March 22, 2017
Amy Edmonds, 1st year doctoral student in the Occupational Health Services Research (OHSR) program, attended the annual Semiahmoo Conference in January 2017. Each year students are invited to attend the conference, and many give presentations about their research.
Amy presented on her recent literature review that looked at the implications of low wages and limited benefits on health care and public health services.
“I was interested in occupational health disparities related to workplace benefits and wages, so I conducted a systematic review to examine papers that linked low wages and limited benefits to health and/or public health and healthcare services.”, said Edmonds. “Most people receive healthcare benefits through their employers – what happens to those who are making low wages and do not have employer-provided benefits? How do precarious working conditions, and the financial insecurity they are associated with, influence access to healthcare and health outcomes?”
Amy’s inquiry was inspired by the UW Future of Occupational Health project, which is being led by Dr. Noah Sexias and many others in DEOHS. She found that very few studies in her inquiry examined the relationship between low wages and limited benefits and population health and health services. Amy hopes to further explore the implications of precarious working conditions on health in a more targeted way.
The OHSR program Amy is currently enrolled in focuses on identifying the role of cultural, social, political, behavioral, and healthcare factors in health outcomes; on health promotion, health education, and injury and illness prevention; and on evaluating and improving the organization, delivery, financing, and management of health services. The OHSR program provides strong methodological training in health services research and health care policy analysis, coupled with substantive education related to occupational health and workplace health promotion.