Kent Anger wins Faculty Senate Award

Dr. Kent Anger poses with his spouse, Billie.

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Kent Anger, Associate Director of Applied Research at the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences and Director of the Oregon Healthy Workforce Center. Annually, faculty members at OHSU are recognized through the Faculty Senate Awards for their exceptional efforts in support of OHSU’s mission. At today’s ceremony, Dr. Anger received the 2014 Faculty Senate Award for Collaboration. This year the nominees for the Collaboration Award were from OHSU’s Affiliated Units and Institutes.

In endorsement letters provided by colleagues, Kent is described as productive, diligent, and energetic, and a genius at bringing together interdisciplinary experts to collaborate.  He is a team player who has made extensive contributions to the development of workplace interventions aimed at improving the health and well-being of workers and their family members.

We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Kent.

What’s up with Epigenetics?

Did you know that your choices can alter the way your DNA works – all without changing the “letters” that make up your genetic code? You may have heard of genetics, but what about epigenetics? It is a brand new field of science and was even recently featured on NPR!

In collaboration with epigenetic researcher, Dr. Mitchell Turker, at the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, Let’s Get Healthy! developed a set of classroom lessons on the topic and an interactive video game that teaches about why our choices matter.

The epigenetics station debuted last month at St Helens Middle School, where

Students engage in Let’s Get Healthy! activities.

450 students attended the Let’s Get Healthy! fair that day.  Students could explore the interactive video game or DNA manipulatives to learn how epigenetic marks on our DNA can influence our health, our risk of disease, and can be passed to future generations.  Student understanding of epigenetics was measured using pre/post-surveys given in the classroom and through questions integrated into the game. In pre-surveys, only 8% of students had ever heard of the term “epigenetics” before.  After fair, students showed significant increases in their understanding of epigenetics and talked about it more frequently to their friends, teachers and family.

Learn more about epigenetics. Even better, play the game yourself!

This project was funded by a pilot project grant from the OHSU Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition and Wellness and by the National Institutes of Health through a grant to the Interdisciplinary Center for Epigenetics, Science and Society (5P20HG00551).

Let’s Get Healthy! is funded by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institutes of Health.  For more information, visit Let’s Get Healthy!

Submitted by Lisa Marriott, Associate Director, Let’s Get Healthy!

Moving Workplace Safety Ahead by Looking Back

Thanks to OHSU staff and visitors who joined us today for our Occupational Health Sciences Safety Break Seminar: From Fur-Trapping to High Tech: The evolving Oregon workplace and its impact on workforce safety and health.

We enjoyed the opportunity to share early Oregon workplace photos while we acknowledged the great strides we’ve made in protecting workers tempered by the reminders of the many challenges ahead. We were pleased to have staff join us from OHSU’s Environmental, Safety and Health Department, OHSU Risk Management and OHSU Health Promotion.

John Burnham (OHSU EH&S Director), Dede Montgomery, Fred Berman, and OHSU Risk Management’s Michael Rochlin.


Oregon City Arch Bridge – courtesy of Old Oregon Photos.







Choke setters – courtesy of Old Oregon Photos.


Pond monkeys – courtesy of Old Oregon Photos.








Raising the pole – courtesy of Old Oregon Photos.


Celebrating OHSU Research

Nate Donley

Congratulations to all of the OHSU researchers, including our staff from Occupational Health Sciences, upon a successful research week.

OHSU Research Week is a university-wide event celebrating the excellence of research performed by students, faculty, research-ranked employees, postdocs and staff across all schools, centers, institutes and education programs.

Harini Sampath.









Megan Parish












Anna Ohlrich, Gwen Hryciw and friend.









Eleonora Juarez









Naima Laharnar
















Sudeshna Dutta


Cast Your Vote for Sunwise Contest

A Beaverton School District 6th grader from Cedar Park Middle School is the Oregon state winner of the Sunwise with Shade Poster Contest!

Please vote for Catherine and the state of Oregon in this national competition to raise awareness about sun safety. The winning student will win a trip for her and her teacher to Washington D.C. and a sun shelter for her school. Visit this site to cast your vote. Use School code: vote14. Voting is open until 11:59 p.m. EST on May 8. Vote for Oregon!

Students in grades K-8 are helping raise awareness about sun safety by drawing posters for the 2014 SunWise with SHADE Poster Contest, organized by the SHADE Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SunWise Program.  One in five children will grow up to develop skin cancer.  It is important for children to learn about sun safety to protect their health.

