Reuel A. Stallones Building in the Texas Medical Center in Houston
At six campuses across Texas, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health works to improve the state of public health in Texas every day. Each of our campuses is strategically placed to meet the public health education and research needs of the diverse populations across Texas. UTHealth School of Public Health is the only school of public health in the nation with regional campuses.
The main campus, located in the heart of Houston’s Texas Medical Center, offers students unmatched opportunities for research and employment. The School of Public Health’s five regional campuses are in Austin, Brownville, Dallas, El Paso and San Antonio. Each campus has its own faculty and research specialties. Students can attend class at any of the six campuses via Interactive Television (ITV).
UTHealth School of Public Health is one of six schools of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), the most comprehensive academic health system in The University of Texas System and the U.S. Gulf Coast region. In addition to the School of Public Health, UTHealth is home to schools of biomedical informatics, biomedical sciences, dentistry, medicine and nursing. It also includes a psychiatric hospital, multiple institutes and centers, a growing network of clinics and outreach programs in education and care throughout the region.
The School of Public Health is accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and the university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
Climate change health guide helps businesses and workers
HOUSTON – Health hazards associated with climate change are becoming an increasing concern to business leaders who want to protect their workers and communities from these emerging threats. As a result, researchers at the UTHealth School of Public Health are developing guidelines for occupational medicine physicians to adapt employers’ current health and safety programs in order prepare for these changes.
The article provides guidance on ways employers can keep their workers safe by adapting both clinical practice and workplace policy to account for emerging health threats due to climate change. These include:
Modifying heat stress protection work protocols to account for higher and more prolonged seasonal average temperatures
Awareness of the deterioration of air quality due to increasing daily temperatures and its effects on employees, particularly those who suffer from underlying chronic respiratory disease
Increasing incidence, severity, and duration of symptoms experienced by employees suffering from allergy related symptoms
Disaster preparation and management
Mental health of victims of natural disasters and first responders
Changing frequency of infectious disease vectors related to climate change
Occupational Medicine physicians are medical specialists who are focused on the injuries and illnesses that are specific to a certain workforce population.
“In the field of petroleum gas refining, occupational medicine physicians have experience with treating musculoskeletal injuries sustained from climbing distillation towers, cases of heat stress from working outside in hot, humid environments, and knowledge of side effects from exposures to unscheduled petrochemical releases at the plant” says Perkison. “We also have the knowledge of how to incorporate lessons learned from previous events to create preventive programs to avoid future injuries and illness.”
“Understanding the threats posed by changing temperatures and weather patterns helps us to adequately prepare for the future,” he continued. “This position statement can be cited by occupational physicians in order to justify the need to update new medical protocols to adequately meet emerging threats. Our workgroup that produced this paper has elected to continue to meet regularly and we are producing a series of follow up articles that go into more depth on each of the subjects we discuss in our paper.”
UTHealth School of Public Health has three physicians on its faculty whose specialties include board certified occupational and environmental medicine: one is Perkison, and the others are George Delclos, M.D., Ph.D., and Arch “Chip” Carson, M.D., Ph.D. There are about 4,000 physicians who are certified nationwide.
To read the full report and see a list of co-authors, visit the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicinehere.