State Employment First Policies: Research to Practice State

This brief is the first in a series focusing on Employment First implementation as it relates to one of the seven elements within the High-Performing States in Integrated Employment model1. It examines the background of circumstances under which Employment First efforts began in seven states, and introduces each state’s values, mission, and goals around increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. States may use the lessons in this brief to develop an Employment First policy, or to evolve existing efforts.

Download State Definitions, Goals, and Values By Jennifer Bose and Jean E. Winsor

Source: ThinkWork https://bit.ly/2JzWMSQ 

ThinkWork is a research and training center focused on advancing employment for individuals with intellectual/ developmental disabilities (IDD). ThinkWork has published this brief as the first in a series of briefs on the implementation of Employment First policies. The principles of Employment First state that individuals with IDD can perform work, should should be paid at minimum or prevailing wage rates for this work, and that providing work-specific supports should be the top support priority.

The relationship between employment and health and health care among working-age adults with and without disabilities in the United States

The relationship between employment and health and health care among working-age adults with and without disabilities in the United States

Source: The relationship between employment and health and health care among working-age adults with and without disabilities in the United States: Disability and Rehabilitation: Vol 0, No 0

Purpose: To better understand the relationship between employment and health and health care for people with disabilities in the United States (US).

Methods: We pooled US Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (2004–2010) data to examine health status, and access to health care among working-age adults, comparing people with physical disabilities or multiple disabilities to people without disabilities, based on their employment status. Logistic regression and least squares regression were conducted, controlling for sociodemographics, health insurance (when not the outcome), multiple chronic conditions, and need for assistance.

Results: Employment was inversely related to access to care, insurance, and obesity. Yet, people with disabilities employed in the past year reported better general and mental health than their peers with the same disabilities who were not employed. Those who were employed were more likely to have delayed/forgone necessary care, across disability groups. Part-time employment, especially for people with multiple limitations, was associated with better health and health care outcomes than full-time employment.

Conclusion: Findings highlight the importance of addressing employment-related causes of delayed or foregone receipt of necessary care (e.g., flex-time for attending appointments) that exist for all workers, especially those with physical or multiple disabilities.

  • Implications for rehabilitation
  • These findings demonstrate that rehabilitation professionals who are seeking to support employment for persons with physical limitations need to ensure that overall health concerns are adequately addressed, both for those seeking employment and for those who are currently employed.

  • Assisting clients in prioritizing health equally with employment can ensure that both areas receive sufficient attention.

  • Engaging with employers to develop innovative practices to improve health, health behaviors and access to care for employees with disabilities can decrease turnover, increase productivity, and ensure longer job tenure.

Work-Life Balance & Disability

Source: http://work-life-disability.org/#home 

The NIDILRR-funded project on Getting and Keeping People with Disabilities in the Workforce: Negotiating Work, Life, and Disability recently debuted a new web resource, Work-Life Balance & Disability, resulting from the project’s exploration of individual and organizational factors that support effective work-life management among employed people with disabilities. The site includes personal stories, plain language research briefs, and other resources. A polling feature enables collection of data to help inform future projects related to the well-being and employment success of people with disabilities. The site will continue to be updated with new polling questions, featured publications, and more stories from employed people with disabilities.

Removing Barriers and Facilitating Access: Increasing the Number of Physicians With Disabilities

Source: Removing Barriers and Facilitating Access: Increasing the Number of Physicians With Disabilities: Academic Medicine

Meeks, Lisa, M.; Herzer, Kurt; Jain, Neera, R.

