Since its establishment in 1986, the University of Maryland Occupational/Environmental Health Program (OHP) has worked to prevent occupational and environmental disease and related disability through the provision of clinical services, employer consultation, and worker training. The goals stemming from this mission are pursued by an interdisciplinary team that includes physicians, occupational health nurses, toxicologists, a statistician and a certified ergonomist. We achieve this mission by providing:
- care for patients injured or made sick by work or the environment
- training for medical, nursing, and graduate students, practicing physicians and other public health professionals
- hazard assessment in the work place
- outreach services to the community
- advocacy for occupational health in the public arena and through
- research on the prevention and treatment of occupational illness and injuries.
Initially begun as a collaboration between the Department of Medicine and the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, the Occupational/Environmental Health Program maintains this dual identity by providing both the clinical care of the individual patient and the population based assessment of the environment in which the patient was exposed.
The Occupational/Environmental Medicine Clinic provides specialty consultation for patients with work or environmentally - related health conditions including adult lead and mercury exposure, solvent and pesticide exposures as well as repetitive motion disorders. The clinic also provides medical surveillance, and monitoring for companies and for employees of the University’s Outpatient Clinic System.
Our program staff has been involved in research on the causes, risk factors, management and prevention of occupational injuries and illnesses, including musculoskeletal disorders, resulting from cumulative trauma, occupational cancer, adult lead exposure and other heavy metal poisonings and exposures related to military service.
Our staff provides a variety of learning experiences for medical students, residents and nursing students, as well as students in law, social work, pharmacy and dentistry. These experiences include clinical rotations, lectures, small group discussions, and guided worksite visits. We collaborate with several programs at the University of Maryland including the School of Nursing EnviRN http://envirn.umaryland.edu/. The Occupational Health Program also develops educational programs for workers, unions, employers and other health care professionals in the community needing more information about occupational and environmental health concerns.
We look forward to collaborations with public health colleagues and other engaged partners in anticipating, identifying, and working to prevent occupational and environmental illnesses in our community and beyond.