Community Engagement-Climate and Health (ACE-CH) Hub, a community of public health researchers and community members working to identify evidence-based and community-driven action in the face of the climate crisis. 


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Alumni    Environment    Worker Health

Alumni Spotlight: Maggie Cook-Shimanek

Our center stands on three pillars: Research, Education, and Practice. One of the many ways we strive to protect workers is by educating and training future leaders in occupational health and safety. We interviewed Maggie Cook-Shimanek, an occupational health physician working as the medical director for the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.


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Press Coverage    COVID-19    Epidemiology    Infectious disease    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

COVID-19 Infections Increasing in Colorado, But Hospitalizations Rise Only Slightly

“We’re sort of at a steady, manageable level for the moment,” said Dean Jon Samet. “It’s too early to say” if the flu is done, he said.


Author The Denver Post | Publish Date February 16, 2023
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Press Coverage    Environment

Want to Live Longer? Consider Planting a Tree.

There are several reasons trees may boost health, including better air quality, reduced stress and increased physical activity. “Most evidence confirms that tree planting is beneficial in reducing premature mortality,” said David Rojas Rueda, assistant professor of environmental and occupational health at CSU.


Author Washington Post | Publish Date February 12, 2023
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Students    Environment    Worker Health

Student Spotlight: Colton Castro

The Center for Health, Work & Environment stands on three pillars: Research, Education, and Practice. One of the many ways we work to protect workers is through educating and training future leaders in occupational safety and health (OSH). As part of our Student Spotlight series highlighting our trainees, we interviewed Colton Castro, a Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC) trainee earning a Master's in Environmental Health with a specialization in Industrial Hygiene (CSU).


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date February 06, 2023
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Press Coverage    Environment    Worker Health

As Colorado’s Worker Death Toll Rises, Experts Point to These Reasons

Lili Tenney, assistant professor and director of outreach and programs at the Center for Health, Work & Environment, discusses the rise in Colorado workplace fatalities, mental health struggles, and opioid addiction in the Denver Business Journal.


Author Denver Business Journal | Publish Date January 30, 2023
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Press Coverage    Environment

Does This Cause Cancer? How Scientists Determine Whether a Chemical is Carcinogenic – Sometimes With Controversial Results

Determining whether a chemical is carcinogenic is a complex and often controversial process. Dr. Brad Reisfeld, professor of environmental and occupational health at CSU, weighs in on these classifications and how they effect environmental and public health.


Author The Conversation | Publish Date January 30, 2023
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ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Francesca Macaluso is Public Health, Born and Raised

As the sandhill cranes migrate to the San Luis Valley, nestled beneath the Sangre de Cristo mountains each year, so does Francesca Macaluso, MPH. Each spends their time in the valley among the wetlands and agricultural fields, tied deeply to the earth and the struggling aquifers below it.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date January 09, 2023
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Environment    Worker Health

Have a Cup of Cheer... But Consider Making It a Mocktail

“Have a holly, jolly Christmas; It’s the best time of the year. I don’t know if there’ll be snow but have a cup of cheer.”


Author David Shapiro | Publish Date December 13, 2022
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Press Coverage    Environment

Flu Appears to be Colorado’s Top Respiratory Threat in Coming Weeks as Hospitalizations Rise

“We’re continuing to see far more people hospitalized with flu than at this time in a typical year,” said Beth Carlton, associate professor of environmental and occupational health. “I think that’s the big concern for the weeks ahead.”


Author The Denver Post | Publish Date December 08, 2022
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Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

Climate Impacts and Solutions for Outdoor Workers

Climate change poses a two-pronged threat to workers. Rising temperatures can induce injuries and illnesses for outdoor workers and those responding to natural disasters. Increasingly hotter temperatures indoors and out can also amplify existing injuries and illnesses for workers with chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and kidney disease.


Author David Shapiro | Publish Date November 17, 2022
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Mental Health    Suicide Prevention    Environment    Worker Health

Preventing Suicide and Protecting Mental Health in the Construction Industry

There is a mental health epidemic going on in the construction industry. People working in construction are nearly 3.5 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population. Among working-age men, construction workers account for nearly 20% of all suicide deaths. As of 2020, construction workers were five times more likely to die from suicide than from a workplace injury or accident.


Author David Shapiro | Publish Date November 15, 2022
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Students    Environment    Worker Health

Student Spotlight: Julia Beckel

The Center for Health, Work & Environmentr stands on three pillars: Research, Education, and Practice. One of the many ways we work to protect workers is through educating and training future leaders in occupational safety and health (OSH). As part of our Student Spotlight series highlighting our trainees, we interviewed Julia Beckel, MS, a Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC) trainee earning a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Colorado State University (CSU).


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date November 11, 2022
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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment

ASPPH Webinar Highlights Public Health Response to Climate Change

Colorado School of Public Health Dean Dr. Jon Samet didn’t mince words as he spoke during a webinar sponsored by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) October 26 about climate change and the health risks it poses.


Author Tyler Smith | Publish Date November 07, 2022
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Press Coverage    Environment

COVID Superspreader Events Still Exist. Here's What They Look Like Now.

“The decrease in the susceptibility of the population as a whole, increase in personal protective behaviors, and the lack of case reporting have caused superspreader events to both be less likely to occur and less likely to be reported,” said Bailey Fosdick, associate professor of biostatistics and informatics.


Author HuffPost | Publish Date November 07, 2022
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Press Coverage    COVID-19    Epidemiology    Infectious disease    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

Why is Colorado’s COVID-19 Situation So Much Less Clear Than Last Year?

COVID-19 positivity rates have been rising in Colorado since October, but with fewer people being tested, uncertainty remains. Beth Carlton, associate professor of environmental and occupational health and Jude Bayham, assistant professor of epidemiology at CSU, weigh in for the Denver Post.


Author The Denver Post | Publish Date November 03, 2022
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Press Coverage    Environment

ASPPH Releases New Climate Change Health Framework for Academic Public Health

The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) recently released “Responding to the Climate Change and Health Crisis: A Framework for Academic Public Health.” The framework will serve as the foundation for ASPPH’s future initiatives and was developed by a task force co-chaired by Dean Jon Samet.


Author ASPPH | Publish Date November 01, 2022
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Research    Equity Diversity and Inclusion    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Climate Health    Environment

Racially Segregated Communities More Vulnerable to Toxic-Metal Air Pollution, CSU Study Finds

For many decades, it’s been known that communities of color are exposed to more air pollution than their predominantly white counterparts.


Author Anne Manning | Publish Date November 01, 2022
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Environment    Worker Health

Power at Work: Reflections from the 3rd International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health®

Employment is a critical part of a person’s identity and sense of pride. People with steady employment are less likely to live in poverty and more likely to be healthy, but many people in the US have trouble finding and keeping a job. The conditions within the environments where people are born, where they live, learn, work, play and worship, and their age affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.


Author David Shapiro | Publish Date October 31, 2022
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Environment    Worker Health

Celebrating the Success of the 3rd International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health®

This October, the Center for Health, Work & Environment proudly co-hosted the 3rd International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health® with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The Symposium was held at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Campus in Bethesda, MD, and virtually.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date October 27, 2022
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Environment    Training    Worker Health

The Future of Total Worker Health® Training

The premise behind the Total Worker Health® approach is simple. Healthy workers make safer decisions and when workers are safe – both physically and psychologically – they are healthier overall. What is less clear are the ways we build capacity for TWH professionals working in the field and discovering what training and support they need.


Author David Shapiro | Publish Date October 26, 2022
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Environment    Worker Health

Why We Need to Listen

This October, I had privilege of attending and presenting at the 3rd International Symposium to Advance Total Worker Health®. I observed and engaged in thought leadership around what research, practice and education look like in the field of occupational health and safety. I walked away thinking about not only how important all three are, but how can we integrate them better? In doing so, we may be able to understand how to influence health in the workplace.


Author Natalie Schwatka | Publish Date October 24, 2022
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Press Coverage    smoking    Environment

A Tale of 2 Pandemics: Anti-Tobacco Giant Talks COVID-19 Similarities at MUSC

Talking to more than 50 of his peers and interested public, longtime anti-tobacco giant Dean Jon Samet likened the century long “tobacco pandemic” to the COVID-19 pandemic during a presentation at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Hollings Cancer Center.


Author The Post and Courier | Publish Date October 20, 2022
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Students    Environment    Worker Health

OSH Graduate Students Field Trip to a Nuclear Reactor

The Center for Health, Work & Environment houses the Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center, one of 18 centers of its kind supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


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Diabetes    Environment    Training    Worker Health

Enhancing Employer Engagement in Chronic Disease Prevention and Management

Type 2 diabetes continues to be a leading chronic disease in the United States, affecting 1 in 10 adults and is a serious issue for employers and employees alike. In response to providing employers with the tools to support employees, Health Links™, a program based at the Center for Health, Work & Environment, has developed and hosted trainings and education forums, provided technical assistance through advising sessions, and performed outreach activities over the past three years to address the negative impact of chronic disease in the workplace.


Author Sarah Levine | Publish Date September 28, 2022
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Alumni    Environment    Worker Health

Alumni Spotlight: Angela Darrt

Our center stands on three pillars: Research, Education, and Practice. One of the many ways we work to protect workers is through educating and training future leaders in occupational safety and health (OSH). We support trainees in OSH disciplines across six programs through the Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC). She is also currently Chair of the MAP ERC External Advisory Panel. 


Author Colorado School of Public Health | Publish Date September 21, 2022
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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Training    Worker Health

Leaders in Occupational Safety and Health Launch the Society for Total Worker Health

Leaders in occupational health and safety from across the U.S. have launched the new Society for Total Worker Health™. The Society for Total Worker Health is a non-profit member organization made up of individuals and partners dedicated to the advancement of worker health, safety, well-being, and productivity through Total Worker Health®.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date September 19, 2022
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Press Coverage    Environment

Building Something Better: How Community Organizing Helps People Thrive in Challenging Times

In a time of unprecedented division, rising inequality and intensifying climate change, it’s easy to feel that progress is impossible. Stephanie Malin, assistant professor at CSU, explores how people adapt to crises and thrive in challenging times by working together.


Author The Conversation | Publish Date September 08, 2022
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Awards    Environment    Worker Health

Health Links™ 2022 Annual Event: Celebrating Human Connection

Each year, Health Links celebrates Colorado employers committed to workplace health, safety, and well-being. This year’s event, Celebrating Human Connection, aptly celebrated in-person for the first time in two years. It honored the award winners and finalists for their achievements in the workplace while providing attendees the opportunity to network and gain inspiration from other employers.


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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    One Health

Integrating Genomics, Ecology and Epidemiology to Battle Parasitic Diseases That Ravage Poor Countries

A new paper in eLife Sciences explores the importance of using advanced genomic sequencing as a powerful tool to control schistosomiasis, the world’s second-leading parasitic disease. 


Author Tyler Smith | Publish Date August 30, 2022
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Cannabis    Environment

Heavy Metal Inhalation in Cannabis Users: New Study Funded at the Colorado School of Public Health

Researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) have received funding from the Institute for Cannabis Research (ICR) to study the potential exposure to heavy metals from smoking or vaping cannabis.  


