SUNY Downstate Medical Center
School of Public Health
Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS)
The Department provides graduate education, engage in public health practice and conduct both basic and applied research. Our faculty is actively engaged in research and teaching on the assessment, control and prevention of environmental and occupational chemical, biological, physical and work organization hazards and in better understanding their impacts on human health and safety.
A special focus of our department is the impact of the urban built environment on public health. We view the "built environment" broadly to include:
- proximity to public amenities such as parks and recreation facilities
- the availability of healthy (and unhealthy) sources of food
- the physical environment, including air pollution and unhealthy buildings
- the social environment, including violence and socioeconomic disadvantage
Together with other departments at SUNY-Downstate and with community groups, we are developing a geographic information system for Brooklyn that uses state-of-the-art database utilities and mapping software for better understanding risks and rates of disease and for developing programs to improve the health of Brooklyn's citizens.
Other faculty interests include:
- the health and safety of public employees in New York City and State
- reducing health disparities due to environmental and occupational hazards and socioeconomic status
- programs for balancing work and family, reducing workplace violence and reducing work stress
- risks to maternal-fetal health from environmental contaminants
Occupational and environmental health often involves multidisciplinary teams and we therefore work closely and collaboratively with:
- other departments throughout SUNY Downstate Medical Center, in public health, the basic sciences and clinical sciences.
- city, state and federal agencies, community organizations, labor unions and others.
Our Department offers students exciting opportunities for graduate education:
- the Master of Public Health student will develop the competencies needed to identify, assess, and manage environmental and occupational health problems.
- the Doctor of Public Health program prepares a practitioner to use approaches for recognizing and assessing environmental and occupational hazards and for developing programs designed to reduce risk and prevent injury and disease.
Laura Geer, PhD, MHS
Chair, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
Associate Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences
Recent Presentations & Publications
- Global Call to Action on Antimicrobials from Scientists Published Today; SUNY Downstate’s Dr. Laura Geer among the Authors
- SUNY Downstate Health Center interview series: Dr. Lori Hoepner speaks about her research on BPA and childhood obesity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlQVNvfB3Wo.
- Dr. Lori Hoepner publishes on the link between the common consumer product chemical Bisphenol A and obesity: Bisphenol A and Adiposity in an Inner-City Birth Cohort. Hoepner LA, Whyatt RM, Widen EM, Hassoun A, Oberfield SE, Mueller NT, Diaz D, Calafat AM, Perera FP, Rundle AG. Environ Health Perspect. 2016 Oct;124(10):1644-1650.
- Dr. Molly Tran gave a presentation entitled: "Contingent Work and the Gig Economy”about the occupational health issues of workers in tech platform-based jobs such as Uber and TaskRabbit at the American Occupational Health Conference (ACOEM’s annual conference) in April 2016 and will be giving an update to the presentation at this year’s AOHC conference in Denver in April 2017.
- New research by Dr. Paul Landsbergis details how workplace stress contributes to cardiovascular disease: Study Authors Recommend Policies to Lessen Stressful Employment Conditions http://www.downstate.edu/news_releases/2016/news_release_full33.html
- Dr. Laura Geer publishes on personal care product chemical exposure and: Association of Birth Outcomes with Fetal Exposure to Parabens, Triclosan and Triclocarban in an Immigrant Population in Brooklyn, New York. Geer LA, Pycke BFG, Waxenbaum J, Sherer DM, Abulafia O, Halden RU. Journal of Hazardous Materials. Available online: 11-MAR-2016. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2016.03.028.
- Associated poster presented at the annual conference of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Rome, Italy. September 1, 2016.
- APHA poster from DrPH student Stephanie Myers (2016) Myers S, Govindarajulu U, Joseph M, Landsbergis P. Work Characteristics and Risk of Obesity: Preliminary Findings from the 2014 National NIOSH Quality of Work Life Study. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, November 1, 2016, Denver, CO.
TV and Radio Links
- Dr. Lori Hoepner appears on Fox News to discuss how ‘Prenatal exposure to BPA can lead to child obesity’, May 24, 2016: http://video.foxnews.com/v/4909184860001/?#sp=show-clips
- Dr. Laura Geer visits the radio program ‘Public Health Minute with William Latimer’from Lehman College School of Health Sciences, Human Services, & Nursing to discuss ‘Birth Outcomes Linked to Parabens’, October. 4, 2016: http://wp.lehman.edu/public-health-minute-with-william-latimer/birth-outcomes-linked-to-parabens-laura-geer-phd-suny-downstate-medical-center/