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ABSTRACT

Nearly one-fifth of the U.S. population has a disability, and many of these Americans experience disparities in the health care they receive. In part, these health care disparities result from a lack of understanding about disability by health care providers. The education of physicians is grounded in a biomedical model that emphasizes pathology, impairment, or dysfunction, rather than a social model of disability that focuses on removing barriers for individuals with disabilities and improving their capabilities. According to a recent report, only 2.7% of medical students disclosed having disabilities—far fewer than the proportion of people with disabilities in the U.S. population. Including students and other trainees with disabilities—those with lived experiences of disability who can empathize with patients and serve as an example for their peers—in medical education is one mechanism to address the health care disparities faced by individuals with disabilities. At present, medical students and residents with disabilities face structural barriers related to policies and procedures, clinical accommodations, disability and wellness support services, and the physical environment. Additionally, many face cultural barriers related to the overarching attitudes, beliefs, and values prevalent at their medical school. In this Commentary, the authors review the state of disability in medical education and training, summarize key findings from an Association of American Medical Colleges special report on disability, and discuss considerations for medical educators to improve inclusion, including emerging technologies that can enhance access for students with disabilities.

Paving the Way for Medical Students, Physicians With Disabilities

Source: Paving the Way for Medical Students, Physicians With Disabilities

A new report explores the experiences of students and residents with disabilities and outlines promising practices for medical schools and teaching hospitals.

Medical schools and teaching hospitals are striving to support learners with disabilities, yet they often need more information and resources to help create fully inclusive environments. Furthermore, the quality and extent of supports for these learners vary quite significantly from institution to institution across the country.

Those are among the findings of an AAMC report released today that captures the insights and lived experiences of learners and physicians with disabilities.

The report, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education: Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians With Disabilities, is the product of months of delving into research studies and interviewing administrators and learners at more than 30 institutions. It offers practical considerations and resources to help ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to medical education and the profession of medicine.

“Prior AAMC reports have addressed various issues surrounding disabilities, but this is the first comprehensive examination of the experiences of medical learners with disabilities,” notes Geoffrey Young, PhD, AAMC senior director of student affairs and programs. “This report gives voice to students, residents, and physicians with physical, psychological, sensory, learning, or chronic health disabilities.”

Created in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), School of Medicine, the report covers a broad landscape: physical accessibility, institutional culture, legal requirements, training opportunities, and more.

Report coauthor Lisa Meeks, PhD, former director of medical student disability services at UCSF School of Medicine, notes key takeaways. “Learners certainly need effective structures that sometimes are missing, such as clear policies around disabilities and knowledgeable disability service providers. But that’s not enough,” says Meeks, now a researcher at the University of Michigan Medical School. “They also need a culture that lets them know they are welcome.”

“Prior AAMC reports have addressed various issues surrounding disabilities, but this is the first comprehensive examination of the experiences of medical learners with disabilities.”

Geoffrey Young, PhD, AAMC

Young hopes the report will spark some crucial conversations. “I want this publication to encourage all involved in medical education to explore and challenge their implicit biases,” he says. “I want them to appreciate how people with disabilities can enrich medical education and the care of patients.”

Valuing and attracting learners with disabilities

Physicians and learners with disabilities can contribute to health care in many ways, the report notes. For one, research suggests that identifying with one’s physician increases patient compliance. Physicians with disabilities may also be well equipped to provide culturally competent care informed by their own experiences with treatment.

As one medical student interviewed for the report explained: “I can take my experiences and say, ‘Hey, I know what it’s like to be a patient. Most recently, I know what it’s like to have a really terrible thing that you have to deal with on a daily basis, or a disorder, a disease, illness that you have to deal with, and what I’ve learned from it. I can help you from what I’ve learned.’”

In addition, training alongside a fellow student with a disability can help unravel stereotypes.

“I tell medical students that you are going to learn far more from each other than from us,” says Lina Mehta, MD, associate dean for admissions at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “Studying with other students from diverse backgrounds gives you a broader understanding of people’s life experiences and challenges—and even what may be possible for your patients.”

Mehta has focused on ensuring that policies and procedures are supportive of applicants with disabilities. She also partnered with UCSF to create an online training session for admissions officers as part of the UCSF faculty training series.

“We are very cognizant of training admissions interviewers so they don’t make the student feel uncomfortable in discussing relevant issues. Sometimes [a disability is] so obvious that not addressing it probably would make the student feel worse,” says Mehta. “I think we are sometimes so afraid of saying the wrong thing that we don’t set ourselves up to say the right thing.” The training module provides guidance to interviewers to facilitate such sensitive conversations.

