We congratulate Dr. Kelsey Parker on the awarding of a small grant from the Professional Training Opportunities Program (PTOP) in Occupational Health and Safety. This program is sponsored by our regional NIOSH Education and Research Center at the University of Washington. We appreciate the collaboration with and support of the University of Washington ERC, the Northwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety.
Kelsey’s project is titled “The Impact of Caregiving on Worker Health: A Daily Diary Study of Personal Support Workers.” Dr. Ryan Olson and Jennifer Ragsdale (University of Tulsa) will be Kelsey’s co-mentors on this independent small project. Personal support workers (PSWs) play a critical role in society by helping children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities function independently and participate in their communities. These low-wage workers assist their clients by facilitating communication, helping with physical movements, providing support for daily living routines and assisting with participation in leisure and community activities, and managing challenging behaviors. These tasks can be physically dangerous (e.g. dealing with hitting, biting, etc.). and emotionally taxing (e.g. coping with lack of predictability). Injuries are prevalent, especially among PSWs caring for people with physical disabilities or with challenging behaviors.
Kelsey received her Ph.D. and her Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Tulsa. Prior to joining us in 2015 at the Institute she was a Bellwether Fellow at the University of Tulsa. She is the Manager of the COMmunity of Practice And Safety Support (COMPASS) intervention for home care workers and the Tech4Rest program for team truck drivers’ sleep, health and performance. She is also a collaborator on the Safety and Health Intervention For Truck Drivers (SHIFT) project.
So again, congratulations, Dr. Parker! We look forward to following the results of this project.