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Environment    Worker Health

Wrestling Wicked Problems with Distinguished Professor Lee Newman

A red orange sun glows behind the clouds of smoke rising over the smoldering field. The smell is slightly sweet, but heavy. A cheerful school bus waits beside acres of burnt sugarcane. Lee Newman, MD, MA sits behind a table of lab samples near the bus. He and his research team are working to determine the causes and factors of chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu) among Guatemalan sugarcane workers – one of many complex problems that attract him.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date August 02, 2022
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Awards    Environment    Worker Health

The Center for Health, Work & Environment Recognizes Key Partners in its Third Annual Recognition Event

On July 21st, The Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) hosted its third annual recognition event to honor the commitment and achievements of some of its key partners. To promote worker health, safety and well-being, CHWE relies on its partnerships with researchers, community groups, industry, and government.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date July 28, 2022
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Environment    Worker Health

A Decade of Dedication: Health Links™ Celebrates 10 Years of Impact

A lot can happen in a year. Even more can happen in 10.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date July 27, 2022
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Research    COVID-19    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Environment

Brass, Woodwind Instruments Emit Respiratory Particles, Study Finds

Just like coughing, sneezing, talking and singing, playing wind instruments ­– particularly those in the brass section – can spread respiratory particles that may carry the COVID-19 virus, according to a Colorado State University study.


Author Anne Manning | Publish Date July 13, 2022
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Community    Mental Health    Addiction    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Responding to Colorado’s Mental Health and Substance Use Epidemic

The Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) is responding to the national mental health crisis and substance use epidemic that has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This emergency requires a strong joint effort between public health organizations and employers. 


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date July 09, 2022
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Students    Environment

MPH Students Present Their Capstone Projects

MPH in Environmental & Occupational Health students Ballie Brooks, Joseph Butterfield, Kate Clancy, Andrea Crary, Haley Holan, Jillian Murphy (not pictured), and Richard Pompei successfully presented their capstone projects at the Spring Capstone Forum on May 13th at the end of the Fall 2022 semester.


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Students    Environment    Worker Health

Student Spotlight: Karely Villareal Hernandez

Our center stands on three pillars: Research, Education, and Practice. One of the many ways we work to protect workers is through educating and training future leaders in occupational safety and health (OSH).

As part of our Student Spotlight series highlighting our trainees, we interviewed Karely Villareal Hernandez, a student earning a Master's in Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health.


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Students    Awards    Student and Alumni    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

Hannah Craig Looks Homeward In Earning “Map the System” Award

When Hannah Craig decided to take on the CU Anschutz Map the System competition, she didn’t have to look far for her topic.


Author Tyler Smith | Publish Date June 03, 2022
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Press Coverage    Environment

Do You Know What’s In Your Tap Water?

Public water can have low or undetectable levels of elemental or chemical impurities like metals, pharmaceuticals, household products, disinfectant byproducts, PFAS, and hardness, according to Associate Professor Katherine James.


Author Colorado Parent | Publish Date June 01, 2022
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Press Coverage    Environment

How North Denver Became the City's Ashtray

A new report led by researchers from the Dickinson Lab, including Assistant Professor Katherine Dickinson, identifies North Denver as a pollution hot spot thanks to a confluence of factors involving an abundance of industrial businesses, as well as railroad and highway traffic that puts the health of its approximately 50,000 residents at risk every single day.


Author Westword | Publish Date May 31, 2022
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Alumni    Environment    Worker Health

Alumni Spotlight: Kevin Walters

Our center stands on three pillars: Research, Education, and Practice. One of the many ways we work to protect workers is through educating and training future leaders in occupational safety and health (OSH). We support trainees in OSH disciplines across six programs through the Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC).

As part of our Alumni Spotlight series highlighting our graduated trainees, we interviewed Kevin Walters, PhD, an occupational health psychology graduate teaching as an assistant professor of psychology at Fort Lewis College. 


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Environment    Worker Health

International Research Team Returns From Guatemala

Researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) have completed their first year of data collection for two research grants with agricultural workers in rural Guatemala.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date April 29, 2022
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Environment    Worker Health

ColoradoSPH Professor Looks at Shared Leadership in the Workplace, Uncovering the Factors that Create Organizational Change

Most of us are familiar with the concept of micro ergonomics – where machines, the environment, software, and work activities interact with humans. We think of a specific processes or work system designs such as adjustable desks, supportive chairs, custom office lighting, repetitive task movements, etcetera, that are created to help humans at work.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date April 26, 2022
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Press Coverage    Environment

When the Walls Were Painted With Poison

Michael J. Kosnett, associate adjunct professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, discusses the danger of arsenic, an element that was used widely in Victorian England for its striking emerald green pigment.


Author WebMD | Publish Date April 25, 2022
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Press Coverage    Environment

Healthcare’s Responsibility to Shrink its Carbon Footprint

The U.S. healthcare system is responsible for nearly 10% of the nation’s carbon emissions. Jay Lemery, associate professor of environmental & occupational Health discusses the need for the industry to decarbonize to fulfill healthcare’s obligation to do no harm.


Author Modern Healthcare | Publish Date April 01, 2022
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Veteran and Military Health    Workforce Development    Environment    Worker Health

Trainees Take a Trip to Fort Carson Army Base

Trainees from our Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC) recently took an old-school field trip to Colorado Springs. After driving an hour and a half south of the CU Anschutz Medical Campus and trying to drive through the wrong base entrance, they arrived at the visitor’s center of Fort Carson Army Base.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date March 29, 2022
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Alumni    Environment    Worker Health

Alumni Spotlight: Silpa Krefft

Our center stands on three pillars: Research, Education, and Practice. One of the many ways we work to protect workers is through educating and training future leaders in occupational safety and health (OSH). We support trainees in OSH disciplines across six programs through the Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC).

As part of our Alumni Spotlight series highlighting our graduated trainees, we interviewed Silpa Krefft, an environmental and occupational medicine graduate working as a pulmonary and critical care physician and researcher. 


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Environment    Worker Health

Black History Month Through Earl Dotter’s Workplace Lens

Earl Dotter can pinpoint the start of his career as a photographer to the exact day. His life’s work behind the camera began on April 4th,1968, the afternoon that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.  At the time, Dotter was pursuing advertising design at New York City’s School of Visual Arts, and on that fateful day one of his instructors ran into class and interrupted the presentation to tell them that King had just been shot. It proved to be a pivotal moment in Dotter’s career path plan, as he committed himself to become what he called a ‘socially useful’ photographer.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date February 23, 2022
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Community    COVID-19    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    Equity Diversity and Inclusion    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Environment

ColoradoSPH Dean Chair of National Academies Report on Protecting All US Workers and the Public from Inhalation Hazards

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends two frameworks for providing respiratory protection for the nation — one for workers and one for the public — a need made clear by the COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly frequent wildfires. The report makes the case that all types of workers, including essential and gig economy workers, should be covered by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or equivalent respiratory protection requirements when exposed to inhalation hazards in the workplace. It also calls for a coordinated system to ensure all members of the public, including children, have access to appropriate respiratory protective devices and guidance on their effective use. 


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Press Coverage    Environment

NIH Climate Change and Health Webinar Series Climate Change, Air Pollution, and Health: What Lies Ahead

In this NIH Climate Change and Health Webinar, ColoradoSPH Dean Jon Samet and CSU's Tami Bond explore the complex relationships between climate change, air pollution, and health, discussing the importance of mitigation efforts through interdisciplinary research.


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Students    Environment    Worker Health

Student Spotlight: Emily Sharpe

Our center stands on three pillars: Research, Education, and Practice. One of the many ways we work to protect workers is through educating and training future leaders in occupational safety and health (OSH).

As part of our Student Spotlight series highlighting our trainees, we interviewed Emily Sharpe, a student earning a Certificate in Total Worker Health® from the Colorado School of Public Health. Emily works full time as the Living Well Program Director at TIAA, along with serving as mayor of her town, Elon, North Carolina.


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Research    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Environment

More than 200,000 Deaths Could Be Prevented Annually if Countries Support More Urban Cycling by 2050

Biking plays a significant role in urban areas and has been suggested as a tool to promote public health. Now, a new study led by Colorado State University has for the first time estimated the health benefits of urban cycling in 17 countries.

According to the research team, up to 205,424 premature deaths could be prevented each year if countries support high levels of urban cycling. In the U.S., it is estimated that more than 15,000 premature deaths could be prevented each year by supporting urban cycling.

The study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, modeled the benefits of promoting urban cycling up to 2050 and if 100% of bike trips replace traveling by car.

CSU’s Dr. David Rojas-Rueda led the research project in collaboration with scientists from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health.

An avid urban cycler and senior author of the study, Rojas-Rueda said that the team found global biking policies may provide important mortality benefits in the years ahead.

“This study should be seen as a call to implement policies that support sustainable mobility and a healthy urban design,” he said.  “Current policies will impact our future and the health of future generations.”

The study compared current cycling trends with high levels of urban cycling among 17 countries, including Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, United Kingdom and the U.S.

The high cycling 2050 scenarios were based on policies that have been shown to bring a quick increase in biking levels. This includes things like:

  • Retrofitting biking infrastructure onto existing roads to create networks on arterial streets, small residential streets, and intercity roads.
  • Implementation of bike-share systems in large cities.
  • Reforming laws and enforcement practices to better protect active transport.
  • Investment in walking facilities and public transport to offer trips that can be combined with bike trips.
  • Elimination of policies that support additional motorized vehicle use, such as free parking and fuel subsidies.
  • Establishment of congestion pricing, travel fees and development impact fees to charge a price for driving.

The research team used a quantitative health impact assessment methodology, which considered the physical activity benefits and the risks associated with traffic fatalities and inhalation of air pollution.


Author CSU MarComm Staff | Publish Date December 01, 2021
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment

Researchers Expand Study on “Forever Chemicals” in Drinking Water

Researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health and partner institutions will expand on a groundbreaking study examining the effects of contaminated drinking water on residents of El Paso County thanks to a $5 million grant from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.


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Community    COVID-19    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

SARS-CoV-2 Indoor Air Transmission is a Threat that can be Addressed with Science

A November 2021 PNAS perspective reports the results of a 2020 workshop at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), convened by the Environmental Health Matters Initiative. The NASEM committee, chaired by Jon Samet, MD, MS, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health, also included ColoradoSPH at CSU faculty and professor of mechanical engineering, John Volckens, PhD. The committee and workshop convened in the fall of 2020 to rapidly inform urgent issues and address the potential for airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The committee concluded that the virus is transmitted by aerosols, that transmission mitigation measures such as masks, social distancing, air filtration, and air ventilation are effective, and that layered transmission interventions should reflect the heterogeneity of factors driving inequitable social burdens of the pandemic.


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Press Coverage    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Environment

N95 Respirators Could Reduce Hospitalizations from Wildfire Smoke: Study

A study published in GeoHealth, led by ColoradoSPH and CSU researchers, found that N95 respirators can help protect against wildfire smoke and related health risks.


Author FOX News | Publish Date September 30, 2021
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COVID-19    Infectious disease    Environment    Worker Health

Making Safe Business Decisions This Fall

This fall may look a little different, or a lot the same, compared to what we expected six months ago.


Author Liliana Tenney, DrPH, MPH | Publish Date September 28, 2021
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Community    Awards    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Center for Health, Work & Environment Receives Award to Continue National Center of Excellence for Total Worker Health®

The Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health has been awarded a five-year, approximately $6 million dollar, cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to operate a Center of Excellence for Total Worker Health. Support of this program from the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will further advance Total Worker Health (TWH) as an emerging field of science and practice and address the needs of the 21st century of workforce through research, intervention, and outreach activities. 


Author Colorado School of Public Health | Publish Date September 22, 2021
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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Climate Health    Environment

ColoradoSPH Epidemiologists Advise WHO on Air Quality Guidelines

The World Health Organization updated its Global Air Quality Guidelines on Sept. 22 for the first time in 16 years. The new guidelines reflect research that shows the considerable impact that air pollution has on global health, said Dr. David Rojas, assistant professor of epidemiology at Colorado State University and the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH).