The report offers several ideas for admissions office staff to consider, such as:

  • Include disability in any statements welcoming diverse applicants to the school.
  • Make clear and accessible all instructions for requesting accommodations.
  • Devise technical standards—nonacademic criteria for entering and completing medical school—that focus on the ability to achieve key competencies rather than on how students achieve them.

Accessing accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires schools and employers to provide reasonable accommodations—unless they fundamentally alter a program or pose an undue burden to the institution.

In a medical environment, accommodations might include a powerful magnifying device for a learner with a visual disability, extended test times for a student with a learning disability, and a convertible wheelchair that allows a learner with paraplegia to stand at a surgical table.

To successfully access accommodations, learners need a dedicated contact person well versed in disability law and services, the report notes. They also need to feel comfortable using the accommodations.

“The interviewees [with disabilities] are trusting us with what they’ve been through, and they are trusting us to do the right thing with that information.”

Lisa Meeks, PhD
University of Michigan Medical School

Sometimes, other students misunderstand accommodations, says Neera Jain, MS, the report’s coauthor and a former disability service provider at UCSF School of Medicine. “They may think accommodations are unfair, having only seen the results—a student thriving in school. What peers aren’t privy to is all the work that students with disabilities need to do to achieve and forces like chronic pain, fatigue, and strict medication schedules that necessitate accommodations.”

Creating a supportive climate

While accommodations and other supportive structures are necessary for learners with disabilities, an institution’s culture around disability—though more nebulous—can be equally impactful.

Interviewees for the report shared complex, sometimes painful experiences: expending significant energy pursuing supports, feeling a need to outperform peers to prove themselves, and being stigmatized at times, even by well-meaning individuals.

Looking Out For Learners

A new AAMC report, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education: Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians With Disabilities, offers dozens of ways medical schools and teaching hospitals can support learners with disabilities.

Ideas include:

  • Employ a disability services provider (DSP), a staff member who is knowledgeable about accommodations and other supports.
  • Ensure that DSPs are trained in accommodations and other supports specific to medical settings.
  • Conduct an assessment of existing services through an outside expert.
  • Have a clear process for requesting accommodations that does not involve disclosing sensitive personal information directly to a colleague, dean, or supervisor.
  • Post the policies and processes for requesting and accessing accommodations on the institution’s website.
  • Normalize help-seeking behavior and offer time off for health appointments, including regular mental health appointments.

A less-than-welcoming environment can breed a reluctance to disclose disabilities, Meeks notes. Then, in an unfortunate cycle, a lack of disclosure can contribute to a less-inclusive environment, which then leads to fewer students disclosing disabilities.

For Kurt Herzer, MD, a graduate of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the decision to disclose his visual disability was easy. “I would disclose it broadly because I wanted people to see this is possible. It’s working. Things are being done a bit differently, but it fits in fine with our clinical workflow.” Herzer notes that his school was extremely responsive and supportive.

Choosing to disclose ADHD, a learning disability, or other “invisible” disability can be harder, though. “With the competitive culture of medical school, admitting you’re having problems of any sort . . . is tension laden,” says one student with invisible disabilities who asked not to be named. “The culture is changing, but too slowly. Any sign of perceived weakness can be taken to mean you’re not fit to be there.

Looking Out For Learners

A new AAMC report, Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education: Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians With Disabilities, offers dozens of ways medical schools and teaching hospitals can support learners with disabilities.

Ideas include:

  • Employ a disability services provider (DSP), a staff member who is knowledgeable about accommodations and other supports.
  • Ensure that DSPs are trained in accommodations and other supports specific to medical settings.
  • Conduct an assessment of existing services through an outside expert.
  • Have a clear process for requesting accommodations that does not involve disclosing sensitive personal information directly to a colleague, dean, or supervisor.
  • Post the policies and processes for requesting and accessing accommodations on the institution’s website.
  • Normalize help-seeking behavior and offer time off for health appointments, including regular mental health appointments.

