Superfund Research Program
Interprofessional Approach to Developing a Diverse Workforce Ready to Address Emerging Technologies in Occupational Health and Safety
Project Leader: Kari Brisolara
Grant Number: R25ES027083
Funding Period: 2017-2020
With the establishment of a collaborative centered on emerging technologies in occupational health and safety, the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans (LSUHSC-NO), Lousiana State University in Baton Rouge (LSU-BR), and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) are developing an innovative, interprofessional approach to workforce development. The primary goal of this initiative is to enhance training efforts in the area of emerging technologies in occupational health and safety through interprofessional, field-based instruction supplemented with online modules and workshops. The creation of an Advisory Board for the program comprised of industry, state government, and healthcare representatives serves to evaluate the program’s translational quality and sustain the applicability of emerging technology training to current industry and governmental concerns. Training structure consists of several options to serve both traditional students and working professionals.
Online modules provide core and background information in occupational health and industrial hygiene to educate those in non- traditional occupational/environmental fields to the basic constructs. In-person workshops provide continuing education credits with initial curricula including e-waste and emerging issues with the electronics industry and advances in bioremediation in addition to interprofessional- based GIS, Economics, and Law. Graduate-level academic training is delivered through programs at LSU-BR and LSUHSC-NO. LSU-BR is restructuring their current Professional MS program and developing a new graduate certificate program in environmental technology. LSUHSC-NO is developing two new courses housed within the School of Public Health for MPH/MS students that will be taught in an interprofessional, case-based format focusing on emerging technologies. All graduate academic courses will be cross-listed for inter-campus participation. These courses will also include a rotation of interprofessional teams of students to industries in Southeast Louisiana for hands-on experience with current occupational health professionals.
Utilizing a watershed approach, this initiative augments workforce diversity through targeted recruitment for undergraduate programs at LSU-BR, graduate programs at UTHSC, LSUHSC-NO and LSU-BR, and occupational medicine at LSUHSC-NO. The participation of non-traditional field such as Business and Law boosts the dissemination of this training in emerging technologies with the modules and/or courses, professional organizations and Advisory Board advocacy.