Rojas and ColoradoSPH Dean and Professor Jonathan Samet, MD, MS, served as advisors to the WHO and helped develop the new guidelines.

"These updated WHO Air Quality Guidelines are used throughout the world, offering global benchmarks and targets for those countries that still have high levels of air pollution. Reflecting advances in understanding of the risks of air pollution since the 2005 update, the new guidelines values are lower for most pollutants," said Samet.


Author Mary Guiden | Publish Date September 22, 2021
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Students    Environment    Worker Health

The Intersection of Science, Philosophy and Community with Diana Jaramillo

Diana Jaramillo’s parents immigrated from Cusco, Peru to the United States when she was 14 years old. Looking for a new life with better opportunities, her parents relocated their family to Florida. “It's hard being uprooted at a very young age and not really knowing the culture, not really fitting in, not even speaking the language,” says Diana. “I think those are all things that you have to overcome. Every immigrant story is complex and comes with many difficulties, as well as many achievements.”


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date September 21, 2021
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Epidemiology    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Climate Health    Environment

ColoradoSPH Dean Selected for EPA's Science Advisory Board

On August 2, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan announced his selections for membership of the Science Advisory Board (SAB). The committee will be comprised of 22 women and 25 men, including 16 people of color, making it the most diverse SAB since the committee was established. The Administrator’s selections are well-qualified experts with a cross-section of scientific disciplines and experience needed to provide advice to EPA leadership to help advance the agency’s mission.

Among those selected is Dr. Jonathan Samet, dean and professor of epidemiology, and environmental and occupational health for the Colorado School of Public Health.

"I am honored to have been selected as a charter member of EPA’s Science Advisory Board, which has a critical role in providing peer review and guidance for the agency," said Samet. "With these new appointments, Administrator Regan has achieved a high level of diversity and added important expertise on environmental justice. I look forward to helping with the challenges ahead as the Administration moves ahead to improve the environment and reduce the substantial burden of disease due to pollution."


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Awards    Environment    Worker Health

The Center for Health, Work & Environment Recognizes Key Partners in its Second Annual Recognition Event

(AURORA, Colo.) - The Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) based at the Colorado School of Public Health, is dedicated to promoting the health, safety, and well-being of workers. On July 2nd, CHWE hosted our second annual recognition event to honor the commitment and achievements of some of our key partners. At our core, we partner with researchers, community groups, industry and government to collaborate across all we do.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date July 16, 2021
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Mental Health    Workforce Development    Environment    Worker Health

OSHA Regional Managers Taking Workplace Mental Health Seriously

The pandemic has made public knowledge of something those of us in occupational safety and health have known for quite some time: employee mental health matters. It also cannot be improved without great attention and effort. A workplace culture that promotes mental health awareness demands both organizational support and individual commitment.


Author David Shapiro | Publish Date July 15, 2021
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Environment    Worker Health

Viking Helmets and Radioactive Rhinos. Health Physicist Tom Johnson Keeps Things Interesting.

There is a box full of hats in the corner of his office. There is a shimmering yellow fish, a horned Viking helmet, a foam moose head with antlers, a giant taco, and many more. On any given Zoom meeting or lecture, you will see Tom Johnson, PhD, cycle through a few of these quirky accessories without skipping a beat. He likes to keep things interesting.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date July 14, 2021
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Awards    Environment    Worker Health

Health Links™ Honors Children’s Hospital Colorado with the Inaugural Continued Excellence Award

Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado) delivers award-winning medical care to children and families across the Rocky Mountain region. If you have ever stepped foot into any of Children’s Colorado’s numerous locations throughout the region, you can feel the cheerful, high-caliber quality of that care. This care, however, does not just reach the hospital rooms and outpatient specialty care facilities, but is extended to employees as well.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date July 14, 2021
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Awards    Environment    Training    Worker Health

Health Links™ 2021 Annual Event: Celebrating Total Worker Health®

Each year, Health Links celebrates Colorado employers committed to workplace health, safety, and well-being. This year’s virtual event, Celebrating Total Worker Health®, aptly honored the award winners and finalists for their achievements in the workplace while providing attendees the opportunity to network and gain inspiration from other employers. With award celebrations sprinkled throughout the day, attendees participated in a variety of workshops ands continuing education sessions held by academic and industry experts.

Topics included coming back by giving back with inspirational stories from Heidi Ganahl on her personal and professional journey, chronic disease prevention, health-promoting built work environments, mental health technology, modern families at work, health for teleworkers, and more.

"We are consistently impressed by the dedication to Total Worker Health (TWH) from our entire Healthy Workplace Network™ and are thrilled to announce the 2021 Award winners," said Health Links program manager David Shapiro. "Over the past 2 years, in the face of the pandemic, we have seen tremendous advancement in the field of workplace health, safety, and well-being. There is reason to celebrate!"


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Environment    Worker Health

The Impact of Total Worker Health® Advising Among Small-to-Medium-Sized Businesses

Researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health have published a paper in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine studying the impact of Total Worker Health (TWH) advising in small- to medium-sized businesses. The study is one of the first to examine how TWH consultation impacts the way organizations adopt and improve workplace policies and practices for worker health and safety.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date July 13, 2021
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Environment    Worker Health

Miranda Dally Gets Down With Data

The drive through the Salinas Valley is nothing if not quintessentially Californian. The highway is tightly edged by uniform, hypnotizing rows of produce—strawberries, artichokes, and lettuce. The harvest season feels as never-ending as the fields themselves, with workers in long sleeves to protect them from the sun, bent over gathering crops year-round.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date July 13, 2021
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Workforce Development    Environment    Worker Health

8 Trends for the Future of Work

The Center for Health, Work & Environment wants to make sure small businesses are not left out of the conversation when it comes to return to work. In a recent webinar, A Safer Return for Small Employers, the Center invited John Dony, senior director of Thought Leadership from the National Safety Council (NSC), to speak to small employers specifically about returning to work after COVID-19.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date July 07, 2021
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Research    Cancer    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

American Cancer Society 4-Year Grant Funds Deeper Look at Risk Factors Associated with Oil and Gas Development, and Childhood Leukemia

The American Cancer Society, the largest non-government, not-for-profit funding source of cancer research in the United States, has approved funding for 42 research grants nationwide totaling $33.8M, including one grant in Denver. Grant applications undergo a rigorous, independent, and highly competitive peer review process. The newly approved grants will fund investigators at 33 institutions across the United States, including the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Grant-funded projects will begin on July 1, 2021.


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Press Coverage    Environment

Unvaccinated Coloradans “More Vulnerable” as COVID Delta Variant Keeps Spreading

The COVID-19 delta variant “could cause significant amounts of avoidable sickness and death,” explains Dr. Elizabeth Carlton, ColoradoSPH associate professor of environmental and occupational health.


Author The Denver Post | Publish Date June 22, 2021
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Environment    Worker Health

Profiles of Total Worker Health® in Small Businesses Show Commitment and Leadership Matter for Employee Engagement

Researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health have published a paper in BMC Public Health studying the profiles of Total Worker Health (TWH) in small businesses. The study, led by a team at CHWE, is one of the first to examine how small businesses operationalize the TWH approach through a business strategy and leadership commitment as well as how organizational climate supports its daily use. The overall emphasis was on whether these working conditions were associated with employee engagement in health and safety practices.


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Students    Environment    Worker Health

Student Spotlight: Elizabeth Watts

Our center stands on three pillars: Research, Education, and Practice. One of the many ways we work to protect workers is through educating and training future leaders in occupational safety and health (OSH). We support trainees in OSH disciplines across six programs through the Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC).

As part of our Student Spotlight series highlighting our trainees, we interviewed Elizabeth Watts, a Total Worker Health® Certificate Program student earning an Master's in Public Health in Community and Behavioral Health (CBH) from the Colorado School of Public Health.


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Press Coverage    Environment

Denver Water is Replacing Decades-Old Toxic Lead Pipes Faster Than Expected

Denver Water is working to replace lead pipes for 84,000 homes. John Adgate, PhD, and Glenn Patterson, PhD, professors of environmental and occupational health, explain the history and why low-lead and lead-free pipes are needed.


Author The Denver Post | Publish Date June 11, 2021
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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Celebrating Dr. John Adgate’s 12 Years as Chair of the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health

After 12 years, Dr. John Adgate is stepping down as Chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health (EOH) at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH). He will remain a faculty member for the department and focus on research, teaching and mentoring students.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date June 07, 2021
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Press Coverage    Environment

Sunscreen With Leukemia-Causing Benzene is Latest Summer Worry

Daniel Teitelbaum, MD, MA, adjunct professor of occupational and environmental health, weighs in on how benzene could have found its way into hand sanitizers and sunscreens—possibly through solvents.


Author Bloomberg News | Publish Date May 28, 2021
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

NIH Research Grant to Address Kidney Disease Among Women in Guatemala

Dr. Jaime Butler-Dawson, from the Center for Health, Work, & Environment (CHWE), has received a Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. The three-year K01 grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences will provides support to examine the environmental determinants of kidney injury in female sugarcane workers and female community members in Guatemala.


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Press Coverage    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Health Systems    Environment    Health Advocacy

Health Officials Concerned Over COVID-19 Hospital Admissions

Dean Jonathan Samet, Professor Glen Mays, and Associate Professor Elizabeth Carlton share their concerns about state hospitalization metrics, while expressing optimism about the role that high vaccination rates could play.


Author Associated Press | Publish Date May 11, 2021
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Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

New Research Team Launches to Combat the Effects of Climate Change on Workers and Communities

(AURORA, Colo.) May 7, 2021 – The Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) and the Colorado Consortium on Climate Change and Human Health have launched the Climate, Work & Health Initiative (CWHI). CWHI is an interdisciplinary team of expert researchers, scientists, doctors, and public health professionals dedicated to combating the effects of climate change on vulnerable populations.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date May 07, 2021
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Press Coverage    Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

Research Team Studies the Effects of Extreme Heat on Kidney Function in Outdoor Workers

Researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment are studying the effects of multiple occupational and environmental factors, such as heat stress and exposure to heavy metals and agrochemicals, on chronic kidney disease of unknown origin among agricultural workers in Guatemala.


Author The Synergist | Publish Date May 01, 2021
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Environment    Worker Health

NIOSH’s 50th Anniversary and Our Impact Through Partnership

The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month. Our center has been a proud NIOSH-funded center since 2007. We are grateful to contribute to NIOSH’s mission of science at work for people at workthrough our research, education, and practice.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date April 28, 2021
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Environment    Worker Health

How to Help Small Business Leaders Achieve Total Worker Health®

Organizational change happens in primarily two ways; policies and programs being instituted from the top down or changing leadership practices to demonstrate support for new policies and programs. For small businesses, the latter is less common but more effective in establishing new cultures, policies, and procedures.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date April 23, 2021
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Students    Environment    Worker Health

Student Spotlight: Jillian Moore

Our center stands on three pillars: Research, Education, and Practice. One of the many ways we work to protect worker is through educating and training future leaders in occupational safety and health. We support trainees in OSH disciplines across six programs through the Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC).

As part of our Student Spotlight series highlighting our trainees, we interviewed Jillian Moore, a Master's candidate in our Industrial Hygiene program based at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, CO.


