• Public Affairs

    landing-header-public-affairs_37748_17213
  • ACOEM Urges Congress to Fund Total Worker Health Program for 2016


    September 30, 2015

    The Honorable Thad Cochran
    Chairman
    Senate Appropriations Committee
    United States Senate
    Washington, DC 20510

     

    The Honorable Barbara Mikulski
    Ranking Member
    Senate Appropriations Committee
    United States Senate
    Washington, DC 20510

    The Honorable Harold Rogers
    Chairman
    House Appropriations Committee
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515
     The Honorable Nita M. Lowey
    Ranking Member
    House Appropriations Committee
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515


    Re: FY 2016 NIOSH Funding — Total Worker Health Program

    Dear Chairmen Cochran and Rogers and Ranking Members Mikulski and Lowey:

    On behalf of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, I write to respectfully urge you to accept the House level of $5 million for the Total Worker Health Program (Healthier Workforce Center) during Conference on the Fiscal 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill.

    The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the primary federal agency responsible for conducting innovative research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related illness and injury. NIOSH established the Total Worker Health® Program to build and disseminate evidence for effective and efficient integrated workplace health and safety programs to preserve the health and productivity of the American workforce. The Total Worker Health Centers for Excellence to Promote a Healthier Workforce, first funded in 2006, are a cornerstone of this effort, and are charged with designing, testing, and disseminating evidence-based approaches to protect and promote worker health.

    The health of workers is of paramount importance, not only for workers and their families but also to ensure the competitive advantage and productivity of American businesses. Research conducted by the TWH Centers identifies effective programs and policies in order to ensure that employers invest in programs that improve workers’ well being, safety, and health. These programs and policies have been shown to result in improved employee productivity and performance, reduced employee health care costs, and increased ability to attract and retain high-performing talent. Recent research also suggests that improved employee health and wellness strongly correlates with increased return to investors.

    TWH Centers are leading national research and dissemination efforts for integration of workplace health promotion and health protection programs, especially in the areas of smoking and tobacco use, physical activity, diet, ergonomics, work organization, institutional leadership, team-based and incentive-driven programs, and integration with primary care and the medical home.

    It is critical that Congress preserves funding for NIOSH’s Total Worker Health Program in the Conference on the Fiscal 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill. Ongoing funding for the Total Worker Health® Program will sustain and expand this important research in workplace health and well-being programs which are key to improving the health of American workers and the productivity of American businesses.

    ACOEM is an organization of more than 4,000 occupational physicians and other health care professionals that provides leadership to promote optimal health and safety of workers, workplaces, and environments.

    Thank you for your consideration of these comments. Please contact Patrick O’Connor, ACOEM’s Director of Government Affairs, if you have additional questions or need additional information. He can be reached at 202-223-6222 or by email at patoconnor@kentoconnor.com.

    Sincerely,

    Mark A. Roberts, MD, PhD, MPH, FACOEM
    President

    cc:  Honorable Roy Blunt, Chair, Senate Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee
     
    Honorable Patty Murray, Ranking Member, Senate Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee
     
    Honorable Tom Cole, Chair, House Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee
     
    Honorable Rosa DeLauro, Ranking Member, House Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee