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CSE Mission Statement

The Center for Social Epidemiology is a private non-profit foundation established in 1988, whose purpose is to promote public awareness of the role of environmental and occupational stress in the etiology of psychological disorders and cardiovascular disease. The Director for the Center for Social Epidemiology is Peter L. Schnall M.D., M.P.H., the Associate Director is Marnie Dobson Ph.D., our Research Associate is Paul A. Landsbergis Ed.D, M.P.H, Ph.D., Erin Wigger, B.A., is Information Systems Manager and Consultants Ellen Rosskam, Ph.D., M.P.H., Deborah Gordon, Ph.D., BongKyoo Choi, Sc.D., M.P.H. and Javier Garcia-Rivas are the most recent additions to our team.

The Center for Social Epidemiology’s website (Unhealthy Work) aims to provide a primary source of relevant information on job stress research for the public as well as to facilitate communication among researchers interested in the relationship between the work environment, the individual, and health. Our goals include presenting research projects and scientific papers related to these issues, as well as conference information, news, and announcements. We welcome submission of all such information related to this website. Our website administrator is Erin Wigger. Please fill in our Registration and Questionnaire form to initiate contact with the Center for Social Epidemiology. Or, you can e-mail us at: cse@workhealth.org

Staff of the Center for Social Epidemiology recently published Unhealthy Work: Causes, Consequences and Cures. This interdisciplinary book examines the changing nature of work, new evidence linking work conditions with ill-health, and “unhealthy work” as a public health problem. The book is published by the Baywood Publishing Company, and the editors are Peter Schnall, Marnie Dobson and Ellen Rosskam. The Associate Editors are Dean Baker, Paul Landsbergis and Deborah Gordon. A Spanish version of our book, Trabajo No Saludable, is now available from the Universidad de los Andes.

We co-sponsored of the 5th International Conference on Work Environment and Cardiovascular Diseases held in Cracow, Poland, September of 2009. In addition, the CSE sponsors the California Work & Health Study Group. The CWHSG is an ongoing discussion group composed of researchers from California concerned with occupational stress and its impact on the health of working people. The group meets three times a year to discuss research in progress, provide support to each other, and to encourage active efforts to reduce workplace stressors through research, intervention and education.

The CSE’s research efforts are supported entirely by funds raised by contributions to the CSE or through contracts to evaluate worker health. The Center has developed and conducted occupational health projects with the support of 5 different unions and associated management groups over the last decade: HERE; UAW; CWA; IAFF; Orange County Fire Authority (Management).

The CSE recently finished a study conducted in November 2009 with Communications Workers of America (CWA) members employed as line-workers/technicians by Verizon in Southern California. Marnie Dobson (CSE Associate Director) prepared and presented a report to Verizon management and CWA representatives during a collective bargaining session in Southern Californian March 2010 and are in the mist of preparing a new proposal outlining a study to be conducted in collaboration with CWA and AT&T to further study line and call-center workers in Northern California. 

The Center is also currently involved in investigating work factors and their roles in obesity and hypertension among Orange County Firefighters (FF’s) in collaboration with the UCI Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. Center staff at the UCI COEH recently wrote a successful two-year grant proposal to the CDC/NIOSH to study work characteristics, health behaviors and obesity risk in firefighters. The two-year study is currently underway at the UCI COEH as of November 2010 with collaboration from other CSE staff and is called the FORWARD project (Firefighter Obesity Research: Workplace Assessment to Reduce Disease).

The Center for Social Epidemiology continues to be on the forefront of research efforts to identify and analyze the impact of psychosocial factors at the workplace on the health of workers (especially the problems of obesity, hypertension and CVD). Our research efforts result in the continued publication of papers in journals throughout the world.

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