SWCOEH 2021 Year in Review: Trainee and Resident highlights
The Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (SWCOEH) supports research, education, and outreach in occupational and environmental health. The SWCOEH provides a variety of graduate-level training opportunities for occupational and environmental health professionals in industrial hygiene, occupational and environmental medicine, occupational epidemiology, and Total Worker Health®. With 18 current trainees and residents across the four areas of study, the Southwest Center celebrates their accomplishments.
Below is a summary of trainee and resident accomplishments in 2021.
Carolyn Crisp, MPH, a PhD candidate in Occupational Epidemiology at SWCOEH, was accepted into the Centers for Disease Control’s Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program. She will begin the program in Spring 2022 after graduating from UTHealth.
EIS is a highly competitive, 2-year post-graduate fellowship in applied epidemiology. The CDC program, established in 1951, is a unique combination of on-the-job-learning and service. Investigating outbreaks in the field is integral to the EIS experience. As CDC’s disease detectives, EIS officers are among the agency’s first-line rapid responders.
Jennifer Ish, PhD, a SWCOEH NIOSH trainee in Occupational Epidemiology, presented her abstract at the 33rd Annual Conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE 2021). Ish’s abstract, “Maternal occupational exposure to chemicals and neurocognitive development at 4-5 years of age”, estimates job-related exposure to chemicals among expecting mothers in Spain and the potential adverse consequences of such exposures on early childhood cognitive function.
Given that chemical exposures during pregnancy may interfere with fetal brain development, researchers hypothesize that such exposures can have lasting consequences for children’s intelligence. However, only a few studies have specifically examined mothers’ work-related exposure to chemicals in relation to the long-term health of their children, a knowledge gap which Ish’s study addresses.
Rosandra Daywalker, MD, an occupational medicine resident and PhD student in Total Worker Health® at the SWCOEH, was awarded two scholarships in 2021. In May, Dr. Daywalker was awarded a full scholarship to attend the 2021 American Occupational Health Conference. Dr. Daywalker’s scholarship was awarded by the American College of Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) Special Interest Section and the Occupational and Environmental Health Foundation. Dr. Daywalker presented “The Trauma Informed Approach for Patient and Practitioner Well-being” at AOHC.
In November, Dr. Daywalker was awarded a full scholarship to attend the 2021 American College of Lifestyle Medicine Annual Conference (ACLM).
"This scholarship enabled me to attend the Lifestyle Medicine 2021 Conference with other transformational leaders from all over the globe,” Dr. Daywalker said. “The themes addressed – such as prevention and reversal of chronic disease, culinary medicine, behavior change, mental health, resilience, and more – highly complement my training in Occupational and Environmental Medicine as I prepare to care for workers, their families, and their communities. As the first CDC NIOSH Total Worker Health PhD trainee in the nation, my experience in Lifestyle Medicine adds another layer of expertise that supports organizational and population well-being throughout the life continuum."
The SWCOEH provides a variety of graduate-level training opportunities for occupational and environmental health professionals through our industrial hygiene, occupational and environmental medicine, occupational epidemiology, and Total Worker Health. For more information, visit the SWCOEH website.