Colorado School of Public Health nets $8.1 million CDC grant

From left at the center's annual research day in March are Dr. Natalie Schwatka, an ERC and CSU alum and instructor for the Colorado School of Public Health, Dr. John Adgate, chair of the CSPH's Environmental and Occupational Health Department, and Dr. Krista Hoffmeister, an ERC and CSU alum.
From left at the center’s annual Research Day in March are Dr. Natalie Schwatka, an ERC and CSU alum and instructor for the Colorado School of Public Health, Dr. John Adgate, chair of the CSPH’s Environmental and Occupational Health Department, and Dr. Krista Hoffmeister, an ERC and CSU alum.

The Center for Health, Work and Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health has been awarded an $8.1 million 5-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to improve worker health and safety.

The award from the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provides continued support for the Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC). Founded in 2007, the Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center supports the education of occupational safety and health graduate students and physicians at CSU and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The grant will help train more than 100 new professionals dedicated to improving worker health, safety and well-being. It is one of only 18 such centers in the United States.

The new CDC grant will support master’s and PhD-level training programs in industrial hygiene, occupational ergonomics, occupational health physics, occupational health psychology, and a clinical residency program for doctors specializing in occupational and environmental medicine.

‘Critical’ funding

“This funding is critical for addressing the regional and national shortage in trained occupational health and safety professionals,” said University of Colorado Professor Lee Newman, who directs the center. “In the West, we continue to have some of the highest rates of preventable work-related fatalities, injuries, and illnesses in the country. Our graduates assume leadership positions in business, academia and government, where they help improve employee health, safety, wellness and productivity.”

The Mountain and Plains ERC serves a seven-state region, including Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. In addition to providing educational opportunities, the grant supports high-impact research relevant to the region, which focuses on addressing work-related health issues in industries such as mining, energy, health care, agriculture, and small businesses. It also provides a platform for delivery of state-of-the-art online courses for practicing occupational safety and health professionals.

From left at Research Day are Thomas Johnson, associate professor at CSU and training director of the MAP ERC Health Physics program, with students Ammon Langley, Amanda VanDyke and Laura Krause.
From left at Research Day are Thomas Johnson, associate professor at CSU and training director of the MAP ERC Health Physics program, with students Ammon Langley, Amanda VanDyke and Laura Krause.

“Our faculty and students at CSU and CU collaborate to provide practical, evidence-based solutions for businesses ranging from ranches and dairy farms to hospitals and construction companies,” said Dr. Newman. “The goal is to make Colorado and the region a healthier and safer place to do business.”

About the center

The Center for Health, Work and Environment (CHWE) is a center within the Colorado School of Public Health. The Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC) makes up one of the largest program areas in worker health and safety training, research, and continuing education within the CHWE. 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 wellness.

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 ColoradoSPH’s updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

CSU University Communications Staff