“With my issues, I can’t easily or succinctly point to what’s wrong with me. It’s much hazier,” she adds. “In some people’s eyes, my need for certain accommodations becomes blurred with my personal responsibility and capability—and even sometimes who I am as a person.”

The report describes practices that can foster a positive culture around disability. One key step is ongoing professional development for faculty on how to communicate with and about people with disabilities. Also invaluable: taking a universal design approach, which means that anyone can access both the physical space and all learning experiences.

Meeks and Jain look forward to having such ideas discussed, debated, and, they hope, implemented. Hearing learners’ stories and writing the report was something of a sacred trust, they feel. Meeks points to one particularly compelling interview, which ran much longer than expected.

“We had to stop to allow her to process what she was saying,” explains Meeks, “because she had never said any of this out loud before, and it was causing significant distress to relive it. . . . Yet it also was therapeutic for her to tell her story.”

“It’s for people like her that I feel this report needs to exist,” Meeks adds. “The interviewees are trusting us with what they’ve been through, and they are trusting us to do the right thing with that information.”

Exclusive: Nurses with disabilities face discrimination in workplace

Source: Exclusive: Nurses with disabilities face discrimination in workplace | News | Nursing Times

Nurses with disabilities regularly face discrimination in the NHS, despite ongoing efforts to boost equality, an investigation by Nursing Times has found.

One nurse with a lifelong condition described how she had been told by colleagues she was a danger to herself and patients, and “should not be a nurse”.

Other nurses talked about job offers being withdrawn when a disability was mentioned and having to threaten court action to ensure managers made reasonable efforts to accommodate their needs.

They described their struggle to continue working in the NHS ahead of the introduction of a new Workforce Disability Equality Standard (WDES), which is designed to help trusts improve practice.

Holly Chadd, peer support officer at the Royal College of Nursing, told Nursing Times that discrimination was still a common problem experienced by disabled members.

Mayo Clinic Alumni Association | ‘It can be done:’ Mayo Clinic School of Medicine evolves, accommodating a student’s disabilities

When Leah Grengs Thompson, M.D. (MED ’17), was 6 years old, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law. The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life including jobs, schools, transportation.

leah grengs thompson

Leah, age 11

When Dr. Thompson was 11, she had a hemorrhagic stroke due to a benign brain tumor. Despite surgery, rehabilitation and years of therapy, she has permanent deficits including left-sided leg and arm weakness and significant vision loss.

Thanks to the ADA, she was accommodated through the years of her education but accepted that she was unable to do some things — play sports and drive, for example. She says she found her niche while volunteering at a Twin Cities hospital, near where she grew up.

“I hadn’t felt like I could do anything particularly well,” she says. “That changed when I started at the hospital. I loved working with patients and their families.

“I always assumed I wasn’t smart enough to be a doctor. My parents hadn’t gone to college, and I didn’t personally know anyone in medicine. When I started college and studied biology, I realized I was smart enough and became determined to go to medical school.”

A thriving undergrad

Dr. Thompson thrived at the University of Minnesota — inside and outside of the classroom —and earned bachelor’s degrees in neuroscience and anthropology and graduated summa cum laude. She received numerous scholarships:

  • Pediatric Brain Tumor Scholarship
  • Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota Volunteer Services Scholarship
  • College of Biological Sciences Volunteer Award
  • University of Minnesota Access Abroad Scholarship
  • University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center Scholarship
  • University of Minnesota Women’s Club Stephanie R. Boddy Scholarship
  • University of Minnesota Women’s Club Doris Doeden Scholarship
  • J.A. Wedum Foundation Scholarship
  • University of Minnesota President’s Student Leadership and Service Award

She traveled to Bolivia to assist in establishing clinics in impoverished rural communities and tutored at a homeless shelter in Minneapolis.

Dr. Thompson took the MCAT three times. “In college, I’d always sought accommodations and gotten extra time for exams due to my vision problems,” she says. “I was stubborn and didn’t ask for accommodations in taking the MCAT. I studied hard yet did poorly. I had trouble reading the passages. After I applied for accommodations, I did very well.”

