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Sherry L. Baron, MD, MPH, Sharon Beard, MS, Letitia K. Davis, ScD, EdM, Linda Delp, PhD, MPH, Linda Forst, MD, MPH, Andrea Kidd-Taylor, PHD, Amy K. Liebman, MPA, MA, Laura Linnan, ScD, Laura Punnett, ScD, and Laura S. Welch, MD

Background: Nearly one of every three workers in the United States is low-income. Low-income populations have a lower life expectancy and greater rates of chronic diseases compared to those with higher incomes. Low- income workers face hazards in their workplaces as well as in their communities. Developing integrated public health programs that address these combined health hazards, especially the interaction of occupational and non-occupational risk factors, can promote greater health equity.

Methods: We apply a social-ecological perspective in considering ways to improve the health of the low-income working population through integrated health protection and health promotion programs initiated in four different settings: the worksite, state and local health departments, community health centers, and community-based organizations.

Results: Examples of successful approaches to developing integrated programs are presented in each of these settings. These examples illustrate several complementary venues for public health programs that consider the complex interplay between work related and non work-related factors, that integrate health protection with health promotion and that are delivered at multiple levels to improve health for low-income workers.

Conclusions: Whether at the workplace or in the community, employers, workers, labor and community advocates, in partnership with public health practitioners, can deliver comprehensive and integrated health protection and health promotion programs. Recommendations for improved research, training, and coordination among health departments, health practitioners, worksites and community organizations are proposed.

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Carlos Eduardo Siqueira, MD, ScD, Megan Gaydos, MPH, Celeste Monforton, Dr PH, MPH, Craig Slatin, ScD, MPH, Liz Borkowski, BA, Peter Dooley, MS, CIH, CSP, Amy Liebman, MPA, MA, Erica Rosenberg, JD, Glenn Shor, PhD, MPP, and Matthew Keifer, MD, MPH

Background This article introduces some key labor, economic, and social policies that historically and currently impact occupational health disparities in the United States.

Methods We conducted a broad review of the peer-reviewed and gray literature on the effects of social, economic, and labor policies on occupational health disparities.

Results Many populations such as tipped workers, public employees, immigrant workers, and misclassified workers are not protected by current laws and policies, including worker’s compensation or Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforcement of standards. Local and state initiatives, such as living wage laws and community benefit agreements, as well as multiagency law enforcement contribute to reducing occupational health disparities.

Conclusions There is a need to build coalitions and collaborations to command the resources necessary to identify, and then reduce and eliminate occupational disparities by establishing healthy, safe, and just work for all.

Yes! A cornerstone of the Collaboratives is measurement. The over 65,000 patients are enrolled in a national registry, and have outcomes tracked on a regular basis. We can say with confidence that care and outcomes are improving: self-management, specialty referrals, medication access, and indicators such as HgbA1c are all better for enrolled patients than for pre-enrollment data. Patients with diabetes enrolled in the Collaborative are actually healthier than their white insured counterparts in the private sector! (Bodenheimer, T, MD; Lorig,K RN, DrPH; Holman, H, MD; and Grumbach, K, MD: “Patient Self-Management of Chronic Disease in Primary Care”: JAMA. 2002;288:2469-2475)