205083 Identifying Work-Related Injuries, Illnesses, and Hazards in an Urban Free Medical Clinic Patient Population

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 5:30 PM

Rosemary Klein, MS, C-ANP, COHN-S , Central NY Occupational Health Clinical Center, Family Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY
Michael B. Lax, MD MPH , Family Medicine SUNY Upstate Medical University, Central New York Occupational Health Clinical Center, Syracuse, NY
LynnBeth Satterly, MD , Department of Family Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY
Natalia Manetti-Lax , Central NY Occupational Health Clinical Center, Family Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY
This presentation will discuss a collaboration between a publicly funded occupational health clinical center (OHCC) and a free clinic in the downtown of a moderately sized city. The free clinic offers general medical care to individuals without health insurance. We theorized that a significant proportion of this patient population work, or have worked, in high hazard jobs without much access to occupational health services, but we had no data to confirm this.

Consequently, the intent of the collaboration was to assess several workplace health issues among the population served by the free clinic including:

1) The prevalence of occupational injuries and illnesses

2) The prevalence and nature of hazardous working conditions

3) The use of medical resources to evaluate or treat potential work related conditions

4) The impact of work related injuries and illnesses on ability to work

Over a three month period, OHCC staff interviewed patients waiting to be seen by clinicians at the free clinic using a standardized questionnaire.

The results showed a substantial number of patients had experienced a work related injury or illness. Many had not received medical care that recognized the work relatedness of their condition. A significant proportion of patients had lost the ability to work due to a work related injury. Many of those currently working identified at least one hazard on their job.

The population seen at the free clinic is not typically easily reached with specialty occupational health services. Our study confirms a need for these services among this population.

Learning Objectives:
• Describe the “waiting room intake” model utilized in data collection in difficult-to-reach, underserved worker populations. • Discuss barriers to obtaining occupational health services for lower socioeconomic workers and disabled workers and the long term impact on their ability to work. • Describe collaborative approach used between health care and other agencies with the mission of accessing the underserved.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of Clinical Services at an Occupational Medicine Clinic. I have held this job for 19 years. The abstract describes a project I have been directly involved in designing and implementing to provide services to a high risk underserved population.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.