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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Bringing Total Worker Health® to a Multinational Agribusiness in Latin America

Researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health have published a paper in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health studying the effectiveness of applying Total Worker Health (TWH) in an international context. The study, led by a team at CHWE, is the first to examine how a TWH framework operates outside of a western context in Latin America workforces.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date March 25, 2021
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment    Worker Health

$3 Million NIH Grant for Colorado School of Public Health Worker Health Study

Three groups from the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) have been awarded a $3 million 5-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the effects of air pollution and climate on the kidney health of sugarcane workers in Guatemala. The award provides funding to identify how air pollutants contribute to chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu), a growing international epidemic.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date March 25, 2021
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Community    Firearm Injury Prevention    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Gun Violence Prevention

Open Letter to CO Lawmakers: Fix Our Broken Relationship With Guns

An open letter to: City of Louisville City Council; State Representative Tracey Barnett; State Senator Sonja Jacquez Lewis; Representative Joe Neguse; Representative Jason Crow; Representative Dianne DeGuette; Representative Ed Perlmutter; Representative Lauren Bohbert; Representative Ken Buck; Representative Doug Lamborn; Senator Michael Bennet; Senator John Hickenlooper; and Governor Jared Polis. Dr. Katie Dickinson is a Boulder native, a current Louisville resident, and an Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Colorado School of Public Health.


Author Katie Dickinson | Publish Date March 24, 2021
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Environment    Worker Health

Carol Brown Has Her Finger on the Pulse of Our Center

If you are in academia, you already understand the value of a person like Carol Brown. Research and educational programs are only as good as their design. You may have an intriguing hypothesis, quality instructors, strong syllabi, proper funding, and high enrollment, but without proper design and evaluation, your initiatives will not be successful.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date March 24, 2021
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Environment    Global Health    Worker Health

Crossing Continents: Global Worker Health with Lyndsay Krisher

Agua, suero, descanso y sombra. These words hang on the wall of the sugarcane company clinic in Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa, Guatemala. The sign translates to water, electrolytes, rest, and shade. Lyndsay Krisher, however, is not in the clinic. She is out in the field coordinating a team before they begin their field research with sugarcane workers. The team, based at the Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH), is seeking to better understand Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Origin (CKDu), an epidemic that is affecting agricultural workers throughout Latin America.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date March 09, 2021
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Research    Epidemiology    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Climate Health    Environment

Four CSU Researchers Selected for NASA Team Studying Air Quality and Health

Three atmospheric scientists and one epidemiologist from Colorado State University will interpret NASA data for public benefit as part of NASA’s Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team. The team’s goal is to translate information from NASA satellites, models and surface observations to help officials make decisions to protect public health.


Author Jayme DeLoss | Publish Date March 05, 2021
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Community    COVID-19    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Community Health    Environment

ColoradoSPH at CSU Faculty Help Fight the Pandemic with Groundbreaking Research

The ColoradoSPH at CSU faculty have stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide important research and essential work in understanding the virus, how to slow the spread, and how to help end the pandemic. This work has had local, national and international impact. 


Author Megan Jansson | Publish Date February 03, 2021
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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Community Health    Environment    Health Advocacy    Health Policy

Shaping National Public Health Policies with Science

Professors and faculty members at most research universities spend the bulk of their professional time in well-known academic pursuits: teaching, researching, collaborating with colleagues, and leading the next generation of experts in their respective fields. Less apparent are hundreds of hours some volunteer to present at conferences, provide testimony for policies, and collaborate on scientific committee work, publish papers, and review others’ work for publication. 


Author Tyler Smith | Publish Date January 26, 2021
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Environment    Worker Health

Dr. Gwen Fisher Remains Hopeful

COVID-19 has highlighted something Dr. Gwen Fisher has always known to be true; worker health and well-being is important.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date January 13, 2021
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Research    COVID-19    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Environment

Colorado State University Teams Up with UCHealth to Develop COVID-19 Biobank

Devin Kadis, a fourth-year student at Colorado State University, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, in August 2020. It’s been a journey, which unfortunately is not yet over. 


Author Mary Guiden | Publish Date December 17, 2020
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Community    COVID-19    Epidemiology    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Food Safety

Guest Commentary: Science Supports Closing Indoor Dining. The Restaurant Industry will be Devastated Without Rapid, Robust Economic Support

The science is clear. The riskiest places for the spread of the coronavirus are indoor spaces where people are not wearing masks. Indoor restaurants are, alas, ideal locations for the spread of infections. 


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COVID-19    Mental Health    Infectious disease    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Study Published on the Well-Being of Small Business Workers During COVID-19

During the month of May when the pandemic was starting to take hold, researchers from the Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) performed a study to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the well-being of workers in Colorado. The team evaluated changes to employees’ work and home life resulting from COVID-19 and individual perceptions of workplace safety and health climates. These climates reflect employee perceptions of how committed their employer is to their safety and health. They are commonly used as an indicator of organizational safety and health cultures.


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Environment    Worker Health

A Doctor Who Ended Up Someplace Else

There was no path for Brian Williams outside of medicine. As he saw it, from the view of his small town in Mississippi, he could be a doctor, a teacher, or a lawyer, and he chose doctor. Yet in many ways, Brian now finds himself operating as all three of those roles.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date December 14, 2020
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COVID-19    Infectious disease    Environment    Worker Health

COVID-19, Work & Motherhood

Every day in this pandemic seems like Groundhog Day, and yet, I try my utmost to live with gratitude. I am thankful that our family has stayed healthy, that we are employed, that we have access to the great outdoors and to fresh air. But the reality is, the last eight months as a working mother have been just plain hard.


Author Liliana Tenney, DrPH, MPH | Publish Date December 10, 2020
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Community    COVID-19    Vaccinations    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

How Promising is the Vaccine News if People Won’t Take It?

The last few weeks have brought a key tool in the fight against coronavirus: Moderna recently announced that a vaccine in Phase 3 trials was nearly 95 percent effective, exceeding even the most optimistic projections. Pfizer and BioNTech have also made similar announcements. 


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Alumni    Environment    Worker Health

Preventive Medicine Meets Occupational Health with Ngozi Obi

Ngozi Obi’s medical qualifications are impressive, to say the least. They are extensive, to say a bit more. After graduating from Abia State University and completing her National Youth Service in her home country of Nigeria, she worked briefly as a general practitioner prior to emigrating to the U.S. After passing the United States Medical Licensing Examinations, she was accepted into the Internal Medicine Residency program at the University of Maryland Prince Georges’ Hospital Center in Cheverly, MA and at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C. Afterwards, Ngozi completed her residency training in General Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Colorado while obtaining her Master’s in Public Health in Epidemiology from the Colorado School of Public Health.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date October 26, 2020
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Environment

When Fracking Moves Into The Neighborhood, Mental Health Risks Rise

Hydraulic fracturing has boomed in the U.S. over the past decade, but unless you live near it, you may not realize just how close fracking wells can be to homes and schools. In Colorado, the wellbore — the hole drilled to extract oil or gas — can be 500 feet from someone’s house under current state rules. In some states, like Texas, drilling can be even closer.


Author Stephanie Malin | Publish Date October 22, 2020
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Awards    Environment    Worker Health

Health Links™ Annual Awards Ceremony: Celebrating Colorado’s Healthiest Places to Work 2020

Each year, Health Links celebrates Colorado employers committed to workplace health, safety, and well-being. Although we were unable to celebrate in-person, this year’s virtual event aptly honored the award winners and finalists for their achievements in the workplace while providing attendees the opportunity to network and gain inspiration from other employers pursuing health and safety in their workplaces.


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Awards    Environment    Worker Health

The Center for Health, Work & Environment Recognizes Key Players in its First Annual Recognition Event

(AURORA, Colo.) - The Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) based at the Colorado School of Public Health, is dedicated to promoting the health, safety, and well-being of workers. On October 6th, CHWE hosted its first annual recognition event to honor the commitment and achievements of some of its key partners.  


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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment

Act Now on Wildfires, Global Climate Change for Human Health, Study Says

Immediate actions are needed to limit the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change that helps fuel wildfires, and ultimately affects human physical and psychological health according to a new report published in the New England Journal of Medicine.


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Environment    Worker Health

Integrating Work, Life, Health, and Safety with David Shapiro

David Shapiro took his liberal arts education as an invitation. His early college courses had sparked an interest in African culture, which quickly inspired David to spend the first half of his junior year studying abroad in Zimbabwe. After returning to school, he paired his Anthropology major with the African History major he created.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date October 08, 2020
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Environment    Worker Health

OSHA Makes Final Rule Revising Beryllium Standard

Dr. Lee Newman, Director at the Center for Health, Work & Environment based at the Colorado School of Public Health, has researched one element on the periodic table—beryllium—and its effect on worker health for more than three decades. Beryllium is a lightweight metal often used to manufacture aerospace technology and everyday goods, from golf clubs to bicycles. Exposure to this element’s dust, even a minuscule amount, is toxic. Beryllium can cause a range of serious health issues, including an incurable lung disease called chronic beryllium disease (CBD).


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Students    Environment    Worker Health

Ergonomic Design for Every Body: A Fashion Professional’s Journey into Occupational Health

You may recognize Kayna Hobbs from the TEDxCSU talk she gave in March 2020. Kayna discussed a project she worked on that used 3D body scanning for apparel design. But allow us to rewind; the road in which this TEDx talk marks the midway point takes a few interesting twists and turns.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date August 20, 2020
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COVID-19    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Environment

National Academies Workshop Will Address Airborne Transmission of COVID-19

Much is still unknown about the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. That includes the extent to which the virus spreads through tiny particles called aerosols dispersed via speech or breath, in addition to the more widely accepted view of transmission through respiratory droplets. A national panel of experts will convene Aug. 26-27 to discuss this topic of pressing concern for public health.

The Environmental Health Matters Initiative, part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, will host the two-day virtual workshop to delve into the rapidly evolving science around the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. It will serve as a forum for interdisciplinary discussion, explanations of basic foundational sciences, and clarification of terminology across different fields.

 


Author Anne Manning | Publish Date August 11, 2020
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Training    Worker Health

$9 Million CDC Grant for Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Health, Work & Environment

The Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health has been awarded a $9 million five-year training and research grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve worker health, safety and well-being. The award from the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provides continued support for the Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC), under the direction of University of Colorado Distinguished Professor Lee Newman, MD, MA and Colorado State University Professor Stephen Reynolds, PhD.  


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Environment    Worker Health

How a US Navy Nuclear Machinist Became a Health Physicist

Aboard the USS George Washington in 2014, Nuclear Machinist Mate 2nd Class Anna Deak was checking items off a list. Her tasks never crossed her mind as having anything to do with safety. While on the ship, Deak was conducting a survey of contamination and radiation levels both in and outside of the ship’s nuclear power plant.

As a nuclear machinist, Deak enjoyed the mental rigor and high security clearance required for her work, but its implications on occupational safety and health (OSH) had in no way yet entered her mind.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date June 26, 2020
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

Study Examines Environmental Justice Impact of Senate Bill 181 in Colorado

In Colorado, Senate Bill 181 (SB19-181) is changing the way oil and gas development is regulated, and one of the main effects of the bill is a large shift towards increased local control over siting decisions. In a first of its kind study, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded researchers in Colorado a $730,000 grant to examine the impact of the bill and whether or not shifting oil and gas decision-making to the local level will lead to fairer outcomes for marginalized communities. 

“Poor communities and communities of color persistently face higher risks to their health and well-being. Recent events have shown that this is true for a wide range of risks. Some of these risks are linked to policies that affect where environmental hazards like oil and gas operations are cited,” said Katie Dickinson, PhD, assistant professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, and principal investigator in the study. 

The new study conducted by the Colorado School of Public Health at the Anschutz Medical Campus in partnership with the University of Colorado Denver and Colorado School of Mines will look at how the bill is impacting Colorado’s towns and cities, and how its effects may differ for individuals and communities across racial and class lines. 

