We study the impact of our surroundings, both natural and built, on health.
The field of environmental and occupational health covers everything from the air we breathe and the water we drink to the injuries and mental health challenges we may face at work. We strive to improve health by promoting practices and policies that reduce harmful exposures and protect vulnerable populations. From improving worker health and safety, to promoting healthy housing, to creating new tools to monitor air and water quality, we work to make our homes, our workplaces, and our communities healthier places for all.
A graduate degree in environmental & occupational health prepares you to think critically about complex challenges and to design solutions that improve public health. When you leave one of our programs, you’ll be ready to address emerging environmental and workplace issues in a way that builds on science while prioritizing real people. Our graduates work in environmental health and safety, emergency management, environmental epidemiology, and workplace safety and health in private, nonprofit, and government organizations.
(AURORA, Colo.) - The Center for Health, Work & Environment (CHWE) based at the Colorado School of Public Health, is dedicated to promoting the health, safety, and well-being of workers. On July 2nd, CHWE hosted our second annual recognition event to honor the commitment and achievements of some of our key partners. At our core, we partner with researchers, community groups, industry and government to collaborate across all we do.
Herb Gibson was awarded the Individual Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is given to one recipient per year who has demonstrated commitment and had a measurable impact on the field of occupational safety and health (OSH). Herb Gibson, CIH, CSPH, recently retired as the Safety and Health Manager and Area Director of the OSHA Denver Area Office, has been at the heart of worker health and safety protection throughout his distinguished 40+ year career – from being a field industrial hygienist to director.
In the words of CHWE director Dr. Lee Newman, “Herb has truly been a leader at OSHA and for us in the community helping to accomplish the mission set out in the 1970 OSHA act, to assure safe and healthful working conditions for every working man and woman.”
Herb has been quoted saying “No job is a good job unless it is safe,” and he has spent his entire career trying to ensure that safety for his fellow worker. He has served as a mentor of many OSH professionals, as a passionate student advocate, and an outstanding colleague and partner in OSH education. Herb has been active in teaching, advising, supervising industrial hygiene, occupational medicine, occupational safety and other trainees from Colorado State University and the University of Colorado. Herb has served for over 15 years as a member of CHWE’s Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center’s external advisory panel that helped us become one of the top training programs in the country.
“I have to admit that I enjoy going to work, talking to workers and employers and trying to make workplaces safer,” said Herb at the ceremony. “I appreciate what both Lee and Steve have done with the Center, their energy and leadership not just as Colorado leaders, but world leaders in safety and health. We are so lucky to have resources like the faculty at CSU and CU to make workplaces safer in Colorado and the world.”
Adelante Community Development was awarded the Community Impact Award. The community group was recognized for its exemplary commitment and leadership in addressing the health, safety, and well-being of workers in the region. Adelante is committed to providing resources and support for Latino employer and worker communities in Colorado.
Adelante has had a significant impact in the past year helping hundreds of Latino business owners and their workforce respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. They have provided funding to keep entrepreneurs and small businesses open and partnered with local public health agencies to guide employers through a WhatsApp chat. In the past six months, Adelante has helped ensure vaccine equity by running COVID vaccine drives across Aurora and the Denver Metro area, delivering vaccines to over 2,500 Latino community members per day.
“We intentionally want to serve communities and figure out how to get stakeholders to come together and address health disparities in a sustainable way,” said Maria Gonzalez, Adelante’s CEO. “We have had the opportunity to partner with you (the Center), as well as other government organizations that can help us build a sustainable program. We've been working to make sure that communities understand what resources are available to them and that we continue to embrace families in need as well as small businesses and home-based business owners.”
CHWE celebrates Adelante’s achievements in the past year and looks forward to working more closely with them in the near future.
The University of Colorado Center for Bioethics and Humanities was awarded the Partner of the Year Award. This accolade is given to an organization that has demonstrated an exemplary impact on the field of occupational health and safety in partnership with CHWE.
Over the last year, CHWE has partnered with the Center for Bioethics and Humanities partnered on a webinar series focused on ethics and occupational health. Through the Work & Play in a Pandemic Series, we have educated over 1,000 individuals on a variety of meaningful topics directed to a wide range of audiences including vulnerable worker populations; collegiate athletes; COVID-response workers facing moral distress; vaccine guidance for employers; and the future of OSH in light of the November 2020 election. The success of this series would not have been possible without the contributions from the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, an incredible team of experts in both ethics and outreach.
“We've brought people into the orbit of occupational health and safety who don't normally live in that domain,” said Dr. Matthew Wynia, director for the Center of Bioethics and Humanities. “We've we brought people from the occupational health world into the worlds of philosophy and ethics.”
“Among the people I've met who work in occupational health, they say the primary reason why people care about worker health and well-being is because it's the right thing to do,” Wynia added, “so fundamentally, worker health and safety it is built on a foundation of ethics. I see more and more of these connections between the work that the Center does in the health and safety arena and environmental arena and the work that we do in the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, so let's keep working together.”
About the Center for Health, Work & Environment
The Center for Health, Work & Environment is an academic center within the Colorado School of Public Health. The Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC) makes up one of the largest program areas in worker health and safety training, research and continuing education within the Center. Main offices for the Center are located at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. The Center team works with faculty, students and community partners on numerous projects in occupational and environmental health, safety and well-being.
Partner with the Center for Health, Work & Environment
Written by Laura Veith, marketing and communications coordinator for the Center for Health, Work & Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health.