Cutler Institute

Cutler team continues successful grant funding from OSHA with two new awards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor has awarded two grants to a workforce training team at the Cutler Institute.  The first award includes “Workplace Safety and Health Training on Infectious Diseases, including the Coronavirus” grants funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The grants derive from the Susan Harwood Workplace Safety and Health Training program, named for in honor of the late Susan Harwood, former director of OSHA's Office of Risk Assessment. In her 17-year OSHA career, Ms. Harwood helped develop federal standards to protect workers from bloodborne pathogens, cotton dust, benzene, formaldehyde, asbestos, and lead in construction.

The University of Southern Maine received a $195,650 grant to provide web-based infectious disease training, including COVID-19, to 2,000 workers in the health and human services industry.  The target audience includes EMS personnel, childcare, direct service, and behavioral health workers in community settings.

Additionally, the USM team will receive a 2021-2022 Susan Harwood Targeted Topic Training Grant.  The second grant of $142,247 is focused on specific workforce issues of Emergency Medical Services personnel.  In conjunction with the Maine EMS office, the grant will support the development of four online training modules.  Topics include worker fatigue and burnout, workplace violence, and an updated training on bloodborne pathogens.

The project team, led by Judy Tupper, Director, Population Health and Marshall Soloway, Director of the Learning Innovation Group, are pleased to receive their 8th and 9th consecutive annual grants from OSHA.  "What we are really excited about this year is the opportunity to partner with workforce stakeholders such as "local" colleagues from Maine Roads to Quality, the Muskie School's Center for Learning, Maine EMS, and the Maine Office of Aging and Disability Services.  We had a very successful 2020/2021 grant project as we trained thousands of Mainers on how to protect themselves from COVID-19.  These two new grants will help us build on last year's success with effective and sustainable online training product development and delivery, said Judy Tupper."  Rounding out the team in these new grants are Cutler staff, Jenny MacKenzie, Delora Reardon, Melinda LeBlanc, and Amanda Burgess.