Webinar Invitation: Age-Friendly Checklist – Engage and Retain Your Skilled Workforce

August 21, 2021

Farmington, CT  ̶  Leaders and workers in manufacturing and other sectors with physically demanding jobs are invited to attend a free webinar hosted by NIOSH and UConn Health on Thursday, October 14, 2021, from 2 to 3 p.m., Age-friendly Checklist: Engage and Retain Your Skilled Workforce. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and UConn Health Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine are hosting the webinar to promote the concept of an age-friendly application (iAge e-tool) and create stakeholders who can be part of its development.

Over the coming decades, workers over 50 years and older are expected to make up increasingly larger percentages of the workforce, while the percentage of workers in younger age groups is expected to decline or remain flat. These demographic changes affect virtually all economic sectors and have profound implications for occupational safety and health. Although older workers are often valued for their job-related knowledge and expertise, they can also be more vulnerable to a range of health issues, including musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), falls, severe/fatal injuries, and chronic health conditions. Despite growing knowledge of how aging affects the safety and health of workers, there remains a pressing need for practical, evidence-based tools that provide guidance to employers to create safer and healthier work environments.

The e-tool is intended to aid organizations in designing age-friendly workplaces, with emphasis on improving workers musculoskeletal health. Although this project focuses on the manufacturing sector, it is expected to have a broader application to other physically demanding jobs, and can be used in small, medium, or large companies.

NIOSH researchers from the National Center for Productive Aging and Work (NCPAW), Dr. James Grosch and Dr. Gretchen Petery, will discuss trends in workforce aging and the implications for occupational safety and health, as well as workplace applications for the iAge e-tool. Attendees are invited to get involved in the development of this product. In particular, the research team is looking for interested and motivated industry partners (e.g., employers, human resource managers, supervisors, OSH specialist, workers, retirees, manufacturing educators) to share insights and later test the iAge e-tool. For instance, this may include participating in interviews or focus groups or providing feedback on the usability of the product. The completed e-tool will eventually be available freely from NIOSH for public use.

We need your help to develop a tool most companies with an aging workforce can benefit from. For more information, please register to the introductory webinar by selecting the link below, email caldwellcover@uchc.edu or call UConn Health, 860-679-6389.

Webinar online registration.

Better Medicine: Opioid Epidemic and Workers’ Comp

January 22, 2020

William Shaw, one of our occupational and environmental medicine researchers, is working to identify opioid prescription management strategies for payers and organizations administering workers’ compensation benefits.

Read more about his study, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor and public policy firm Mathematica.

Mold and Moisture CME Course

October 25, 2017

Mold and Moisture CME Course – Guidance For Clinicians

Patients present to primary care services with symptoms and health concerns that require consideration of environmental factors. In some cases, patients’ exposure to mold and moisture in their homes, offices, schools, and workplaces may be having a significant effect. This course includes guidance designed to help the healthcare provider address patients with illnesses related to mold in the indoor environment by providing a background understanding of how mold may be affecting patients. With an appreciation of the time pressures in the clinical medical setting today, the course describes “tools” to help the provider evaluate the patient and help the practitioner explore environmental relationships to illness.

The course can be found here: Mold and Moisture CME Course

Part 1: Health Effects Related to Mold and Moisture in Indoor Environments

Part 2:Resources for Health Providers: Preventing Respiratory Disease in Patients who are Exposed to Damp Moldy Environments

EPA and UConn Health Webinar

October 23, 2017

The United States Environmental Protection Agency and UConn Health Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine would like to invite you to our webinar:

“Guidance for Clinicians and Public Health Professionals on Mold and Moisture Exposure Indoors”

Presented by: Paula Schenck, MPH, Center for Indoor Environments and Health at UConn Health, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Date and Time: Thursday, October 26, 2017, 1 to 2:30 p.m. (EDT)

Hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Indoor Environments Division

Paula Schenck is the co-founder of the Center for Indoor Environments and Health at UConn. The Center focuses research, education and service towards amelioration and/or prevention of human disease by addressing the indoor environment in schools, offices and homes.

Ms. Schenck will be discussing the book, “Guidance for Clinicians on the Recognition and Management of Health Effects related to Mold Exposure and Moisture Indoors” as it relates to current events in health care and public health settings. She will highlight prominent areas of the guidance, present recent findings in scientific literature as well as share her perspective on why mold exposure and health is becoming more of a concern for individuals and communities, what exposures mean for human health, and what her current work tells us about added risks to communities recovering from catastrophic weather events.

