Public Health Sciences Faculty, Staff and Students Play Prominent Role at National Conference

A sizeable showing of faculty, staff and students from the Miller School’s Department of Public Health Sciences made presentations and participated in multiple sessions at the 143rd American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, held from October 31 to November 4 in Chicago.

The annual meeting is aimed at strengthening the profession of public health, while allowing scholars and practitioners to share the latest research and information, promote best practices and advocate for public health issues and policies grounded in research. The theme for this year’s meeting was “Health in All Policies.”

More than a dozen Department of Public Health Sciences faculty members and staff participated in the sessions. There was significant representation from the lab of Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of public health sciences, Director of the Musculoskeletal Disorders and Occupational Health Lab, and Associate Director of the Miami Occupational Research Group. His lab members, comprised of M.D./M.P.H. students, collaboratively made 12 presentations at the meeting. One student, Kevin Moore, and another group of Dr. Caban-Martinez’s students — Hannah Kling, Charles Chen, Henry Olano and Joshua Sznol — received national awards in the categories of occupational health and safety. They were recognized for their respective presentations on occupational skin conditions among green and non-green collar workers in the United States, and on the BOLTS (Building Occupational Lessons in Toxic Silica) study, which provided toolbox talks at local construction sites to protect minority construction workers from breathing silica and dust in order to prevent respiratory health issues.

“Jointly receiving the award for our scientific presentation at APHA makes me very proud of our accomplishments and highlights how fortunate we were to be able to work under Dr. Caban-Martinez’s mentorship and have such a wonderful experience putting public health science to action,” said Olano, a doctoral student in epidemiology who is also a project research assistant and Director of the BOLTS study.

“We are very proud of Henry Olano and Dr. Caban-Martinez, said José Szapocznik, Ph.D., professor and Chair of Public Health Sciences and Director of the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute. “Their research on occupational health, and particularly with construction workers, will increase the safety for these workers, improve their quality of life, and reduce health care and construction business costs. Its potential public health impact to hundreds of thousands of workers across the nation will be enormous. For every dollar invested in prevention, many treatment dollars are saved, and the quality of life of our workers is improved.”

Click here for a comprehensive list of conference presentations by UM participants.

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