David Hurtado, Sc.D.

  • Assistant Professor, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences
  • Assistant Professor, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health


The work environment has profound multilevel and cumulative impacts on populations’ health. My research concert the development of evidence-based organizational approaches to maximize workers’ well-being, safety, and productivity through the integration of theoretical and methodological tools from diverse public health disciplines. 

My studies are mostly focused on healthcare workers who are exposed to multiple stressors and hazards that elevate their risk of disability due to musculoskeletal disorders, mental illnesses and injuries. I partner with employers and community-based organizations for the design, implementation, and evaluation of safety and quality improvement programs. I also conduct social epidemiological research to identify how work-life policies and practices (e.g., flexible work hours, paid leaves) produce and maintain occupational health (in)equities.

Research Projects 

Multiple or Principal Investigator (PI)
• Safety Champions: A worker-led integrated safety program for critical access hospitals. We apply social network analysis to identify peer leaders who are further trained on quality improvement to collaborate with hospital managers to improve safety indicators. Our pilot program was successful increasing safety leading indicators and reducing patient-assist injuries (Funder: Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences). 
• Wellbeing check-ins for primary care clinics. In collaboration with Abigail Lenhart, MD, we are developing a protocol to enhance supervisor-staff encounters based on reflective listening, the provision of information about relevant resources, and the discussion of workflow breakdowns as a tactic to reduce stress and burnout (Funder: Oregon Healthy Workforce Center).
• Health and equity effects of paid parental/family leave policies. In collaboration with Julia Goodman, PhD, and Dawn Richardson, DrPH, we conduct multi-method evaluations of paid parental or family leave benefits among a diverse sample of employees (Funder: OHSU-PSU School of Public Health).

Co-investigator/Significant Contributor
• Oregon Healthy Workforce Center (PI: W. Kent Anger, PhD).
• Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program (PI : Curtis Cude, Oregon Health Authority; Ryan Olson, PhD, OHSU) (Funder: NIOSH). 
• SHIFT Onboard (PI: Ryan Olson, PhD)  (Funder: NHLBI).


  • B.A., 2005, Universidad de los Andes (Anthropology)
  • B.A., 2006, Universidad de los Andes (Psychology)
  • M.Sc., 2010, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Sc.D., 2013, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Fellowship:

    • Yerby Postdoctoral Research Fellow 2013-2015

Honors and awards

  • Yerby Postdoctoral Research Fellow 2013-2015


Selected publications

  • Hurtado DA, Hessel P, Avendano M. The hidden costs of informal work: lack of social protection and subjective well-being in Colombia. International Journal of Public Health (In press)
  • Hurtado DA, Okechukwu CA, Buxton OM, Hammer LB, Hanson G, Klein L, Moen P, Berkman LF. Effects on cigarette consumption of a work-family supportive organizational intervention: six-month results from the Work, Family and Health Network study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (J Epidemiol Community Health doi:10.1136/jech-2015-206953 )
  • Okechukwu CA, Kelly EL, Bacic J, DePasquale N, Hurtado D, Kossek E, Sembajwe G. Supporting employees' work-family needs improves health care quality: Longitudinal evidence from long-term care. Social Science & Medicine, 157, 111-119
  • Jackson CL, Wee CC, Hurtado DA, Kawachi I. Obesity trends by industry of employment in the United Sates, 2004 to 2011. BMC Obestiy. Apr 2, 3-20
  • Hurtado DA, Berkman LF, Buxton OM, Okechukwu CA. Schedule control and nursing home quality: exploratory evidence of a psychosocial predictor of resident care. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 35(2), 244-253
  • Hurtado DA. Disparities in subjective well-being by socioeconomic status in Colombia. In Rojas M. (Ed). Handbook of Happiness Research in Latin America. Houten, Netherlands: Springer
  • Hurtado DA, Glymour MM, Berkman LG, Reme S, Hashimoto D, Sorensen, G. Schedule control and mental health: the relevance of coworkers' reports. Community, Work & Family, 18(4), 416-434
  • Hurtado DA, Nelson CC, Hashimoto, D, Sorensen, G. Supervisors' support for nurses’ meal breaks and mental health. Workplace Health & Safety, 63(3), 107-115
  • Sabbath EL, Hurtado DA, Okechukwu CA, Tamers SL, Nelson C, Kim SS, Wagner G, Sorensen G. Occupational injury among hospital patient-care workers: What is the association with workplace verbal abuse? American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 57(2), 222-32


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