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 concerns 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

Principle investigator
• Work-life check-ins: The objective of this study is to conduct a cluster-randomized control trial to test the effectiveness of regular supervisor-staff check-ins in reducing burnout among primary care clinic employees. In collaboration with Abigail Lenhart, MD, we have designed a program, so that clinic supervisors reduce staff burnout via 1) addressing workflow breakdowns, 2) improving communication and trust alignment, and 3) providing information about health and safety resources. Funders: Oregon Healthy Workforce Center, Medical Research Foundation of Oregon.

• Integrated Safe Patient Handling and Mobility program: Our pilot program implemented at one rural hospital had four components: 1) involvement of patient and worker safety stakeholders, 2) application of Social Network Analysis (SNA) to identify peer-recognized safety leaders; 3) training to stakeholders on safety leadership, and 4) Quality Improvement (QI) short cycles to reduce safety barriers. Our pilot program improved several leading indicators, Good Catch reporting while reducing patient-assist injury rates. We now aim to conduct a cluster randomized controlled trial among rural hospitals to evaluate the process and effectiveness of worker and patient outcomes. Funders: Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences.

• Health and equity effects of a paid parental leave policy. In collaboration with Julia Goodman, Ph.D., and Dawn Richardson, DrPH, we conduct multi-method evaluations of paid parental or family leave benefits among a diverse sample of employees of a large public organization (Funder: OHSU-PSU School of Public

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


  • 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

Areas of interest

  • Total Worker Health
  • mental health
  • musculoskeletal disorders
  • occupational injuries
  • mental health
  • work stress
  • social determinant of health



  • {{ pub.journalAssociation.journal.name.text[0].value }}