Despite her successes, Dr. Thompson says she was so worried she wouldn’t get accepted to medical school due to her disabilities that she applied to 40 schools, using up all of her savings.

“I read the technical standards of the schools I applied to. They were difficult to interpret and understand,” she says. “I let all of the schools I interviewed at know about my physical limitations in advance. At a few schools, including Mayo, I met with a specialist to discuss my situation. This told me they took it seriously and would likely work to accommodate me.

“Mayo was where I really wanted to go. I jumped up and down when I was accepted.”

A self-accepting med school student

mayo clinic school of medicine

Leah Grengs Thompson, M.D., on Match Day

Dr. Thompson says she was shy at first with her medical school classmates. “I didn’t want to appear to need extra help or extra time for exams,” she says. “At Mayo Clinic, I learned to be more open and accepting of myself. Sometimes I can’t believe how lucky I am to have been able to go to medical school and do exactly what I want to do.”

To be able to do exactly what she wanted, though, is part of the spirit of the ADA.

A place of public accommodation

mayo clinic school of medicine

Robin Molella, M.D.

“Education is a place of public accommodation because we believe everyone has a right to be educated,” says Robin Molella, M.D. (MED ’90, I ’97, PREV ’99), director of Health, Disability & Accommodations for Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and a consultant in the Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. “The ADA started learning institutions down this path almost 30 years ago.”

Dr. Molella says Mayo Clinic School of Medicine has a history of accommodating individuals and, compared to other medical training institutions, “We’re quite far in this journey,” she says. “However, it’s not far enough. There’s pervasive ableism in medicine. And there’s a new desire to think about whether or not we’re doing everything we can to make our physician workforce as diverse as possible. Are we opening the doors of medical schools to more and more highly competent people who would be fabulous physicians?”

According to a recent New York Times story, more than 20 percent of the American population has a disability but as few as 2 percent of practicing physicians do. Most of those physicians acquired their disabilities after completing their medical training. Additionally, few people with disabilities are admitted to medical school, and those who are have higher attrition rates than nondisabled students. Why? Because they don’t always receive the support they need despite the ADA. Further, only one-third of medical schools explicitly state their support of accommodations for disabilities on their websites.

Every medical school determines its own technical standards, the cognitive and physical abilities required for admission. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science has a robust Accommodation for Disabilities policy, which states that it will make reasonable effort to accommodate students, residents, fellows and postgraduates with disabilities as defined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Any student with a physical, psychiatric, sensory or learning disability may request reasonable accommodations after providing adequate documentation from appropriate licensed professionals to the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.

“What do providers really need to be able to do?” asks Dr. Molella. “We must continuously ask what learners need to accomplish in medical school to define them as a physician. Not every physician needs the dexterity of a surgeon. If you plan to become an adult neurologist, must you catch babies in OB rotation? Are you disqualified if you can’t hold retractors for hours in surgery? How much of the shared training legacy in medical education is really necessary? We need to challenge our assumptions and better accommodate completely competent individuals with technology, for example, to ensure a diverse workforce.”

Working step by step, technical standard by technical standard to accommodate

Dr. Molella says Mayo Clinic School of Medicine was fully aware of Dr. Thompson’s limitations when she was admitted. “But we weren’t sure how we’d make it work,” she admits.

mayo clinic school of medicine

Alexandra Wolanskyj-Spinner, M.D.

Alexandra Wolanskyj-Spinner, M.D., (I ’95, HEMO ’98), senior associate dean for student affairs for Mayo Clinic School of Medicine since 2013 and a consultant in the Division of Hematology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, had not yet encountered a student with physical challenges quite like Dr. Thompson’s when she entered the medical school.

“I saw this extremely bright, talented person pursuing medicine for the right reasons,” says Dr. Wolanskyj-Spinner. “How could we best help her to succeed?”

Dr. Wolanskyj-Spinner arranged for Dr. Thompson to meet with two Mayo physicians who have physical challenges to discuss how they have succeeded. She also arranged for the new medical student to meet with the student health and disabilities accommodations officer, Dr. Molella.

