PTOP awardees present at Northwest Occupational Health Conference

workers giving thumbs up
PTOP provides awardees with resources to pursue a project that will increase their own occupational health experience as well as improve the health of workers in the Northwest region.

October 29, 2021

The Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety (NWCOHS)’s Professional Training Opportunities Program (PTOP) provides small grant funding to support awardees from all disciplines for projects and activities that address worker health and safety.

Past awardees have used their PTOP funding to increase capacity for maritime safety training on the North Slope of Alaska, support workers engagement with important Process Safety Management standards in their workplaces, and to develop virtual reality training modules for professionals working in confined spaces.

Northwest Occupational Health Conference 2021 Presenters

Last year PTOP funded 4 awards. Three of our 2020 awardees and one 2019 awardee presented at the Northwest Occupational Health Conference (NOHC) on October 22, 2021. We enjoyed hearing from our awardees on the incredible work they have done on their PTOP projects.

Amber Vermeesch from the University of Portland presented on “Enhancing Vital Practice in a School of Nursing” where she focused on increasing the well-being of workers in the School of Nursing by decreasing individual and institutional-level contributing factors to compassion fatigue and burnout.

Shelby Watkins from Oregon Health and Science University shared her work, “A qualitative analysis of decision making and research utilization among firefighters.” She collected feedback from firefighters on their personalized health effects snapshots of psychosocial determinants of sleep, sleep duration and quality, safety and cardiovascular risk. Secondly, she explored dissemination strategies for this health and safety information as well as potential future health and wellness initiatives.

Wendi Zhou of the University of Washington presented her “Seattle COVID-19 Oral History Project.” She created an oral history archive documenting the lives of workers impacted by COVID-19, with an emphasis on occupational health and safety in Seattle and the Western Washington area.

Megan Shoeyink from Portland State University shared her project, “Examining Psychological Health Among Oregon Migrant & Seasonal Farm Workers.”  She explored what motivates workers, the physical and mental aspects of work that threaten their health, and the conflict between maintaining employment and risks to personal health.


Take a look at our PTOP awardees’ presentation slides here.


Photo credit: AdobeStock/godji10