Occupational Health Expert to Address U Symposium

Occupational Health Expert to Address U Symposium

Apr 8, 2004 6:00 PM

A nationally renowned occupational medicine physician, educator, and researcher will keynote a two-day symposium at the University of Utah next week.

J. Steven Moore, M.D., M.P.H., professor at the School of Public Health at Texas A&M University, will address the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Young/New Investigators Symposium on April 15-16 at the Fort Douglas Officers Club. The meeting is co-sponsored by the U of U School of Medicine's Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (RMCOEH) and Department of Mechanical Engineering.

In his presentation, "In Search of the Truth," Moore notes that building a knowledge base for occupational health problems, such as asbestos, ergonomics, and metal working fluids, requires many steps. These steps often involve "misfiring," with inaccurate initial impressions that need refinement in the quest for "The Truth." Moore will discuss specific examples of these misfires, and include a brief overview of current knowledge about these three important issues.

Moore also is the first recipient of The Paul S. Richards, M.D., Endowed Distinguished Lectureship in Occupational Medicine at the University of Utah. The lectureship was established two years ago by the Richards Memorial Medical Foundation to create and support a regional forum for research in occupational medicine. Paul Richards spent 26 years at Kennecott Copper Corporation's Bingham Mine treating miners with various occupational health problems.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and its partners in the public and private sectors, developed NORA to provide a framework for occupational safety and health research in the next decade--not only for NIOSH but also for the entire occupational safety and health community. Approximately 500 organizations and individuals outside NIOSH provided input into the agenda.

"This attempt to guide and coordinate research nationally is in response to a need to address systematically those topics that are most pressing and most likely to yield gains to the worker and the nation," says Kurt T. Hegmann, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor and director of RMCOEH. "Fiscal constraints on occupational safety and health research are increasing, making even more compelling the need for a coordinated and focused research agenda."

For over 25 years, RMCOEH has provided educational, service, and research programs for individuals pursuing careers in safety and ergonomics, industrial hygiene, and occupational medicine. RMCOEH is one of sixteen Education and Research Centers recognized nationwide by NIOSH. Since 1977, more than 300 students have graduated from RMCOEH academic programs.

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