“Step by step, technical standard by technical standard, they came up with creative ways to help Leah succeed,” says Dr. Wolanskyj-Spinner, a consultant in the Division of Hematology.

She says, increasingly, students with disabilities will be applying for medical school. “They’ve been accommodated through higher education because of the ADA, and they want the same opportunities as anyone else. They’ll be our colleagues. This presents an opportunity for greater understanding and a shift in our education and culture. Mayo Clinic always spearheads the noblest of intentions.”

An evolving medical school

leah grengs thompson

Leah Grengs Thompson, M.D., at graduation with Fredric Meyer, M.D., executive dean for education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science

Dr. Thompson’s medical school journey wasn’t without bumps. A resident judged her harshly as a result of her physical limitation in an evaluation, using language that Dr. Wolanskyj-Spinner describes as judgmental and insensitive. “I asked the clerkship director to look at the evaluation and determine if it had unfairly affected Leah’s grade. He agreed it was inappropriate and changed the grade to reflect her overall performance. Situations like that provide us with opportunities to learn and better educate all of our learners and faculty members. Leah helped us look at ourselves and our practices, and we evolved and became more open minded. She took us to a place of greater possibilities and acceptance. We developed and standardized new processes and can better serve our diverse students in this regard, which is a priority for our school.”

According to Dr. Wolanskyj-Spinner, Dr. Thompson’s effect on how the school approaches disabilities is only a small part of her legacy. “Leah was integral to many initiatives to improve the quality of life for our students. She played important leadership and advocacy roles including serving on the Student Life and Wellness Committee and the Student Support Advisory Board, and spearheading our student lounge remodeling and My Story program. She enriched our school, her peers and my life. She’s an incredibly compassionate, empathetic person, which is extremely important in medicine, and I am proud to call her my colleague.

“I’m excited to watch Leah as she continues to knock down barriers and break glass ceilings. She will be a leader in her field. She left a permanent legacy at our school.”

A future without heroic effort

Dr. Molella points out that the medical school will have succeeded when students such as Dr. Thompson don’t have to be more courageous or heroic than any other medical student to succeed in medical education.

“Leah overcame incredible adversity to accomplish what she did. It really shouldn’t take that,” says Dr. Molella. “We have to make it easier to achieve this success without double or triple the effort anyone else has to put forth. That will happen when we continuously value diversity and make accommodations. What we gain in the end is so precious and valuable. Not a single person in Leah’s class will look at a person with a disability the way they would have without her in their class. Many vulnerable patient populations will be grateful to have physicians who better understand them and the challenges they face.

“Leah’s story is a success because of her. She had the stamina, willingness and desire to make it work despite the hurdles. Her success shows us it can be done.”

Dr. Thompson’s new chapter

mayo clinic school of medicine

Leah Grengs Thompson, M.D., with her husband, Daniel, at her graduation from Mayo Clinic School of Medicine

Today Leah (Grengs) Thompson, M.D., is a resident in psychiatry at the University of North Dakota in Fargo. She’s also recently married and gotten a rescue dog, Murphy.

A highlight of her medical school experience was serving on the Student Wellness Committee.

“I considered myself a mentor to students in the classes below me,” she says. “I tried to help those who asked for help. I learned so much from my classmates and physicians I worked with.”

mayo clinic school of medicine

Leah Grengs Thompson, M.D., on her wedding day

Dr. Thompson helped to start the monthly My Story program in which students and staff members share struggles they’ve faced — losing a loved one at a critical time, struggling with addiction or suicidal thoughts, having a physical disability, failing an exam. According to Amit Sood, M.D. (ADGM 05, CLRSH ’06), chair of the Mayo Mind Body Initiative and a consultant in the Division of General Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, My Story highlights stories in which people have found a resilient pathway through life’s narrow lanes.

“Students love the My Story program,” says Dr. Sood. “Leah took on this project, which we’re expanding to all three Mayo campuses for all 4,000 learners.”

