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Colorado School of Public Health News and Stories

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Research    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Suicide Prevention    Community Health    Training    Worker Health

New Training Offered to Support Teacher Mental Health During Emergency Drills

Teachers and staff shoulder a significant burden of responsibility for emergency preparedness in pre-k-12 schools. While emergency drills, including active harmer (lockdown, lockout) drills, are designed to instill confidence, they can sometimes lead to fear, anxiety and confusion. Teachers are expected to lead the drills by directing and evacuating students, locking down classrooms, providing safety checks, and emotionally supporting students. Teachers often have unanswered questions and increased anxieties associated with drills and other emergency preparedness efforts. This underscores the importance of providing necessary resources to better support the school workforce, including psychological preparedness and other mental health supports, in addition to regular access to safety and security personnel.


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Training    Worker Health

Colorado School of Public Health Team to Train Mexico’s Social Security Workers in Workplace Health, Safety and Well-Being

In August, 200 Mexican Institute of Social Security (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS)) occupational health and safety professionals from throughout Mexico will gather in Puebla, Mexico to participate in training and earn certificates in an integrated approach to worker well-being.


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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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Community    Students    Community and Practice    Student and Alumni    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    RMPHTC    Community Health    Training

Student Awardee's Initiative Leads to Unique Practicum and Capstone Experience at ColoradoSPH's Public Health Training Center

As an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Lexie King intended to study to be a nurse. Three years in, however, she changed her mind. She earned her degree in communications, with a minor in public health.


Author Tyler Smith | Publish Date May 24, 2023
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Community    Community and Practice    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    Workforce Development    Training    Worker Health

Convening Colorado Business Leaders to Create Recovery Friendly Workplaces

On January 12, 2023, the Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH), along with the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, concluded the first phase of its Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) peer learning series – a four-part virtual workshop for Colorado business leaders. Nominated participants represented a range of industries including healthcare, restaurants, hospitality, construction/utilities, local government, and education.


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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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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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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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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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Community    Students    Infectious disease    Community and Practice    Workforce Development    Training

Contact Tracing Efforts Connect Groups Across Colorado

As the Colorado School of Public Health-led modeling team considers potential trajectories of the COVID-19 pandemic, they base their forecasts on the levels of success of a few different containment strategies. Many cities and counties in Colorado have now implemented mask orders, businesses are required to maintain certain levels of social distancing as they reopen, and older adults are continuing to stay home. The state moved into the Safer-At-Home and Protect-Our-Neighbors phases while strengthening the fourth piece: aggressive case detection and containment through contact tracing.


Author Tori Forsheim | Publish Date July 17, 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    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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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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Colorado School of Public Health In the News

Colorado Public Radio

State launches first-ever firearm data dashboard meant to help Coloradans better understand gun violence, prevention

news outletColorado Public Radio
Publish DateFebruary 26, 2024

Beyond mass shootings, which generate a lot of media and public attention, gun deaths have steadily increased in Colorado for more than a decade, according to the state health department and reflected on the dashboard. During that time, state leaders and community advocates have worked to fight the trend. Now they’re turning to a new avenue — a public health approach to gun violence prevention. 

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The Denver Post

CDC chops $5 million in funding to Colorado research center working with local public health groups

news outletThe Denver Post
Publish DateFebruary 23, 2024

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to end its funding for a Colorado center that helps local public health organizations get their programs off the ground and prove they work. Colorado’s Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to the director of the CDC this week asking that the agency reconsider cutting funding to the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center.

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Colorado Public Radio

Can Colorado teachers feel more prepared for school emergencies?

news outletColorado Public Radio
Publish DateFebruary 21, 2024

Between reading, writing, and arithmetic, there are also disease outbreaks, natural disasters, and acts of violence at schools. While school districts have security and drills for these events, educators often have unanswered questions and are left feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Two Anschutz researchers wanted to change that, starting with gathering school staff’s ideas and addressing their questions about safety.

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CSU Source

What do your blood test results mean? A toxicologist explains the basics of how to interpret them

news outletCSU Source
Publish DateFebruary 07, 2024

As a toxicologist, Brad Reisfeld, a ColoradoSPH professor at CSU, studies the effects of drugs and environmental contaminants on human health. As part of his work, he relies on various health-related biomarkers, many of which are measured using conventional blood tests. Understanding what common blood tests are intended to measure can help you better interpret the results.

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