Total Worker Health Conference in Iowa

The Total Worker Health conference in Iowa began this morning with a presentation by Dr. John Howard, the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH),  on the critical importance of prevention in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). The role of workforce health in the nation’s health, where prevention is the primary method for reducing health care costs, was the theme of Dr. Howard’s presentation.

Shown in the picture is a presentation by NIOSH’s Heidi Hudson speaking on the growing and now clearly powerful role of social media in messaging to stimulate and reinforce prevention.  Dr. Leslie Hammer of the Oregon Healthy WorkForce Center speaks later this afternoon on reducing job stress, a demonstrated health problem and thus also a cost in the nation’s health care system.  We worry about both the health cost from a personal perspective and the economic cost from a national perspective.

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  1. It is interesting to see how organizations are utilizing the power of social media for safety communications. This is especially important for our young workforce who is habitually plugged into social profiles. Creating safety messaging that can be promoted across social channels helps connect with the younger workforce who, as it may be their first job, need to be able to fully understand the importance of safety training and communication.

About the Author

W. Kent Anger, PhD, is a Senior Scientist and Associate Director for Applied Research at OHSU's Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology. Kent is also the Director of the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center, a NIOSH Center of Excellence in TWH.

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