Dr. Thompson says she was surprised to learn that physicians who seemed to “have it all together” have gone through challenges similar to everyone else’s. “I had no idea of the things others had been through. Just because you’re a department head or well published doesn’t mean you’re immune to feeling completely alone. It helps to know others have had similar obstacles.

“I loved being a student at Mayo and gave everything I could to help others.”

After helping fellow students, Dr. Thompson found herself in need of help at the end of 2016. A brain scan showed some abnormal growth in the area of her childhood tumor. She had gamma knife surgery in January during the time she was interviewing for residency. She says Dr. Wolanskyj-Spinner acted as a surrogate parent to her during that time, helping her figure out her treatment options and how to navigate her residency interviews.

“After helping so many other students, it was crazy that I ended up needing help myself,” she says. “In the past, I’d have been shy about opening up. But I’d learned how to do that and called Dr. Wolanskyj-Spinner right away and asked for her help. She was wonderful.”

A recent scan showed the tumor is stable although lifelong monitoring is required.

PCPID Releases Report on Direct Support Workforce | Administration for Community Living

February 14, 2018 The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) has released its 2017 report, America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis: Effects on People with Intellectual Disabilities, Families, Communities and the U.S. Economy.

Source: PCPID Releases Report on Direct Support Workforce | ACL Administration for Community Living

Direct support professionals (DSPs) provide services and supports that empower people with intellectual disabilities to live in the community.

In the report, PCPID notes that DSPs promote participation in the U.S. economy “by helping people with an (intellectual disability) get jobs and by enabling family members to work.”  The report describes the current state of the DSP workforce as a “crisis,” noting that the average DSP wage is $10.72, most work two or three jobs, and the average annual DSP turnover rate is 45%.

The report also explores:

  • How these issues affect individuals, families, and human services systems.
  • The factors that contribute to these issues
  • Promising practices to strengthen the direct support workforce

PCPID serves in an advisory capacity to the President of the United States and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) promoting policies and initiatives that support independence and lifelong inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in their respective communities. The committee includes representatives from several federal agencies and 13 citizen members.

Read the full report (PDF) or a plain-language version (PDF).

CDC – NIOSH Total Worker Health Webinar Series

NIOSH Total Worker Health® program

Source: CDC – NIOSH Total Worker Health Webinar Series

Webinar Series

Recognizing the complex, often interlinked hazards affecting the health, safety, and well-being of today’s workforce, the NIOSH Total Worker Health® program is excited to present a free webinar series aimed at providing the latest research and case studies for protecting the safety and health of workers everywhere. All 90-minute webinars are recorded and are available for on-demand viewing.

Webinar Series Learning Objectives

  • Describe recent trends in demographics, employment conditions, worker safety, injury, and illness as they relate to the health and well-being of workers.
  • Describe the relationship between at least one health condition and at least one condition of work.
  • Discuss the latest findings supporting rationale for implementing a Total Worker Health® approach.
  • List one potential opportunity for integration between health protection and policies, programs, and practices that promote health and advance worker safety, health and well-being.
  • Develop workplace programs and interventions that integrate elements of occupational safety and health protection with policies, programs, and practices that promote health and advance worker safety, health and well-being.
  • Identify sources of information on prevention of adverse worker health and safety outcomes and the promotion of Total Worker Health®.

Nurse Suicide: Breaking the Silence – National Academy of Medicine

Source: Nurse Suicide: Breaking the Silence – National Academy of Medicine | National Academy of Medicine

ABSTRACT | The purpose of this paper is to raise awareness of and begin to build an open dialogue regarding nurse suicide. Recent exposure to nurse suicide raised our awareness and concern, but it was disarming to find no organization-specific, local, state, or national mechanisms in place to track and report the number or context of nurse suicides in the United States. This paper describes our initial exploration as we attempted to uncover what is known about the prevalence of nurse suicide in the United States. Our goal is to break through the culture of silence regarding suicide among nurses so that realistic and accurate appraisals of risk can be established and preventive measures can be developed.

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