247045 Meeting Occupational Healthcare Training Needs for Isolated Mining- and Energy-Impacted Communities: An Interprofessional Approach Anchored in a Rural School of Pharmacy

Monday, October 31, 2011: 5:15 PM

Suzanne Clark, RPh, PhD , School of Pharmacy, Dept 3375, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
David Hunt, PhD , College of Business, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Kem Krueger, PharmD, PhD , School of Pharmacy, Dept 3375, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Carol J. Hermansen-Kobulnicky, RPh, PhD , School of Pharmacy, Dept 3375, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Jodi Renee Schilz, MS , School of Pharmacy & BioMedical Sciences Ph.D. Program, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Pamela Clarke, PhD , School of Nursing, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
OBJECTIVES: The national push for energy independence stresses health resources in energy and mining communities throughout the US. Wyoming is one of the nation's largest energy exporter and has one of the highest national occupational fatality rates. These energy and mining operations are located in rural/frontier communities. The isolation of these communities and limited access to specialized training make it challenging for health professionals to treat certain injuries and health issues associated with extraction industries. Such issues typically are addressed by Schools of Public Health or Medicine. Neither exists at the University of Wyoming, the state's only 4-year university. To meet the needs of these communities, we recently developed an interprofessional, interagency collaboration, anchored in the School of Pharmacy. This collaboration includes faculty, researchers, and students (professional and graduate) from Pharmacy, Nursing, Social Work, Business, and State and private agencies. METHODS: To identify occupational health experiences and educational needs we conducted focus groups of key stakeholders from energy-impacted communities. Participants included nurses, nurse-educators, pharmacists, and energy industry safety officers. Groups were audio-recorded and transcribed. A thematic analysis was used. RESULTS: Stakeholders identified challenges due to shortfalls in education, injury-prevention and treatment options. Other issues include pain management, shift-work sleep disorders, language, EMT policies, and OSHA requirements. Results complement our previous findings from surveys and Workers' Compensation database analysis, and are guiding development of programs to support healthcare workers in energy-impacted communities, including interdisciplinary training systems to integrate national and regional content experts with local community resources.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify occupational injuries and health issues in mining- and energy-impacted communities 2. Identify education needs of healthcare workers in mining- and energy-impacted communities 3. Design strategies for rural Schools of Pharmacy to address the above issues through interprofessional and interagency collaborations

Keywords: Occupational Injury and Death, Pharmacist

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because (1) I teach Pharmacy and Graduate Students at the U of Wyo and include Public Health Content in my courses and in our research projects, (2) I formed an interprofessional collaborative group at UW to focus on Public Health Issues related to Occupational Injuries and Illnesses in Energy-Impacted Communities, and (3) I work with the County and State Depts of Employment and Depts of Health on issues of interest between those agencies and UW, including Occupational Issues and Preparedness.
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.