Oregon Healthy Workforce Center attends 1st NIOSH Symposium on Total Worker Health

The 1st International Symposium to Advance Total Worker HealthTM began Monday at the NIH Campus in Bethesda, MD, with nearly 400 registrants. Total Worker Health (TWH) is the integration of safety and health, wellness and well-being in the workplace. Dr. John Howard (below) opened the conference with a powerful endorsement of TWH as a way to preserve personal health and reduce national health care costs, a point reinforced by research-based presentations during the 3-day symposium.

The first plenary session at the TWH Symposium was comprised of presentations of the Directors of the four NIOSH-supported TWH Centers of Excellence:
• Harvard School of Public Health Center for Work, Health, and Well-being
(pictured below is Glorian Sorensen, Director of the Harvard Center)
• University of Iowa Healthier Workforce Center for Excellence
• Center for Promotion of Health in the New England Workforce (CPH-New)
• Oregon Healthy WorkForce Center

The presentations described the Centers, challenges they had faced, gaps they identified and conclusions.  The conclusions were:
* The Centers’ research exemplifies the range of approaches that can be included within the TWH umbrella
* There is a need for identifying TWH best practices across different industry groups
* The research of the Centers has provided a useful set of measures and intervention tools to guide future research and interventions

OHWC members made 12 presentations at the symposium, including one that reported on the effectiveness of team-based interventions for improving both safety and wellness or well-being (in a single intervention, the definition of TWH).  This series of presentations will be repeated (with more comprehensive analyses) at the GOSH conference on March 9-12, 2015 at Portland’s Oregon Convention Center. Members who presented at the Symposium are shown below.

The Oregon Healthy WorkForce Center (OHWC) is an affiliation of units of the Oregon Health & Science University, Portland State University, University of Oregon, Kaiser Center for Health Research, and Oregon State University.

The Symposium concludes today, October 8.  All or most presentations will be posted on the NIOSH website in the future.