“Disadvantaged communities are disproportionately impacted by pollution and do not have equal access to environmental goods,” Dickinson adds. “Being able to contribute to a framework for decision-making around oil and gas siting, that also takes into account a community’s social and environmental disadvantages, is key to protecting the health and wellbeing of our most vulnerable citizens.” 

More specifically, the research is aimed at answering three questions:
1) Do socially disadvantaged communities tend to be closer to oil and gas development than communities that have more resources?
2) Do these disadvantaged communities have equal access to information about the risks and benefits of oil and gas development that could affect where they choose to live and if they choose to get involved politically?
3) Will increasing local government control over oil and gas siting lead to more equitable siting decisions and broader access to those decision-making activities?

“Our innovative framework examines geographical patterns of development alongside the decision-making processes that goes into oil and gas development, bridging two main areas of environmental justice research,” said Deserai Crow, PhD, associate professor at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver, and co-principal investigator. “Our project offers methodological innovation by using multiple datasets at different spatial scales, which is especially important for rural areas where capturing proximity of people to increasingly intensive oil and gas operations has been challenging in past studies.” 

To answer the first question, the researchers will analyze large geospatial datasets to assess the distribution of oil and gas impacts, triangulating between multiple datasets and analyses at different levels of spatial aggregation to evaluate how these methodological choices affect results. The second question will be addressed using a household survey in purposefully selected Colorado case study sites. To investigate the third question, the researchers will use a mixed-methods analysis of local decision maker surveys, policy documents, and in-depth interviews, focusing specifically on policy and rulemaking changes following the April 2019 passage of SB181. 

“Everyone deserves equal protection from environmental risks and opportunities to participate in decision-making processes that affect local environmental and health outcomes. In Colorado, this means that communities should be meaningfully involved in decision-making around issues that affect their local environments such as oil and gas development, especially given the far-reaching economic, social and environmental impact of the industry. Our goal is to provide useful information for local communities, Colorado state-level policymakers, and national leaders who are engaged in oil and gas decision-making,” Dickinson adds.


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Environment    Worker Health

Behind the Screenings with Joelle Wedel

In 1987, Joelle Wedel began a summer internship at National Jewish Health while studying biology at Colorado College. It was here that Joelle met Dr. Lee Newman, working as a pulmonary physician, who would end up being her mentor far beyond just her college years.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date May 29, 2020
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Community    COVID-19    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

Politico: The Blue State that Gambled on an Early Reopening

On April 20, Colorado’s coronavirus curve was still on an upward trajectory, with some 10,000 cumulative cases reported and nearly 450 deaths. That day, the state’s Democratic first-term governor, Jared Polis, stepped in front of American and Colorado flags in the ornate Palm Room of the governor’s mansion and announced his state would be among the first to reopen its economy. 


Author Politico | Publish Date May 28, 2020
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Press Coverage    Environment    Food Safety

Is Takeout and Delivery Food Safe?

As America begins to reopen for business, restaurants in several states have reopened for indoor dining. Others, like those in Connecticut and New Mexico, are serving outdoors only. Restaurants in New York City and Los Angeles allow no sit-down service at all. 

In most places, takeout and delivery are still the most available and convenient option for those who would rather not cook during the coronavirus pandemic. But many questions remain about the risks of those methods. Here are some answers from food-safety specialists and public health experts. 

If the restaurant you’re ordering from doesn’t offer delivery, takeout is still a relatively safe option. But the proximity of other customers, waiting for their food, may pose a hazard.  “If you are going to go to all these steps of taking the sushi out of the packaging and washing your hands, make sure you don’t go to the ‘in’ place that has 20 people packed in the vestibule to do pickup,” said Elizabeth Carlton, an assistant professor of environmental health at the Colorado School of Public Health.   


Author The New York Times | Publish Date May 27, 2020
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Environment    Training    Worker Health

New Publication Outlines Training Standards for Total Worker Health® Professionals

In a newly published paper in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Education and Training to Build Capacity in Total Worker Health®: Proposed Competencies for an Emerging Field, experts in the field of Total Worker Health have proposed the first set of core competencies for training professionals entering the discipline.


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Giving    Environment    Worker Health

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

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.


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Press Coverage    Environment    Worker Health

Is the Customer Always Right if They Refuse to Wear a Mask?

At the Starbucks where she works, Elizabeth and her coworkers are doing everything they can to protect against the coronavirus. They take their temperatures at the beginning of every shift, wash their hands every 30 minutes, wear masks at all times, and do their best to stay 6 feet apart from each other while preparing lattes and frappuccinos. But they can’t control their customers. 


Author Vox | Publish Date May 19, 2020
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Community    COVID-19    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

The Verge: Elon Musk's Battle to Reopen Tesla's Fremont Plant May Shape His Legacy

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that some manufacturing in the state would be allowed to resume on May 8; but if the state and the county disagree, the more restrictive order is the one that matters. And although some counties may go slower than the state in reopening business, no one may go faster, according to Sonia Angell, the head of the state’s department of public health. 


Author The Verge | Publish Date May 15, 2020
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COVID-19    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

The Atlantic: A Guide to Staying Safe as States Reopen

May marks a new phase of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Across the country, retail stores, restaurants, and other businesses are beginning to reopen. According to the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, just over half of states had eased their public-health restrictions in one way or another as of the start of this week, with more states to follow soon. 


Author The Atlantic | Publish Date May 07, 2020
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Environment    Worker Health

While Science Moves Slow, Lili Tenney Moves Fast

In 2006, while the economy was heading into a downturn, an economic trend was on the rise. Businesses, specifically small entrepreneurs, were exploring new ways of practicing corporate social responsibility. Lili Tenney, a recent college graduate with a business degree from the University of Colorado Boulder, was intrigued by this corporate trend. Having started a mission-driven retail business (LiKi FAIRE) with her sister, Lili was exploring new and creative ways for companies to positively impact communities. 


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date May 06, 2020
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Community    COVID-19    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Environment

CSU Engineers Will Design Medical-Grade, Mass-Producible Masks for COVID-19 Response

In the state of Colorado’s response to COVID-19, among its first priorities is protecting frontline medical workers by providing them with enough personal protective equipment – face shields, gowns, and masks that filter out viral particles.


Author Anne Manning | Publish Date May 05, 2020
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COVID-19    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

Live Science: Did You Already Have Coronavirus in January or February?

With the recent news that two Californians died of COVID-19 in February, three weeks earlier than the United States' first known death from the disease, it has become clear that the coronavirus was spreading in the United States long before it was detected by testing. 


Author Live Science | Publish Date May 05, 2020
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Community    Community and Practice    Sustainability    Environment    Worker Health

Top Tips for How Academia Can Be More Sustainable

As global climate change continues to threaten the health of the planet and impact our lives, sustainable business practices are becoming increasingly important. As part of earning my Master’s in Public Health at the Colorado School of Public Health, I created and performed a sustainability audit of the Center for Health, Work & Environment. I specifically studied the travel practices of the Center, as travel is a significant producer of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, one of the major contributing factors to climate change. As part of the Center’s mission to help organizations create sustainable workforces, it aims to promote the sustainability of the planet by lowering its own carbon footprint. 

Based on the results of my project, I’ve created the following tips for ways academic organizations can decrease their carbon footprint, specifically regarding travel practices. 

1. Perform an office carbon audit to measure your organization’s carbon footprint All types of organizations contribute to GHG emissions in a variety of ways. By identifying the various sources of carbon emissions and energy usage in the workplace, you can effectively create strategies for reduction. 

2. Conduct and promote travel in an eco-friendly manner Air travel is one of the fastest-growing sources of GHG emissions, resulting in a large environmental impact, and globally contributes to 2.8% of the world’s total CO2 emissions. Car travel also has a negative environmental impact. Flying direct and to the closest airport to your destination, taking public transportation or ride shares on trips, and incentivizing carpooling and public transportation are achievable ways to decrease the environmental impact of individual travel.   

3. Host virtual events Holding events is an integral part of conducting business, specifically in academic settings, and allows people to form and build relationships, network, and share knowledge. However, in-person events also leave behind a considerably large carbon footprint. Hosting virtual conferences and events can cater to a broader audience while lowering the carbon footprint associated with travel. Going virtual also offers a more time-and cost-efficient alternative for both hosts and attendees. Zoom's webinar function and Zoom breakout rooms are engaging ways to hold meetings in a virtual format, enabling more realistic and personable interactions between attendees. 

4. Redesign meetingsBy consolidating meeting days and allowing them to be hosted virtually, fewer employees are required to be present in the office throughout the week. Decreasing the number of days employees need to travel to the office decreases their commuter-related carbon emissions. Holding offsite meetings in a central location with close proximity to public transportation enables employees to travel via public transportation instead of driving. 

The American Public Transportation Association estimates that public transit saves roughly 1.4 billion gallons of gas annually, which translates to about 14 million tons of CO2. Traveling by bus is about 30% more emission-efficient than traveling by single-occupancy vehicle and traveling by rail is about 75% more emission-efficient than traveling by single-occupancy vehicle. 

5. Encourage remote work and telecommuting 
At the Center for Health, Work & Environment, employees commute roughly 2,000 miles per week, emitting an estimate of 1800 pounds of CO2. Encouraging employees in flexible roles to work from home a few days a week can greatly reduce the amount of CO2 emitted in commuting. Consider using online applications as a way to foster connectedness and communication while employees are not physically working together. Slack or Microsoft Teams are popular solutions that allow employees to continue inter-office communication in real-time while working remotely.   

6. Create a healthy meeting and event catering policy
A vegetarian diet greatly reduces an individual and organization’s carbon footprint. A meat-based diet contributes to over 50% of GHG contribution, while a vegetarian diet contributes to only about 9%. Consider offering only vegetarian meal options at employee gatherings or meetings of all sizes. Also consider ordering from local restaurants, which not only reduces travel time for food delivery (reducing GHG emissions) but is also an opportunity to support the local economy. Don’t forget to tell caterers when you do and don’t need items like plastic or compostable utensils, cups and plates to cut down on waste.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date May 04, 2020
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COVID-19    Students    Epidemiology    Student and Alumni    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

“That’s Why We Went Into Public Health”: ColoradoSPH Students Volunteer with Local Organizations During COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the first COVID-19 case was reported in Colorado on March 5, more than 150 ColoradoSPH students have volunteered their time to support health agencies, labs, and local health organizations.


Author Tori Forsheim | Publish Date April 29, 2020
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Community    COVID-19    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment

Undark: Air Pollution Could Make People More Vulnerable to COVID-19

In major cities around the globe, the sky often bears a brown haze. While air quality in the United States has improved in recent decades, industrial pollution remains a persistent public health hazard, stemming from any number of sources — vehicles, boilers, power plants, construction equipment, boats, and commercial cooking facilities, to name just a few. The people who live nearby are chronically exposed to contaminated air, and this exposure can compromise their lungs and hearts. Under these conditions, the rate of chronic illnesses increases, and so does the likelihood of developing a serious respiratory disease like Covid-19.  


Author Undark | Publish Date April 16, 2020
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Community    COVID-19    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    Environment    Worker Health

Research Day Reflections

A wave of emotions swept over me as I read the University’s notice that we would no longer be able to hold in-person events larger than 75 people due to COVID-19. This news would inevitably threaten the long-anticipated 12th annual Research Day Symposium, an event that the Center for Health, Work & Environment had been planning for an entire year. Although disappointment swept the office, Center Director Lee Newman remained positive. Knowing the importance of this event to students, instructors, and environmental and occupational health professionals, Lee encouraged us to hold the event in an online format. Our team huddled together every day for two weeks to figure out how to make the event happen, using it as an opportunity to hold the first virtual Research Day which turned out to be a great success!   

