Talking TWH at the WSU School of Nursing

Dr. Kent Anger, Director of the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center, presented “What the Research Literature Tells us about Total Worker HealthTM (TWH) and what the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center is Doing About It” at the Washington State University (WSU) School of Nursing in Spokane, Washington (pictured right).  The WSU School of Nursing is led by Dean Patricia Butterfield, a CROET (now Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences) ‘graduate’ who also worked on a project with SAIF during her education at OHSU/CROET.  In addition to state-of-the-art nurse training programs, the WSU SON conducts research and has a strong community engagement program emphasizing their practice-oriented focus through partnerships with educational institutions and community stakeholders.

Dr. Anger’s presentation described the Total Worker Health intervention literature and the effectiveness of those interventions in reducing multiple important risk factors for injuries and chronic diseases through integrated programs.  He emphasized the importance of TWH in ‘bending the health care cost curve’ through workplace safety and health, wellness and well-being – TWH – interventions that are real-world effective.   A key message in Dr. Anger’s talk was the need to scale TWH intervention programs through effective dissemination.

The Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (OHWC) is both a regional and a national resource that is building, evaluating and disseminating TWH interventions.   For those interested in getting started on TWH programs today, CPH-NEW starter toolkits are now available.  The OHWC is developing an intervention and tool dissemination program named Safe Oregon, Healthy Oregon (SOHO) through philanthropic donations; contact Dr. Anger or Brittany Sale at the OHSU Foundation to support this effort.  The OHWC’s Partner’s Luncheon in March will focus on dissemination.  The Luncheon is open to Oregon business, labor and government participants who want to partner with the OHWC to create the best dissemination program for Oregon (as a model for all states); there is no cost to attend (complete a brief survey to reserve a seat).

Also attending Dr. Anger’s  talk at Washington State University were members of the NIOSH Spokane office that has a focus on TWH in mining.  The potential for collaborations among the participants on collaborative TWH projects was discussed after the talk in a lunch hosted by Dean Butterfield.

Centered at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center is composed of scientists from OHSU, Portland State University, University of Oregon and Oregon State University.  The Kaiser Center for Health Research oversees research design issues as part of the OHWC.