Debra Milek, PhD, MD, MPH

Associate Professor, Medicine - General Internal Medicine (Primary department)
Adjunct Associate Professor, Env. and Occ. Health Sciences
Dr. Debra Milek is a Occupational Medicine board certified physician. Since July 2012, she has enjoyed an adjunct faculty appointment in DEOHS while holding a primary appointment in General Internal Medicine. She is the Medical Director of both the Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) Clinic at Harborview and the Harborview Center of Occupational Health Education (COHE). Additionally, she serves as co-Medical Director for the UW Employee Health Clinic, EH&S Campus Preventive Health, and Lead of the Occupational Medicine section of Harborview Injury Prevention Research Center (HIPRC).

Dr. Milek re-established the exposure science collaboration with the OEM clinic at Harborview and is currently working to restore the clinic’s previous status as Labor and Industries’ Chemically Related Illness Center. She has been awarded a SHIP grant for 2015 involving UW Facilities Services custodians in a participatory ergonomics project. Most recently, she has been invited to join the Safe Patient Handling Committee at Harborview which attempts to address the greatest source of WC costs at Harborview and UWMC. She is involved in patient care, resident training, teaching in DEOHS, faculty education, and has input to the WC system of L&I through her role as COHE medical director.

In the next year, Dr. Milek will be involved as the Principle Investigator of the SHIP grant which looks to prevent Facilities Services custodian injuries, the third largest source of UW WC claims, with the goal of generalizing the findings to other custodians at UW and across Washington State. As an occupational medicine clinician seeing HMC employee injuries, she is in a position to influence some policies regarding safe patient handling which would be generalizable to the many health care facilities in the state. It is expected that in 2015 HMC will once again resume its role as the Center for Chemically Related Illness for the workers of Washington state.

Contact Information

Harborview Medical Center
Box: 359739
325 9th Ave
Tel: 206-744-9377
Fax: 206-744-9935

Research Interests

  • Occupational injury and disease, Developing effective health and safety programs for workers

Teaching interests

Course Director, Environmental Health 597
Preceptor, Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic, Harborview Medical Center


PhD, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Pathobiology, University of South Carolina, 1982
MD, School of Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 1985
MPH, Public Health, Columbia University, 1988


Participatory Ergonomics: Early Identification and Reduction of Risk

Dr. Milek directs a study developing ergonomic interventions for use among a multiethnic population of University of Washington custodians.
Selected Publications

Bradley SM, Stanislavski MA, Behlman DB, Monteith LL, Cohen BE, Schilling JH, Hunt SC, Milek D, Maddox TM, Ho P, Shore S, Varosy PD, and Rumsfeld JS. “Invasive Coronary Procedure Use and Outcomes Among Patients with Post – Traumatic Stress Disorder; Insights from the Veterans Affairs Clinical Assessment, Reporting and Tracking Program “. Am Heart J 168(3):381-390, 2014.

Milek D, Section 4: “Aerosolized Medications”.   IN: Controlling Health Hazards to Hospital Workers, A Reference Guide, 86-88, ed Freund A and Gorman T, 2013.

Lucchini RG, Crane MA, Crowley L, Globina Y, Milek D, Boffetta P and Landrigan PJ “The World Trade Center health surveillance program: results of the first 10 years and implications for prevention” G Ital Med Lav Erg 34:3, Suppl, 529-533,, 2012.

Crane M, Milek D, Globina Y, Seifu L and Landrigan P. “An Overview: Health Effects of the World Trade Center 9/11 Disaster” Fire Technology, DOI
10.1007/s10694-012-0284-7, Print ISSN 0015-2684, Online ISSN 1572-8099, Springer US, 2012.

Freund A, Zuckerman N, Baum L and Milek D. "Submicron particle monitoring of paving and related road construction operations". J Occ Env Hyg, 9(5):298-307, 2012.

Klees J, Glass L, Milek D, Ratliff D, Regan,L.  Chapter 2: “The General Approach to Initial Assessment and Documentation” IN: Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines: Evaluation and Management of Common Health Problems and Functional Recovery in Workers, 17-40, ed. Hegman K, Third Edition, Pub ACOEM 2011.

Klees J, Milek D, Ratliff D, Regan L. Chapter 3: “The Initial Approaches to Treatment”. IN: Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines: Evaluation and Management of Common Health Problems and Functional Recovery in Workers, 41-50, ed. Hegman K, Third Edition, Pub ACOEM 2011.

Crane MA, Milek D, Globina Y, Seifu L and Landrigan P. Editorial, “The Lessons of September 11”. Industrial Health 49, 673-676, 2011.

Rosen MA, Caravanos J, Milek D and Udasin I “An innovative approach to interdisciplinary occupational safety and health education” Am J Ind Med 54 (7)515-520, 2011.

Piligian G, Szeinuk J, Levin S, Moline J, Milek D, Afilaka, A Wilk-Rivard, E “Nonspecific triggers also provoke occupational asthma”. Am J Respir Crit Care 2006 Feb 1;173(3):357.

Cone J, Chazin C, Sadovik C, Kass K, Hacker M, Milek D “Carbon Monoxide Health Effects”

Levin S, Herbert R, Skloot G, Szeinuk J, Teirstein A, Fischler D, Milek D, Piligian G, Wilk-Rivard E, Moline J.  “Health Effects of World Trade Center Workers”. Am J Ind Med. Dec;42(6):545-7, 2002.

Milek D, Sarvas, H, Greenfield S, Weise and Brostoff S:  “An Immunological
Characterization of the Basic Proteins of Rodents PNS Myelin”.  1981 Brain Research
208 (2), pp. 387-396.  1980.

Levit S, Powers J, Milek D, Brostoff S:  “Peptide Length Requirement for Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis in Guinea Pigs”.  Neurochem. Volume: 5 Issue: 1 Pages: 37-42   DOI: 10.1007/BF00964458.  1980

Sarvas H, Milek D, Weise M, Carnow T, Fudenberg H. and Brostoff S: “Radioimmunoassay for the P2 Protein  of  Bovine  Peripheral  Nervous  System Myelin”.  J. Immunol. 124 (2), pp. 557-564.  1980

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