Editor’s note: This is part of an occasional series of Q-and-A interviews with students in the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS).
A survey of healthcare providers and community health workers serving agricultural areas in the Pacific Northwest found that only 22% report any training on pesticides and child health and 61% report feeling uncomfortable responding to questions from patients on the topic. In response, the Northwest Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (NW PEHSU) developed a 1-hour, in person outreach training course for clinicians. The goal of this practicum project was to develop tools to evaluate and enhance efforts by the NW PEHSU to increase clinician knowledge and confidence on the topic.
Issue: Geographic isolation, climate change vulnerabilities, historical economic disadvantage and cultural connectedness to the environment place Northwest Tribal members at increased risk for poor outcomes in a disaster. (1) Throughout Pacific Northwest history, disasters both natural and man-made have disrupted the lives of Tribal communities. The capacity and readiness of individual Tribes to withstand, respond to, and recover from disaster events is limited in part because of a lack of resources and training.
Despite rapid economic progress, millions of lives in developing countries remain threatened by preventable health challenges resulting from poor environmental quality. Unprecedented rural-urban migration has left several cities in countries like India with pockets of densely populated regions lacking basic infrastructure. Individuals in these regions are often plagued with a large burden of air and water borne illnesses. Human behavior contributes significantly towards environmental quality which in turn influences disease occurrence and outcome.
Background: From recent OSHA investigations, many injured workers received inappropriate treatments from workplace medical units, which most of them are run by Licensed Practice Nurses (LPNs). This including delaying referral to higher care, withholding appropriate physical evaluation by physicians, providing exceeding over-the-counter medications without physician’s direction. Those injured workers are more likely unable to return to their work, physically damaged and became dysfunction/disable for temporally or permanently.
Issues: Amazon site BFI4 strives for ‘Safety Always,’ however, no documented safety culture and engagement policy or programming exists at BFI4 or network wide. Description: The project aimed to create, develop and implement policy and programming focused around employee safety engagement and culture that was sustainable long-term. Lessons Learned: There was not enough time to fully implement programming; more time was needed. Recommendations: Programming implementation should continue with data collection and analysis.
Indoor air pollution from open fires and leaky stoves is a major threat to health, ranking 10th in the WHO comparative risk assessment for the global burden of disease. Malawi has the highest rates of death among infants and children under 5 deaths with pneumonia being the leading cause of childhood mortality.
Cooking and Pneumonia Study
The University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) Labor and Occupational Health Program (LOHP), in collaboration with the University of Washington (UofW) Pacific Northwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center (PNASH) and the Northwest Forest Worker Center (NFWC), are developing resources to assist employers and contractor supervisors in the forestry services industry in training workers concerning workplace health and safety. These resources will be designed as “story” guides intended to educate workers about ways to prevent work-related injury and illness.