Online Program

25 years on: An assessment of the occupational health clinic network in New York state

Monday, November 4, 2013

Michael B. Lax, MD MPH, Family Medicine SUNY Upstate Medical University, Occupational Health Clinical Centers, Syracuse, NY
It has been 25 years since New York State created a publicly funded Occupational Health Clinic Network (OHCN). The OHCN was established to focus on the problem of occupational disease in the state, with regional centers focused on the diagnosis and prevention of occupational disease. The Centers were expected to build a multidisciplinary staff including industrial hygienists and social workers to address workplace conditions and psychosocial issues. A community based advisory board would help ensure that each Center would be responsive to community needs. The OHCN was originally mandated to address several connected statewide needs including: a heavy burden of estimated occupational disease, of which only a portion had been identified; a large portion of the workforce working in hazardous conditions; and few medical resources capable of diagnosing and dealing with the consequences of occupational disease. Through a historical analysis this presentation will assess the OHCN as reflected in how it has met these original identified needs. In addition attention will be given to a changing workplace and medical landscape, and how the OHCN has adapted its activities to these changes. The challenges facing the OHCN will be described. The continuing relevance of the OHCN as a model for an effective approach to improving the identification and the prevention of occupational disease, and for effectively advocating for workers with occupational disease will be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate the effectiveness of an occupational health clinical network in historical context with regard to: a. Effectiveness of programming b. Community integration c. Addressing existing occupational disease burdens d. Identification and prevention of occupational disease e. Patient advocacy

Keyword(s): Occupational Disease, Occupational Health Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the Medical Director of the Occupational Health Clinical Centers for the last 25 years. In this role I have been intimately involved with the ongoing development of the New York State Occupational Health Clinical Network.
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.