For the sixth year in a row, we present “The Year in U.S. Occupational Health & Safety,” our attempt to document the year’s highs and lows as well as the challenges ahead.
Across the country, federally qualified health centers provide a critical safety net, delivering needed medical care regardless of a person’s ability to pay. And so it’s worrisome when researchers document a sharp increase in dissatisfaction among the clinicians and staff who make those centers run.
The idea that the Affordable Care Act is a job killer is one of those regularly debunked talking points that won’t disappear. So, here’s yet more evidence that the ACA has had very little impact on the labor market.
Reporters investigate the deaths of five workers at Tampa Electric; OSHA removes worker fatality information from its home page; more workers sue Fraser Shipyards for hazardous lead exposures; and the Secret Service runs out of money to pay its agents.
In July, public health departments across the country got a letter from the Trump administration abruptly cutting off funding for teen pregnancy prevention efforts in the middle of the program’s grant cycle. The move means that many teens will miss out on receiving an education that could — quite literally — change the trajectory of their lives.
Umair Shah’s story isn’t an uncommon one in public health. Starting out in medicine, with a career as an emergency department doctor, he said it quickly became clear that most of what impacts our health happens outside the hospital and in the community.
Age bias a challenge to prove in the workplace; coal miner deaths up over last year; workers protest after the death of a California farmworker; and the United Auto Workers looks forward after union defeat at Nissan plant in Mississippi.
Public trust in science is a fickle creature. Surveys show a clear majority of Americans believe science has positively impacted society, and they’re more likely to trust scientists on issues like climate change and vaccines. On the other hand, surveys also find that factors like politics, religion, age and race can greatly impact the degree of that trust. It presents a delicate challenge for agencies that depend on trust in science to do their jobs.
U.S. investments in global health research have saved millions of lives and prevented immeasurable suffering. And by working to detect, treat and eventually eliminate infectious diseases worldwide, we’re protecting our own country too. That cliché about diseases knowing no borders is unfortunately very true. All that alone should be enough to remain committed to the cause.
Another day, another study that underscores the societal benefits of vaccines and the consequences we’d face without them.