Dr. John Howard, the director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) began the day with a keynote presentation on the future of work and technology, an apt subject for a virtual conference. Students from each of the five Mountain and Plains Education & Research Center (MAP ERC) programs presented platform presentations, posters, and 5-minute ignite sessions. The 100 virtual attendees were highly engaged, listening and participating in interactive Q&A discussions.   

The following students were awarded by a panel of judges made up of academics and professionals for the best poster presentation in each of the five MAP ERC program categories and environmental and occupational health, as well as an award for the best platform presentation:   


Author Sarah Levine | Publish Date April 08, 2020
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Research    Mental Health    Suicide Prevention    Environment    Worker Health

Mental Health in the Mountains

Mental health is at the front and center as our world faces the coronavirus pandemic. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 9.6 million American adults suffer from a serious mental illness —that is 1 in 5 adults. Mountain and rural communities, ski towns specifically, have significantly higher rates of suicide compared to the national average (14.0 per 100,000). Destinations such as Telluride and Aspen in Colorado and Alta and Snowbird in Utah have up to two to three times as many suicides as the national average. It has been referred to as the “paradise paradox”.” With the allure of the West’s landscapes and outdoor lifestyles often comes a host of realities including isolation, lack of mental health care, easy access to firearms, and financial stressors. Experts from the University of Colorado Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center have also cited the social makeup of these communities as a contributing factor to mental health conditions and suicide. The transient nature of resort communities results in people having to regularly rebuild their support systems. 

Last September, we partnered with community groups in Summit County, Utah to invite local employers to share their perspectives on the topic. Representatives from the tourism and service industries expressed the significant mental health struggle their communities face. One participant, an owner of a local restaurant group, summed it up as a “toxic work environment.” “You have people who come here to live the dream but have to work three jobs just to get by,” he explained. “We live and work in a place with primarily seasonal jobs which come with income instability, very high demands, and stress in peak times.” Other participants shared how they support employees by shifting schedules to allow employees to take days off even at busy times. “Overall, we heard from local business leaders that mental health is an issue they care about. They want to find solutions to ensure that their workforce is safe not only when they come to work, but when they go home,” shared Lili Tenney, director of outreach at the Center for Health, Work & Environment. “These employers often face ongoing struggles just to stay in business, so to have people take time off to share their personal stories and commitment to take action was very encouraging.” 

In response to the workforce needs of these communities, our Center partnered with the Depression Center to host two days of workshops in February for mental health and suicide prevention in the workplace. The in-person trainings focused on reducing stigma, identifying warning signs, gaining crucial conversation skills, and establishing adaptable workplace supports. The first day trained 150 employees from Vail Resorts representing seven company divisions including base and mountain operations, hospitality, skier services, and corporate administration. The group of supervisors ranged from 25-66+ years of age and responded in pre and post surveys that they had all been in contact with someone who appeared to be experiencing mental health challenges at work. Sixty-nine percent of them reported being in contact with someone who appeared suicidal. The second day was hosted by the Park City Chamber of Commerce and brought together managers and supervisors from the service and tourism industries. Participants improved their knowledge about suicide from pre-training (3.1/5) to post-training (4.1/5) and improved their ability to get help for someone considering suicide from pre-training (3.4/5) to post-training (4.6/5). 

“Employers in these communities are eager to play a role in supporting their employees,” says Tenney. “While our work at the Center aims to serve workers across the Western region, we are focused on developing community models that provide education and resources to help prevent mental illness and suicide in all places where access to care is lacking and risk factors are high.” 

To receive more information on supporting employees, visit our Health Links Resource Center and training opportunities.   

Special thanks to Alex Yannacone, Director of Education and Community Programs at the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center, CONNECT Summit County, Park City Chamber of Commerce, and Vail Resorts.   


Author Liliana Tenney, DrPH, MPH | Publish Date April 07, 2020
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Community    Community and Practice    Cannabis    Environment    Training    Worker Health

Health and Safety Training for Cannabis Cultivation Workers

The commercial cannabis industry continues to grow in Colorado and nationwide, demanding the need for a new workforce to be trained in occupational safety and health (OSH). In 2016, educators at the Center for Health, Work & Environment designed and delivered a full-day, in-person workshop for cannabis cultivation workers—one of the first learning experiences in the country of this kind. The course was an overview of OSH hazards and topics critical to the industry including chemical exposures, repetitive motion disorders, lockout/tagout, machine guarding, and personal protective equipment. A total of 208 people attended the two full-day trainings. 

To ensure we continue to provide high-quality educational offerings, our center evaluates all of its continuing education activities. Our recent paper, published in the Annals of Work Exposure and Health, describes how we evaluated this specific training. We wanted to know what attendees thought about the training, whether their knowledge about OSH in the cannabis industry improved, and how their OSH concerns changed after the training. 

Our evaluation discovered that:

91% of attendees rated the training as “very good” or “excellent.”
76% of attendees reported increased knowledge.
Attendees planned to implement changes in the workplace such as conducting more safety trainings, changing safety programs and policies, improving hazards, increasing OSH communications, and performing ergonomic and hazard assessments. 

Our evaluation demonstrates that OSH concerns of attendees shifted before and after the training, reflecting a better understanding of the musculoskeletal and respiratory hazards that exist in cannabis cultivation work. The training increased workers’ awareness of OSH issues that are more concerning and hazardous in their work than issues they previously thought were the most pressing. 

A significant takeaway from this training and its evaluation is that cannabis cultivation workers are highly interested in OSH training specific to their industry. Based on the rapidly expanding legalized cannabis landscape, the industry will continue to need updated information to keep its workforce safe and healthy on the job. Our center offers an online version of this training through its continuing education platform and is in the process of developing a more extensive training in the next year.   

If you are interested in occupational safety and health training for your cannabis cultivation employees, please reach out


Author Carol Brown | Publish Date April 06, 2020
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COVID-19    Student and Alumni    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment

Colorado Springs Gazette: Should Health Concerns Trump Economic Concerns During Crisis?

Professor John Volckens’ 2,000-square-foot lab on the campus of Colorado State University is normally a place for experiments on air quality, pollution sensors, and how breathable particles can trigger disease. 


Author Colorado Springs Gazette | Publish Date April 06, 2020
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COVID-19    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Environment

Engineering Lab at CSU Transformed Into Testing Site for COVID-19 medical Protective Gear

Professor John Volckens’ 2,000-square-foot lab on the campus of Colorado State University is normally a place for experiments on air quality, pollution sensors, and how breathable particles can trigger disease.


Author Mike Hooker | Publish Date April 06, 2020
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Press Coverage    Environment

Trapped at Home With People You Met on Craigslist

Somewhere between two weeks and 1 million years ago, when it first became clear that the coronavirus pandemic would require a significant lifestyle change, the inhabitants of my four-person Washington, D.C., apartment convened a meeting. We would try to wash our hands more, we agreed, and make ample use of our nice-smelling disinfectant spray. But beyond that, we struggled to reach a consensus on how our household would stay safe. Two of us don’t own desks, and there isn’t enough space to work together at the dining-room table. Three of us wanted to take the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines very seriously and begin social distancing right away. The other one didn’t. “I’m still going out this weekend,” this roommate insisted. “I’m not going to stop living!”


Author The Atlantic | Publish Date April 02, 2020
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Students    Student and Alumni    Environment    Worker Health

Student Spotlight: Rebecca Clancy

When you think about occupational safety and health (OSH), what comes to mind? For some of us, we immediately think of OSHA regulations, personal protective equipment (PPE), and workplace ergonomics. For Mountain and Plains Education & Research Center (MAP ERC) trainee Rebecca Clancy, she admits to once sharing this narrow view of OSH. Prior to starting the Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) program based at Colorado State University, Rebecca acknowledges, “I did not have a good sense of what types of jobs were available in the field or the diversity of graduate training programs available. I was searching for how I could use my background in psychology to improve employee health and well-being.” Now, nearing the end of her third year in the MAP ERC, Rebecca can confidently say that her understanding of OSH has been expanded and her direction in the field defined.


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date March 30, 2020
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COVID-19    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Environment

Colorado State University to Lead Testing Qualification for Protective Masks in COVID-19 Fight

Colorado State University has been asked by Gov. Jared Polis and the State of Colorado to organize testing of personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect the state’s healthcare workers from the COVID-19 virus. CSU’s role will be to initiate and coordinate testing to provide recommendations to the state on PPE distribution. 


Author Mike Hooker | Publish Date March 26, 2020
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Community    Community and Practice    Environment    Worker Health

Faces of CHWE: Jaime Butler-Dawson

Jamie Butler-Dawson, a research instructor at the Center for Health, Work & Environment, grew up thinking she was going to be the next Dian Fossey. Environmental studies, not occupational health, was it as far as she was concerned. Instead of living in the jungle with gorillas, Jaime’s journey began with catching lizards with a fishing pole in the Idaho desert. She went on to pursue environmental studies, graduating with a wealth of options to contemplate. Jaime thought, “I don’t want to become a doctor, nor an expert lizard hunter, but I do have a strong interest in global environmental health.” She decided to obtain a Master’s in Global Health at Boston University where she began studying metal exposures in veterans through an internship with the Veterans Health Administration. The project was Jaime's first introduction to occupational health by way of her passion for environmental health. 

While at Boston University, she spent a semester abroad studying Malaria in the Philippines. Two important aspects of Jaime’s life began here; her love for karaoke (her go-to song is “Killing Me Softly” by The Fugees); and her continued exposure to occupational health. She studied Malaria risks and exposures among farmers in a place where the majority of the population work in subsistence agriculture. According to Jaime, “People going to work in the fields impacted anything I did as a researcher, such as diagnostic testing, data gathering, providing educational messaging on prevention. Everything I tried to do revolved around their work and when they could be reached outside of it.” 

After graduating with her Master’s, Jaime decided to join the U.S. Peace Corps and moved to Burkina Faso in Africa to work as a Health Extension Agent. During her time as a volunteer, Jaime focused on understanding the barriers keeping rural populations from accessing the local health clinic for early treatment, prenatal check-ups, and community health education talks. The answer was simple: work. “Even though these communities are exposed to environmental hazards, they still have to work every day,” said Jaime. “I recognized that there is a huge intersection between environmental and occupational health. You cannot understand the effects of people’s environment if you’re not also considering how work impacts their health.” 

As this reality sunk in for Jaime, she used it as a key strategy for future public health projects. “Before coming to this understanding, I felt like I was spinning my wheels. I started determining what days to hold community talks based on the days workers had off,” she said. “I began adding an economic spin to my community health talks, tying environmental exposures and health risks back to people’s jobs and livelihood.” After two years of bucket showers in a mud hut, Jaime returned to the United States and began working for the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Division of Global HIV/AIDS. Part of her work was implementing worker health programs to reduce needlestick injuries. After three years with the CDC, Jaime was looking to return to environmental health. She moved to Iowa and received her PhD in Occupational and Environmental Health from the University of Iowa conducting research on agriculture workers and their families. 

While studying in Iowa, Jaime took both environmental and occupational health classes. “Environmental health scientists don’t often realize the expertise they can get by studying occupational health,” she said. “Environmental health scientists apply occupational health exposure science, risk assessments, and analytical methods. The field is so intertwined, it’s so interdisciplinary.”

