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NIOSH Awards More than $5M to Address COVID-19 Related Challenges

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provided more than $5 million in extramural funding during fiscal year (FY) 2021 to 38 projects that address challenges related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This amount includes supplemental funding for State Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Surveillance Programs and funding for investigator-initiated research through the Centers for […]

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) provided more than $5 million in extramural funding during fiscal year (FY) 2021 to 38 projects that address challenges related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This amount includes supplemental funding for State Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Surveillance Programs and funding for investigator-initiated research through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 response efforts. Funding received through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 supported additional investigator-initiated research projects and research from NIOSH Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health®.

“The funding provided to these projects will help bolster our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and meet the challenges of this fast-moving public health threat,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, MD. “The research and knowledge generated from these projects will help us keep workers safe and healthy during this pandemic and into the future.”

As part of funding received through CDC’s COVID-19 response efforts, NIOSH awarded one investigator-initiated research grant focused on occupational inhalation exposure to infectious respiratory virus aerosols in medical facilities. NIOSH also provided one year in supplemental funding to the State OSH Surveillance Program, which includes states and other eligible jurisdictions currently funded by NIOSH to develop or expand OSH surveillance. Fifteen of 22 NIOSH-supported state surveillance programs requested and received funding for 26 projects focused on strengthening either one or both of two areas: (1) worker safety and health, safe return to work policies, and mitigation or prevention of COVID-19 outbreaks in various industrial sectors, and (2) communication and outreach to increase vaccine confidence in workers. These state surveillance programs are listed below, and descriptions of their funded projects are available on the State Occupational Health & Safety Surveillance Program webpage.

Support for Worker Safety and Health, Safe Return to Work Policies, and Mitigation or Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Various Industrial Sectors

  • Public Health Institute (California)
  • Connecticut State Department of Public Health
  • Georgia Department of Public Health
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Kentucky
  • Louisiana Department of Health
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Michigan State University
  • Minnesota Department of Health
  • University of New Hampshire
  • Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
  • Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Support for Strengthening Vaccine Confidence in Workers

  • Public Health Institute (California)
  • Connecticut State Department of Public Health
  • Georgia Department of Public Health
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Kentucky
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Michigan State University
  • Minnesota Department of Health
  • University of New Hampshire
  • New Mexico Department of Health
  • Health Research, Incorporated (New York)
  • Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
  • Wisconsin Department of Health Services

As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, NIOSH also received funding for extramural research projects related to the health and well-being of the nation’s health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. These projects include three investigator-initiated research awards focused on COVID-19 exposure, response, physical, and mental health sequelae among nurses in New Yorkphysicians’ occupational health during COVID-19; and moral injury among health care workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis.

In FY 2021, 6 of the 10 current NIOSH-funded Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health (TWH) also received American Rescue Plan funding for eight research projects, spanning a period of two years. The Centers of Excellence for TWH advances research and practice related to TWH approaches. The eight projects address mental health conditions and substance use among health workers, including medical first responders and public health workers. These centers include:

  • Carolina Center for Total Worker Health® and Well-being
  • Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Center for Work, Health and Well-being
  • Johns Hopkins Psychosocial Organizational, and Environmental Total Worker Health® Center in Mental Health
  • Oregon Healthy Workforce Center
  • Utah Center for Promotion of Work Equity

For descriptions of the centers’ COVID-19 related research, visit  www.cdc.gov/niosh/oep/twhcenters.html.

In addition to extramural research, NIOSH received funding via the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to deliver a national awareness and education campaign to safeguard and improve the mental health of health workers.

–  This press release was provided by NIOSH

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