PNASH eNews - January 2020

Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 15:24

Mike Yost

New Year, 2020

As we look forward to 2020, I’m grateful and enthusiastic about the fresh opportunities ahead and new directions we are taking. We have new partnerships with Dairies, Wine Grapes, Hops, Potatoes, Fishing, Forest Protection, and Logging. I am continually impressed by this expanding array of partnerships, leadership, and a passion for safety emerging from these connections. Likewise, within PNASH, our faculty, staff, and students have made many contributions to both innovative health and safety research, and to translating this research into practical solutions that serve our partners.

Despite these successes, we still have work to do. Last month’s release of the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries shows that farming, fishing and forestry, once again, were listed in the top ten for highest fatalities rates. In the big picture, the partnership model seems to be working and we should celebrate the steady decline in work related injuries and illnesses over the last few decades. Meanwhile, we must continue our efforts to foster best practices and a safety culture in agricultural workplaces. I look forward to working together with all of our partners to tackle the remaining issues and respond to our unique needs in the Northwest.

I wish you and your family a safe and healthy 2020,

Mike Yost
Director, PNASH Center

Elena Austin, Assistant Professor

Elena AustinElena Austin started as an Assistant Professor this month in the UW Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. Dr. Austin has been a rising star in our department and with the PNASH Center. We are grateful that this new appointment lands her firmly where she belongs – with us and the Northwest! Dr. Austin has launched new work at PNASH with the Dairy industry, leading to multiple education grant awards with a goal to reduce injuries and deaths. This partnership was recognized recently with an achievement award to the Washington State Dairy Federation by the Agricultural Safety Council of America. Learn more about Elena Austin, and the PNASH Partnership for Dairy Safety and Health. Dr. Austin is known for her savvy data and communication skills and has brought creative new thinking to our research. We see nothing but good work ahead of us with Elena as a PNASH Principal Investigator.

New PNASH Positions

Dennise Drury, Jose Carmona, Idanis Cruz, Ilsa Olson

We are proud to announce the permanent staff appointments of these PNASHers. You may recognize the names of some of these former students and staff. After a competitive search process, we found our extraordinary matches for open positions. Pictured above, left to right:

Dennise Drury, Outreach and Education Specialist. Ms. Drury is currently balancing the completion of her MPH with this new position. Her work on the Sexual Harassment in Ag project has been a testament to what Ms. Drury can accomplish - she is coalition builder with a passion for bringing research and information to stakeholders.

José Carmona, Research Coordinator. Mr. Carmona recently completed his MPH in environmental and occupational health. Now he continues the research he started as a student under PNASH and the Center for One Health on The Healthy Dairy Worker Study

Idanis Cruz, Research Coordinator. Ms. Cruz worked as a PNASH student intern on an application to deliver pesticide labels in a phone app in Spanish and English. Her work on this is now supported through two new grant awards - learn more.  In addition, she brings her talents in engagement and communications to supporting our dairy safety education project. 

Ilsa Olsen, Program Coordinator. Ms. Olsen is at the hub of PNASH operations and grant development, working to improve our internal service and our external communications. Her background in administration and the arts is a unique blend of skills we are excited to bring into our work.


workers in the forest Frigid and icy conditions place workers at an increased risk of cold-related illnesses and amplify the dangers of existing workplace hazards. Workers are more likely to experience frostbite, trench-foot, chilblains, and hypothermia. Visit the NIOSH COLD STRESS page to learn about how to recognize and prevent cold-related illnesses.

Upcoming Events

Winter is the season for education! We hope you will join us at these upcoming events.  EVENTS

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