To register for the webinar: Registration Link

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


  • Physicians, nurses, asthma educators and other health care providers
  • Health directors, facility managers, school superintendents, employers, building owners
  • Storm response planners and rebuilders, construction workers, community planners
  • Professional/technical consultants
  • Individuals with concerns about how mold exposure may be affecting their health


Become aware of information on the relationship between mold exposure and health effects as discussed in current guidance and peer-reviewed literature.

Have guidance to explore mold and moisture exposure as contributors to illnesses in clinical settings.

Explore strategies for the public and worker populations to reduce exposure when in wet moldy environments so  to possibly prevent illness (especially important when preparing for and responding to flooding and severe weather events).


December 12, 2016

On February 3, 2018, William Shaw, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Örebro University, Sweden. This special award was granted for his influential research on the links between psychosocial factors and work disability due to musculoskeletal pain. The Conferment was part of a formal graduation ceremony for new M.D.s and new Ph.D.s at Örebro University in the fields of medicine, law, arts, and sciences. While Honorary Doctorates in the U.S. are typically awarded to celebrities, politicians, or philanthropists, this recognition in European and Scandinavian universities is reserved for fellow peer scientists from other countries who have collaborated with local faculty. Over the past 12 years, Dr. Shaw has worked with Professor Steven Linton and other faculty at the Örebro University School of Law, Psychology, and Social Work on research topics pertaining to work disability. Örebro University is one of the ten major Swedish universities, with 15,000 students, including 400 doctoral students. As part of the graduation weekend, Dr. Shaw made a public presentation of his research on work-related low back pain, he addressed new graduates as part of the commencement dinner, and he was even crowned with a real laurel wreath during the formal white-tie Conferment ceremony. Congratulations, Dr. Shaw, for this unusual recognition from abroad!

Insoo Kim, Ph.D., received a BioScience Pipeline award to accelerate the development of more sensitive electronic hearing protection devices. Visit Eight Connecticut Teams Awarded BioScience Pipeline Grants to Advance Human Health for more information.


September 13, 2016


The Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine offers a monthly colloquium series on an aspect of Occupational or Environmental Medicine. We bring in speakers on the first Monday of each month to lecture from noon to 1:30. These events are CME events, so your physical attendance and participation will qualify you for the CME credits.

If you can not make it to UConn Health to attend the lecture in person, we do broadcast it using Occupational Medicine Colloquium Archives. You can find an archive of some of our previous speakers there.

Our next lecture will take place on Wednesday, March 7, 2018,  in the Low Learning Center. The lecture will start at noon, but refreshments will be provided before the lecture starts. It will run to approximately 1:30 p.m. to allow for time to discussion and questions after the presentation. Information on this lecture is below. This will be a extended lecture, and will count for a 1 hour CME session.

Speakers: Dr. Mathew Grant, M.D.

Topic: “Travel Medicine Update”

Please RSVP for this event by emailing Miriam Muniz at muniz@uchc.edu.



Michael Erdil MD, FACOEM, gave the following presentations:

  • UMass Lowell, UConn Health. Sturbridge Winter Symposium. Arthroscopic Surgery for Patients with Degenerative Meniscal Tears of the Knee: Practice Gaps, Opportunities and Research Considerations. January 10, 2018.
  • Human Resource Association of Central Connecticut. Opioids in the Workplace: What HR Needs to Know! Rocky Hill, CT. January 23, 2018.


Recent Publications

September 1, 2015

Lee J, Huang Y-H, Cheung JH, Chen Z, Shaw WS. A systematic review of the safety climate intervention literature: past trends and future directions. J Occup Health Psychol., in press.

Award Announcements

Public Health doctoral student Lisa Rusch, MS, CEP, was awarded a Pilot Grant from The Center for the Promotion of Health in The New England Workplace (CPH-NEW) for her research entitled: Associations Among Workplace Factors, Perceived Work Ability, Length of Sick Leave, and Leisure Time Physical Activity in Working Breast Cancer Survivors. Lisa is working with co-investigators Drs. Jennifer Cavallari and Alicia Dugan.