The WKU Center for Environmental and Workplace Health received a $983,000 CDC NIOSH Training Project Grant

The WKU Center for Environmental and Workplace Health (CEWH) received a $983,000 Training Project Grant (TPG) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This grant is designed to train the next generation of leaders in Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) practice and research through the Environmental and Occupational Health Science (EOHS) degree programs.  This is a collaborative project that includes faculty from the College of Health and Human Services, Department of Public Health, Mrs. Jacqueline Basham, Dr. Gretchen Macy, Dr. Edrisa Sanyang, and Dr. Ritchie Taylor, and a faculty member from Ogden College of Science and Engineering, Department of Psychological Sciences, Dr. Katrina Burch.

This five-year grant will be implemented through the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in EOHS programs (WKU EOHS Programs).  Funding from the grant will provide students in these programs with scholarships, opportunities for advanced OSH training, and hands-on experience in OSH research. Implementation of the TPG at WKU will play a significant role in preparing the future OSH workforce to respond to new challenges posed by the innovation and economic development occurring throughout the region. The changing nature of work is an “inevitable result of technological advances, globalization, new and emerging risks, occupational health disparities associated with changing demographics of the US workforce, and a myriad of other factors”, as stated on the NIOSH TPG website.  The WKU NIOSH TPG allows opportunities for students to receive training that better equips them to meet these challenges successfully.

A defining element of the WKU NIOSH TPG is applied research. Students supported through the TPG scholarships will gain critical OSH research experience.  Current studies being conducted by faculty and students include improving firefighter health, addressing safe transport of hazardous materials, assessing workplace violence, and understanding and advancing total worker health.  Alumni of the EOHS programs have met the tremendous regional need for professionals in the Occupational Safety and Health, Environmental Safety and Health, and Environmental Management fields.

Dr. Taylor, the principal investigator on the project, stated that, “EOHS as a profession continues to grow rapidly and there is a critical need for students to enter the EOHS programs at WKU.  The next generation of leaders is needed in the EOHS field. WKU EOHS graduates fulfill critical OSH roles for industry, government, private business, and other entities to improve worker health and well-being, and reduce occupational exposures and injuries among workers.  Our current applied research portfolio in CEWH demonstrates the range of needs in the EOHS field.”

For more information, contact Dr. Ritchie Taylor at [email protected].


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