Jaime started applying her new skills in the field by exploring environmental exposures in agricultural workers in the Gambia. She made sure that her research surveys included questions about people’s work to assess how environmental exposures were associated with the pesticides they were exposed to on the job.  Jamie’s journey illustrates how closely environmental health intertwines with both occupational health and community health. “In an agricultural community, parents are working in the fields and bringing pesticide residues home to their children,” said Jaime. “If you are working in a community, you need to be aware of the household occupations and consider how people bring their work home to that community—they’re connected.” 

After completing her PhD, Jaime landed at the Colorado School of Public Health where she now works as a research instructor at the Center for Health, Work & Environment. Her experiences have come full circle at the Center where she runs field studies in agriculture studying chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu). “I had been thinking so much about public health practice,” said Jaime. “I wanted to make sure the research I would be conducting would be applied, which is what the Center prioritizes in all it does.” 

Jaime helps lead the Center’s team in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Mexico, using environmental health practices and a Total Worker Health® approach to develop and implement evidence-based, practical solutions to improve the health and well-being of the workers. "I tried to separate environmental and occupational health my whole life,” Jaime said, “but work is just too important.” 


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date March 17, 2020
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Community    Community and Practice    Environment    Worker Health

Safety Professional Organizations Adopting Total Worker Health®

Intrinsic to the effectiveness of Total Worker Health® (TWH) is its adoption and adaptation by working professionals across disciplines. From universities training professionals in health and safety; to organizations like Health Links™ mentoring employers and workplace champions; to professional organizations adopting principles and marketing them to their members; the interest in TWH is growing. The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) are two professional associations working to apply TWH to their professions and see it grow. And what better place to start with the adoption of TWH than with safety and industrial hygiene professional organizations? 

With help from our Center’s faculty and students, both ASSP and AIHA are building convening TWH task forces. These groups will strategize how to best deliver and communicate TWH to their members. Dr. Natalie Schwatka, an assistant professor for the TWH Program at the Colorado School of Public Health, sits on ASSP’s TWH task force. Intrinsic to her role as a professor, Natalie has a passion for education and cares about helping her professional community. In wondering how to bring those interests together, she thought, “’How can I combine them in the context of what I already do?’ When ASSP sent out the call for members, I was happy to join the task force. It came at the perfect time since our Center was expanding its work in the field as a NIOSH-funded Center of Excellence for TWH.”

In 2018-2019, ASSP’s TWH task force embarked on a journey to understand how ASSP could pursue TWH as a major topic area. The task force’s strategy included a national needs assessment of members to gauge their current knowledge of and engagement with TWH. A major finding from the survey was that members want and need resources to help apply TWH to their day-to-day work. Natalie has been a member of the organization’s tools and resources group which has begun to curate TWH resources for the safety professional. The group created a new section on the ASSP website devoted to listing existing TWH resources and tools for professionals with basic, intermediate, and advanced levels of TWH understanding. According to Natalie, “We’re trying to choose the best resources to keep on ASSP’s site, while developing tools the safety professional can use to assess their own work.” Natalie will continue to work with the ASSP TWH task force to create and curate more member resources for implementing evidence-based TWH practices. 

Deborah Nelson and Penny Pietrowski are members of AIHA’s TWH task force. Deborah, a retired tenured professor in environmental science from the University of Oklahoma, graduated with her Certificate in Total Worker Health® from the Colorado School of Public Health this winter and shares a passion for integrating disciplines, a core value of TWH. Penny, who enrolled in the Certificate in Total Worker Health® program this spring, works in occupational health for the US Army in the Command Surgeon’s Office of her organization. Penny is a part of the Army’s efforts to improve the workplace safety, health and well-being of its employees, soldiers and their families. “We’re trying to tie it all together and understand how TWH principles have an impact on the worker and on soldiers,” said Penny. After hearing Dr. Schwatka speak at the annual American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Expo last year, Penny said she realized that “we’re all trying to do a lot of the same things and take a more holistic approach to improve employee well-being, but we’re using different language to describe our efforts. I wanted to study TWH to understand how our paths can overlap and how we can bring come together.” 

AIHA’s committee is working on strengthening their relationships with the six NIOSH Centers of Excellence for TWH as a guide for their path forward. Similar to ASSP, AIHA hopes to see industrial hygienists understand the applicability of TWH and adopt its principles in their work. According to Deborah, AIHA’s TWH task force is working on collecting and tailoring existing TWH resources “so they are understandable and relevant for all industrial hygienists specifically.” 

We are thrilled that both former and current students, as well as our Center faculty, are participating in these TWH task forces. We look forward to the continued collaboration with ASSP and AIHA and adoption of TWH for safety and health professionals nationwide.   


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date March 11, 2020
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Research    Environment    Worker Health

New Study Finds Ways to Increase Employee Motivation in Total Worker Health® Programs

Many employers invest in Total Worker Health® (TWH) programs but struggle to engage employees in them—even when they offer incentives for participation. Findings from our recent study, in collaboration with Clemson University, published in the Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health, show that employers looking to increase employee engagement should first focus on how their organization demonstrates its commitment to TWH through leadership, values, and practices. 

Using data from the Small+Safe+Well (SSWell) Study, our team looked at 36 small businesses representing 1,052 employees implementing different levels of TWH. The study aimed to understand employee perspectives on how much their organization valued and was committed to their safety, health, and well-being. Dr. Natalie Schwatka, the study’s lead author, says, “We know these perceptions are related to employee engagement, but what we did not know was how they were related. That’s where motivation comes into play.” 

If you are an employer, you might be asking yourself, “My business has a TWH program. Isn’t that enough of a demonstration of commitment?” The answer is yes…and no. Employees make judgment calls about their organization’s commitment by observing whether TWH programs are supported by management; given adequate resources; based on employee input; and continually improved. These observations make up what are called “safety and health climates.” These climates are a snapshot of a business’s health and safety culture at one point in time. 

We find that motivation is the key link between safety and health climates and employee participation in TWH programs. As you think about what motivates you personally, consider how your organization shows that it cares about health and safety and how that impacts you.

Interestingly, we find that three kinds of motivation are at play here:  

1. External motivation – “I do it because I have to”
2. Identified motivation – “I do it because I know it’s good for me”
3. Intrinsic motivation – “I do it because it’s interesting to me” 

When your organization decides to improve safety and health climates, it is influencing each kind of motivation. Importantly, it is influencing intrinsic motivation, which is thought to be the most powerful kind of motivation. It represents an internally driven reason that causes an employee to engage in TWH programs. 

What does this mean for your business or your TWH practice? Based on our study’s findings, we recommend the following steps:   

1. Conduct an employee survey. Assess your company’s safety and health climates through an employee survey to learn whether they perceive a commitment to safety and health. *Businesses enrolled in Health Links™ Premium Plan can access our validated employee health and safety culture survey.   

2. Explore creative ways to increase engagement. Think beyond the use of incentives as they do not have a lasting impact on behavior and can actually decrease engagement when removed. Make sure management actively participate in your programs. Get feedback from diverse groups of employees. Consider not only what they need but what they want. When employees have a say in the programs, they will feel a greater sense of ownership of them.  


Author Natalie Schwatka | Publish Date March 10, 2020
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Young Sugarcane Workers at High Risk of Kidney Function Decline

Researchers from the Center for Health, Work and Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health have published a paper in PLoS-ONE studying the decline in kidney function for young, first-time sugarcane workers in Guatemala. The study, led by University of Colorado Instructor Miranda Dally, is the first to examine kidney function decline in workers starting their first day on a job with a high risk of developing Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Origin (CKDu), a rising epidemic in rural workers in Central and South America. 


Author Laura Veith | Publish Date March 09, 2020
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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Health Advocacy    Health Policy

Advocates and Lawmakers Gather at the Capitol to Talk Public Health

On February 12, students, faculty, and staff from the Colorado School of Public Health joined members of the general public and representatives from the Colorado Public Health Association (CPHA) under the rotunda for Public Health Day at the Capitol. The annual event, co-sponsored by ColoradoSPH and CPHA, provides opportunities for public health supporters to learn how to advocate for bills, meet their legislators, and see the law-making process in action. 


Author Tori Forsheim | Publish Date February 20, 2020
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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Outdoor Recreation Industry Office Launches Get Outdoors Employer Toolkit- Employers Encouraged to Take the Get Outdoors Survey

The Outdoor Recreation Industry Office at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade launched the Get Outdoors Employer Toolkit, designed for Colorado companies interested in improving the health and well-being of their employees. 


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Community    Community and Practice    Environment    Worker Health

Leadership Matters, Regardless of Business Size

Almost half of all American workers are employed by a small business. Working hard to stay afloat, these small businesses often have fewer resources for employee health and safety. They typically cannot afford robust benefits like employee assistance programs (EAPs), wellness vendors, or other health and safety programs to offer their employees. They also often lack the time, personnel, and expertise to prioritize health and safety. For this reason, researchers at the Center for Health, Work & Environment launched the Small+Safe+Well (SSWell) Study in 2017. 

The SSWell Study is an ongoing Total Worker Health® intervention study of small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) in the state of Colorado with the purpose of understanding how small businesses support the safety and health of their employees and how these businesses can improve their culture of safety and health. 

After earning my master’s in public health, I began working at the Center for Health, Work & Environment and quickly developed a passion for occupational safety and health. Workers spend so much of their lives on the job and give so much to their employers. Their safety and health should not suffer for the sake of their job. Rather, the workplace should be used as a space to promote worker health, safety, and well-being. I take this perspective and understanding in my role as study coordinator for the SSWell Study. 

Our research team recently published a paper, "Small Business Employees’ Perceptions of Leadership Are Associated With Safety and Health Climates and Their Own Behaviors," in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Leading the study, I used data from the SSWell Study consisting of 53 small businesses representing 1,271 employees. We found that employee perceptions of how much their leaders care about safety and health are significantly related to the safety and health climate of their organization. Safety and health climates refer to shared employee perceptions of how their organization values safety or health. According to our study, employee perceptions of how much their leaders care about safety and health not only informs the safety and health climates, but is also associated with employee behavior. Those individuals that expressed more positive perceptions of leadership were more likely to participate in both health and safety activities, such as attending worksite wellness meetings or becoming a member of the safety committee. To date, this is the first study addressing the impact of leadership on safety and health climates among small businesses. 


Author Erin Shore | Publish Date January 14, 2020
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Research    Epidemiology    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Environment

CU Anschutz and CSU Team Up to Fund Inter-Institutional Health Innovation Projects

One of the pillars of the Colorado School of Public Health is its collaborative model that leverages the unique strengths of three Colorado universities into one school. Comprising the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado, the collaboration now also manifests as internally-funded, inter-institutional research projects, thanks to a new jointly-funded grant program.   


Author Tori Forsheim | Publish Date January 03, 2020
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Climate Health    Environment

Studying Air Quality in China, and Creating a More Sustainable Future for Millions

As Colorado State University students were wrapping up finals and heading out for fall break, Ellison Carter was boarding a plane headed back to Colorado, following an action-packed two weeks in China.


Author Jayme DeLoss | Publish Date December 05, 2019
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    One Health    Worker Health

The Role of Veterinarians in the Opioid Crisis

More than 399,000 people died from overdoses involving prescription and illicit opioids from 1999-2017. There are many efforts to educate physicians and dentists about their roles and responsibilities in addressing this national crisis. But what about veterinarians? Animals, like humans, may receive opioids for pain. Veterinarians and veterinary clinics can be registered with the US Drug Enforcement Administration and in many states can administer, prescribe, stock, and dispense opioids. As efforts to educate and monitor opioid prescribing by medical and dental providers have increased, individuals may try to covertly access opioids for their own use from their pets or other animals. In addition, leftover opioids from veterinary prescriptions can also result in diversion, misuse, or inadvertent exposure for members of the household. Access to opioids in the workplace can also lead to misuse by veterinary staff leading to overdose and death. 


