Felknor presents NIOSH research plans including burden, need, impact

SWCOEH directors, current and former: (L-R) Elaine Symanski, Ph.D. (current director), Sarah Felknor, Dr.P.H., George Delclos, M.D., and Lawrence Whitehead, Ph.D.

HOUSTON – Sarah Felknor, Dr.P.H., recently visited faculty and staff at UTHealth School of Public Health Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) to present the plans for the next decade of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA). Felknor is the former director of the SWCOEH and was a faculty member at the School of Public Health for 24 years before joining the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). She currently serves as the associate director for research integration and extramural performance at NIOSH.

NIOSH’s mission is to generate knowledge in the field of occupational safety and health and to transfer that knowledge into practice globally. NORA was developed and implemented by NIOSH in 1995 as a framework to guide occupational safety and health research partners nationwide.  NORA is moving into its third decade, advancing and integrating research priorities through sector and cross-sector programs.  

In addition to presenting an overview and evolution of NORA, Felknor discussed the ways in which the guiding principles of burden, need, and impact (BNI) are being used to identify and integrate research and funding priorities at NIOSH. She also discussed how BNI will be implemented in the third decade of NORA.

SWCOEH is one of 18 education and research centers funded by NIOSH. Felknor was invited to speak on these matters to provide expertise and guidance to SWCOEH faculty and staff who are in the midst of strategic planning and prioritizing research and practice efforts. She emphasized the importance of fully understanding the background and connection of NIOSH and NORA and to stay abreast of research priorities and guiding principles.

SWCOEH would like to express sincere thanks to Dr. Sarah Felknor for her time.

—Written by Michelle McDaniel, C.H.E.S., Continuing Education Coordinator, UTHealth School of Public Health, SWCOEH