OHWC gets renewed for 5 more years!

The Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (OHWC) is celebrating! Led by Co-Directors Leslie Hammer, PhD and Ryan Olson, PhD, and founded in 2011 by Kent Anger, PhD,  our center has been successfully renewed for another 5 years by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. OHWC is a multi-component research, outreach, and education program focused on developing evidence-based interventions for improving working conditions and worker safety, health, and well-being, and turning them into resources that organizations can implement. In our ten years as a Total Worker Health® Center of Excellence, we’ve developed 4 comprehensive workplace toolkits, with two more on the way, and our work has resulted in solutions for construction workers, home care workers, young workers who are entering the world of work, call center and sedentary job workers, and team truck drivers, along with strategies for supervisors to become supportive leaders.

Housed within the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU, OHWC’s goal, in addition to research, is also to build strong partnerships with stakeholders and the worker community, conduct outreach and education for safety and wellness practitioners, engage human resource professionals, and disseminate our evidence-based products with organizations. For example, in 2017, we established the Oregon Total Worker Health Alliance comprising our home Institute, Oregon OSHA, and SAIF, the state’s major workers’ compensation provider. Through this Alliance, we launched the Total Worker Health Curriculum for practitioners, which has reached nearly 700 practitioners since its launch in 2018.

In our next cycle (2021-2026), OHWC’s theme will be Total Worker Health® intervention effectiveness, translation, and outreach to advance safe and healthy work design. Our research journey will draw us close to the unique issues and work experiences of essential workers as we prepare to study shift schedules and health among firefighters (Bowles), adapt an intervention for pain management among home care workers (Olson), develop a new intervention to address burnout in healthcare workers (Hurtado/Lenhart), and build a survey to assess Total Worker Health climate in organizations (Huang). Many of our projects will be supported by NIOSH’s funding from the American Rescue Plan, which is addressing mental health in health care workers and first responders.  This is a testament to the importance of our work. Through our outreach work, led by Dede Montgomery, CIH and Anjali Rameshbabu, PhD, we will continue to build new and diverse partnerships, further our work with the Oregon Total Worker Health Alliance, provide education, and deliver consultation to organizations on implementing Total Worker Health strategies.

Photo of firefighter team members around a table.
Firefighters visiting our Institute for a science seminar featuring Dr. Bowles’ firefighter, shift schedule, and health study
Employee on a lift near power lines
Dr. Huang’s TWH Climate study will involve Utility and Manufacturing industries

NIOSH has released a formal press release with more information on this exciting news. Click here to read.

OHSU News and Portland Business Journal highlight OHWC’s grant renewal and research on improving well-being in workers.

Here’s to the next five years!

Learn more about our Center Accomplishments.