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Mental Health    Environment    Worker Health

Silence Stunts Healing: Opening Up About Mental Health in the Workplace. A Personal Note.

One in five U.S. adults lives with a mental illness[1], yet we’re loath to talk about mental health in the workplace.  We’re hesitant to ask for what we need—a flexible work schedule, a mental health day, a check-in with leadership. We don’t want to lose our jobs, be passed up for promotions, be judged by coworkers. The stigma of mental illness keeps us silent. And silence stunts healing.


Author Amanda Kujawa | Publish Date November 20, 2019
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Environment    Worker Health

How To Engage Employees in Safety Training

On October 28 and 29, the Center for Health, Work & Environment attended and served on the planning committee for the Rocky Mountain Safety Conference. The annual event, hosted by the Colorado Safety Association, brought together over 100 safety professionals in the region and focused on safety training based on a core driving principle of Total Worker Health® (TWH) – human engagement. TWH is rooted in the practice of approaching employees as more than just workers, but as human beings rooted in dignity, allowing safety professionals to seek the comprehensive health of the worker as a whole person.


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Environment    Worker Health

Improving Worker and Workplace Health: Current Status, Building Capacity and Potential New Directions

The nature of work as we know it in the U.S. is rapidly changing. The proportion of older workers is growing, the workforce is becoming more diverse, and technology continues to shape and re-shape what we do and how we do it. So how do we begin to predict what the needs are for ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of all workers? To help us answer this question, the Center for Health, Work and Environment hosted Dr. Laura A. Linnan, senior associate dean for academic and student affairs at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health as a guest presenter for our visiting scholar series to present on her latest research on this important topic.  


Author Amanda Kujawa | Publish Date November 06, 2019
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Community    Epidemiology    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Biostatistics    Community Health    Environment    Health Advocacy

Colorado School of Public Health Drops GRE Requirement

Beginning with the current 2019-2020 application cycle, the Colorado School of Public Health is eliminating the GRE as an admission requirement for its Master of Public Health (MPH) and Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) graduate programs. Immediately, applicants to the school will have the option to submit GRE scores if they feel their scores strengthen their application. Those not submitting GRE scores will not be penalized. 


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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    ColoradoSPH at CSU    Environment    Maternal & Child Health

Rice Bran Supplementation May Help Curb Malnutrition, Diarrhea for Infants in Middle and Low-Income Countries

Malnutrition is prevalent on a global scale and has numerous negative consequences for children during the first five years of life. For some children, it can mean struggling with health issues for life or a higher risk of death among those under five years of age.


Author Mary Guiden | Publish Date October 10, 2019
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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Healthcare Professionals Apply New Skills from the Certificate in Total Worker Health® Program to Their Daily Practice

For Dr. Kathryn Buikema, MPH, DO, getting to the root cause of a patient’s injury or illness is only the beginning of her journey in providing comprehensive care. Her practice extends outside the walls of the clinic to the patient’s working environment by identifying and addressing workplace hazards and advocating for prevention first and foremost—skills she gained through the Certificate in Total Worker Health® program. 


Author Dee Akers | Publish Date September 27, 2019
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment

Colorado Part of Large National Study to Evaluate Health Consequences of Toxic "Forever Chemicals" in Drinking Water

Researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus received notification of a $1 million, first-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to address the human health effects of contaminated drinking water in El Paso County, Colorado. The grant is part of the first major study to look at exposure nationwide, and six other sites are also being funded to total $7 million this year. 


Author Colorado School of Public Health | Publish Date September 23, 2019
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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Lee Newman's Career in Beryllium Exposure Illustrates the Elements of Public Health

Lee Newman’s career has been a series of “aha!” moments that have guided him across every stage of the public health spectrum. These individual moments have built upon each other to scaffold a career that led Newman to being named a Distinguished Professor by the University of Colorado Board of Regents this year—the university’s highest honor. 


Author Tori Forsheim | Publish Date September 19, 2019
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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Colorado's Healthiest and Safest Workplaces Recognized at Health Links Event

Yesterday marked the sixth annual Health Links™  event, Celebrating Colorado’s Healthiest Places to Work. In a demonstration of the state’s commitment to worker health, safety, and well-being, Governor Jared Polis proclaimed August 15th Total Worker Health® Day. Seven organizations and one individual were honored with awards for their dedication to workplace health, safety, and well-being. Poudre School District was presented with the Governor’s Award for Worksite Wellness by the Governor’s Council for Healthy and Active Lifestyles in partnership with Health Links, a program based at the Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health.   


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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

Is Treating Drinking Water Enough to Limit PFAS Exposure?

Researchers from three states that are currently grappling with water contaminated with poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), are joining forces to tackle one of the biggest remaining questions facing communities who have found the toxic chemicals used in firefighting foam, nonstick cookware and water-repellent clothing lurking in their water supply.


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Student and Alumni    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Climate Health    Environment

Climate Change Is Increasingly Damaging Human Health

There was a point in my life when the words “climate change” would recall pictures of polar bears marooned on precarious chunks of ice, bobbing aimlessly in some foreign landscape of tundra and sea. While tragic, the environmental drama playing out at such extreme latitudes always felt like an abstraction, particularly to a kid growing up in temperate Colorado.


Author Jake Fox | Publish Date January 23, 2019
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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment

Breaking Ground: Understanding the Health Implications of Oil and Gas Development

To publish research on the environmental impact of Colorado’s oil and gas industry is to resign yourself to pleasing some and not others.


Author Michael Booth | Publish Date January 09, 2019
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Climate Health    Environment

Research Confirms Blood Toxicity from Firefighting Foam Used at Peterson AFB

A partner study with Colorado School of Public Health and Colorado School of Mines, led by John Adgate, professor of environmental and occupational health has revealed increased blood toxicity in residents near Peterson Air Force Base, due to drinking water contamination from firefighting foam the facility has used in the past. It has affected the towns of Security, Widefield and Fountain, at least.  

Read news coverage in the The Gazette.  


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Community    Women's Health    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Breaking Down Gender Bias: The Business Case

On National Equal Pay Day, April 10, Dr. Stefanie Johnson from the CU Boulder Leeds School of Business shared her insights about gender bias in the workplace with a packed room of more than 40 people on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. National Equal Pay Day is a holiday that raises awareness about the gap between women’s and men’s wages. While Johnson touched on this timely issue, she also discussed many other, often insidious, consequences of bias on worker wages, organizational hiring and promotion practices, and business goals.   


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Research    Mental Health    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Depression and Fatigue Increase Women’s Risk of Work-Related Injuries

Women who suffer from depression, anxiety, and fatigue are more likely to be injured at work, according to a new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine led by researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Health, Work & Environment on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. The study found that these health factors significantly affected women’s risk of injury but not men’s risk. 


Author Avery Artman | Publish Date February 14, 2018
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Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Building Safety Culture: How Natalie Schwatka’s Research is Changing the Construction Industry

Six years ago, Dr. Natalie Schwatka stepped onto a construction site for the first time. It would not be the last. In fact, this would be the first of countless visits that would lead her to help develop a training program reaching thousands of construction workers across the country.   


Author Avery Artman | Publish Date February 01, 2018
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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

From the Clinic to the Hill: Lee Newman’s 30-Year Fight to Protect Workers from a Toxic Metal

In spring 1985, a man we’ll call Tom checked in for a seemingly routine medical appointment. In hindsight, Tom’s visit proved to be a pivotal moment in the lives of the patient, his doctor, U.S. industry, policymakers, and more than a million workers. 


Author Avery Artman | Publish Date February 01, 2018
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Alumni    Student and Alumni    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Community Health    Environment    Worker Health

Alums Help Hospitals Get Healthier With Food Options

Colorado School of Public Health Community and Behavioral Health alumni Sharon Crocco, MPH ‘12 and Katie O’Connor, MPH ‘13 saw a lack of healthy food options at hospitals in Colorado, so they are working to do something about it.   


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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Environment    Worker Health

Lee Newman: Complex Problems and the Creative Brain

Creativity, entrepreneurialism, empathy. These were hallmarks of Lee Newman’s childhood in Bayonne, N.J. “It was a household where we were encouraged to do creative stuff… with a purpose,” said Newman, director of the Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health. And he took his parents’ encouragement to heart. 


Author Trisha Kendall | Publish Date September 19, 2017
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Press Coverage    Environment    Worker Health

Our Research Informs New Federal Standard to Protect Workers From Beryllium

Dr. Newman explains the significance of a new federal standard issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to protect workers from beryllium. OSHA relied on more than 100 papers authored by Newman and his colleagues to develop the new standard, reducing exposure levels by 10 times.


Author Chicago Tribune | Publish Date January 06, 2017
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Public Health    Environment    Global Health    Worker Health

ColoradoSPH Partners With One of Central America’s Largest Sugar Producers to Improve Farm Worker Health

The Center for Health, Work & Environment and the Center for Global Health at the Colorado School of Public Health announced a new partnership with Pantaleon, one of the largest sugar producers in Central America, to further understand the health risks of sugar cane workers and improve prevention efforts.   


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Press Coverage    Environment    Worker Health

OSHA Proposes a Beryllium Safety Rule That Experts Called for Decades Ago

OSHA proposed a new standard that would limit workers exposure to beryllium, roughly ten times lower than the current level. Researchers such as Dr. Newman have long called for the agency to update beryllium exposure regulations based on the latest science. Beryllium producers and labor groups have come also come together to join the call for a new rule.


Author The New York Times | Publish Date August 07, 2015
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Colorado School of Public Health In the News

Colorado Public Radio

Coloradans’ injuries from guns have cost $8.4 million in health care in six-year span

news outletColorado Public Radio
Publish DateMay 10, 2024

Colorado has been trying to track numbers, treating firearm injuries and deaths as a public health emergency. As part of a concerted prevention push from the state, including a resource hub, that data can be found on a new online dashboard. The push comes from a partnership between the Office of Gun Violence Prevention within the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Injury and Violence Prevention Center in the Colorado School of Public Health.

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EurekAlert

Affordable Care Act expansions improved access to cancer care, study suggests

news outletEurekAlert
Publish DateMay 03, 2024

Insurance expansions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) were linked with an increase in patients receiving care at accredited cancer hospitals in Pennsylvania, according to a study published in Health Services Research by University of Pittsburgh and Colorado School of Public Health researchers.

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CU Denver News

CU Denver Community Collaborative Research Center Empowers Communities

news outletCU Denver News
Publish DateMay 02, 2024

Within the Denver metropolitan area as well as other Colorado communities, the most vulnerable residents face mounting climate-related challenges such as toxic air quality, droughts, increased fire and flood risk, and extreme weather. The Community Collaborative Research Center (CCRC) at the University of Colorado Denver facilitates participatory research, collaborative planning, and short-term projects between university researchers and grassroots and civic partners to develop equitable solutions that address the impacts of climate change and other systemic inequalities.

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The Gazette

Fountain Valley residents exposed to contaminated water see drop in forever chemical levels in blood

news outletThe Gazette
Publish DateApril 23, 2024

Fountain Valley residents are seeing the levels of forever chemicals in their blood drop over time, although the level of one substance remains high compared to people across the nation, results of recent studies show. Researcher Anne Starling, with the Colorado School of Public Health, presented the findings during a virtual meeting Tuesday that focused on early results from a multi-site forever chemical study with more than 1,000 participants from the Fountain Valley.

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