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Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health

Total Worker Health


Total Worker Health® Track

Total Worker Health® (TWH) is a track within the PhD program in Environmental Sciences that builds upon occupational safety and health efforts to prevent workplace injury and illness with policies, programs and practices to promote worker well-being.  For more information, contact Dr. Susie Day.

Graduates will be able to conduct research characterizing worker well-being, as well as implement policies and practices improving worker health.  In addition to research opportunities, key elements of the TWH track involve practice-based training and interdisciplinary interactions with trainees in occupational epidemiology, industrial hygiene and occupational medicine.  Specifically, the curriculum will train students to identify, characterize and integrate risk factors of worker well-being and safety, as well as develop, implement and evaluate strategies, policies and programs to improve worker well-being.

The following are the learning objectives of the Total Worker Health Track:

  1. Describe applications of the Total Worker Health framework in workplace settings to improve worker well-being.

  2. Evaluate research relevant to Total Worker Health and worker well-being.

  3. Identify sources and pathways of exposure to risk factors influencing worker well-being.

  4. Identify potential modifiers (e.g., aging, addictions, outdoor air pollution, built environment, lifestyle behaviors, health policies and health care) of occupational factors influencing worker well-being.

  5. Integrate behavioral, organizational, and policy theories as needed in plans to improve worker well-being.

  6. Develop, implement, or evaluate a Total Worker Health strategy or intervention to improve worker well-being.

Campuses: Houston, El Paso, San Antonio

Fall 2019 to Summer 2020 PhD-EOHS TWH Track Degree Planner

Stipends, Tuition Support, and Benefits

The Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health at UTHealth School of Public Health is one of 18 CDC/NIOSH Education and Research Centers in the United States, supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). SWCOEH is comprised of academic degree programs in occupational medicine, industrial hygiene, occupational epidemiology and total worker health, and supports active continuing education, outreach and pilot project research training programs.

Traineeships consisting of full tuition, fees support and a generous monthly stipend are available to full-time students on a competitive basis.  Trainees must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Requirements for the traineeships include acceptance into the PhD Environmental Sciences academic program (TWH track), maintenance of a minimum course workload and satisfactory academic progress.

How to Apply

Admission requirements and application deadlines can be found online.

Students should apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Environmental Sciences within the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Program.

For More Information

R. Sue Day, Ph.D.
Professor and Program Director
Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics and Environmental Sciences
1200 Pressler, E-1027
Houston, TX 77030
Phone:  713-500-9317

Meet our team here

SWCOEH Homepage


Total Worker Health® Trainees

Paul Carey, MD, MPH

Paul Carey, MD, MPH completed both his residency training in Occupational & Environmental Medicine and Master of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston.  He served as chief resident and was inducted to the Alpha Iota Chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health in August 2019.  Dr. Carey was the Occupational Medicine resident representative on the residency advisory committee and the program evaluation committee.  He was selected as a NIOSH Trainee in Total Worker Health and plans to advance his career as an academic clinician engaged in research interests that include occupational chemical exposure, nanomaterial risk identification and biomarker surveillance.
Rosandra Daywalker, MD
Rosandra "Røs" Daywalker, MD is a physician completing a combined PhD in Environmental & Occupational Health and residency in Occupational & Environmental Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. The first Total Worker Health® track doctoral student in the nation, Dr. Daywalker was granted a competitive traineeship by the CDC NIOSH through the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. Dr. Daywalker is currently coordinating research regarding the effects of COVID-19 on patient care gaps and healthcare worker well-being, in collaboration with the Texas Association of Community Health Centers, Inc.-- the federally designated primary care association for the state of Texas. She attended medical school at Morehouse School of Medicine, an institution recognized for its social mission and commitment to health equity. As a medical student, she was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, the only national medical honor society in the world. Dr. Daywalker's global experience includes having led medical professionals in a community health program in Haiti, as well as humanitarian medical and educational service in Vietnam. As a recipient of the AAO-HNS Resident Leadership Grant, Nathan Sostrin Unbeatable Mind Scholarship, and University of Texas Medical Branch Quality Improvement Research Award, Dr. Daywalker is dedicated to improving population well-being through collaboration. Her vision is to use her expertise in medicine, research, coaching, and leadership to continue to drive innovations in wellness, health promotion, leadership development, and organizational/community transformation.
Valerie Valenzuela, MBA

Valerie Valenzuela, MBA, is a second-year PhD student at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health) School of Public Health in the Environmental Science: Total Worker Health track. She completed her MBA in 2018 and has many years working in both local and state government agencies serving to aid in worker health from various environmental hazards from asbestos to lead. Additionally, she served as an epidemiologist for the city health department Covid-19 response team. Her interests include migrant worker health and promoting data analysis frameworks for occupations with vulnerable populations.