Some facts about skin cancer:

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancer cases are diagnosed annually.
  • Each year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers.
  • Melanoma is the second most common form of cancer for young people 15–29 years old.
  • May is Skin Cancer Prevention Awareness Month and May 23 is Don’t Fry Day.

Ways people can protect themselves in the sun (SunWise Action Steps):

  • Do not burn
  • Avoid sun tanning and tanning beds
  • Generously apply sunscreen (SPF 30+)
  • Wear protective clothing
  • Seek shade
  • Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand
  • Check the UV Index
  • Get vitamin D safely

Vote here!


Making a Difference

1st place O[yes] video contest winners from St. Helens High. Watch their video: Flashbacks.

It seemed strange, at first, to jump from the joys and celebrations of the O[yes]video contest screening, to the sadness of Worker Memorial Day two days later. And yesterday was truly a day of mourning as we recognized the 46 Oregonians who died at work or at war in 2013. There is nothing we can do to bring them back, and we feel for their families and co-workers.

We can, however, strengthen our efforts to eliminate workplace fatalities. The young people honored at the O[yes] video screening and awards ceremony do give us hope. They get it. Many entered the contest because they like to make videos and in hopes of winning a cash prize. After hearing them speak and meeting with them, we have no doubt that they also understand and share the commitment that we have, of making jobs safe for all workers. That in itself makes this contest a success!

2nd place team from Southridge High. Watch their video: Safety is the Last Thing on my Mind.

Thanks to the student producers, supporters, families and teachers who joined O[yes] on Saturday. A special thanks, as well, to all of the sponsors – it couldn’t have happened without you! Watch all of the video finalists. Read the press release. See photos on the O[yes] Facebook page. Contact us if you’d like to join our effort.

3rd place winners from South Salem High. Watch their video: Wisdom.


Worker Memorial Day 2014

From Fur-Trapping to High Tech: Celebrating Oregon Safety Break 2014

Log chute with ox teams, 1890′s. Courtesy of Old Oregon Photos.

What are you planning for Oregon Safety Break on Wed., May 14, 2014? If your organization isn’t already listed as a Participating Employer, it’s not too late. Join worksites across Oregon and honor safety leaders, hold a training, or start a conversation about safety and health.

Here at OHSU’s Occupational Health Sciences, we are eager to sponsor our noon seminar with a special nod towards this day as we present: From Fur-Trapping to High Tech: The evolving Oregon workplace and its impact on workforce safety and health.

If you are here at OHSU or would like to drop by, please join us at OHSU’s

Pouring the deck of the Oregon City Bridge, 1922. Courtesy of Old Oregon Photos.

Vollum Institute 1441M from noon to 1pm on Wed., May 14, and join our presentation and discussion.

Questions? Contact us.


National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction

For those who aren’t aware June 2-6, 2014 is the National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction. A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about a specific safety topic. The purpose of this National campaign is to raise awareness of fall prevention in construction. Falls from elevation continues to be the leading cause of death for construction workers. In 2012 there were 775 construction fatalities recorded and 269 of these were caused by falls from elevation.

Suggestions to prepare for the Safety Stand-Down are provided by OSHA

In addition to the resources provided by OSHA, The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) has outstanding training materials (in several languages) and include videos, handouts, “Spot the Hazard”, Toolbox Talks and many more.

For more Oregon-specific Toolbox Talks, Oregon Occupational Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (OR-FACE) has toolbox talks based on construction fatalities in Oregon.

OSHA will have a webpage (active June 2 to July 15, 2012) where employers can provide feedback on their Safety Stand-Down and download Certificates of Participation.

Let’s all participate in preventing falls in construction by having a great Safety Stand-Down during this year’s campaign, June 2-6.

Coming Your Way in September

September in Oregon is not only a beautiful month, but kicks off a cycle of safety, health and wellness conferences. The fall of 2014 will be no exception, and in fact will be even richer than usual – so mark your calendar!

Here at Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU we are a proud sponsor of the American Heart Association’s 5th Annual Worksite Wellness Summit, on September 17th at the Oregon Convention Center. This year’s theme is Power Up Your Wellness Program with new ideas to spark Total Worker Health.

Equally exciting, is the 5th Annual National Conference in Healthcare Ergonomics coming to Portland’s Oregon Convention Center on September 8-11. We are pleased to sponsor and participate in this high powered event.

Join us!

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