Kirk Phillips, MS & Jennifer Sahmel, PhD, CIH, CSP – Exploring Total Exposure Health and Total Worker Health

Air Date: 7-30-2021|Episode 634

This week we welcome Dr. Jennifer Sahmel and Kirk Phillips to explore the concepts of Total Exposure Health (TEH) and Total Worker Health (TWH). TWH’s primary goal is to improve the well-being of the U.S. workforce by protecting their safety and enhancing their health and productivity. Total Exposure Health is a strategy to evaluate individuals’ exposures to hazards at work, from the environment, and lifestyle choices, integrating these evaluations with health promotions initiatives to better ensure the long-term health of the individual. TEH and TWH take a more holistic approach to health, safety and well being. The concepts are gaining traction and this week we have two of the leading proponents joining us.

Dr. Jennifer Sahmel is a Managing Principal Scientist with Insight Exposure and Risk Sciences in Boulder, Colorado. She is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and a Certified Safety Professional with 25 years of experience in exposure assessment science and workplace health and safety. She has worked in a variety of public and private sector positions including the U.S. EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics the National Park Service and Comprehensive Health Services at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. She earned her MPH degree in Environmental Health and Industrial Hygiene from the University of California at Berkeley and her PhD in Environmental Health at the University of Minnesota. She is a Research Fellow with the University of Minnesota’s Exposure Science and Sustainability Institute. She is also active in the American Industrial Hygiene Association and is a past member of their national board of directors.

Colonel (ret) Kirk A. Phillips currently holds the position of Director, Air Force Office of Energy Assurance (OEA), Washington DC. Prior to his current position Kirk was the Health Safety and Environmental Practice Leader and Vice President at LJB Inc. In 2018, he retired as the BSC Associate Chief for Bioenvironmental Engineering (BE) in the Office of the Air Force Surgeon General. In 2014 he developed Total Exposure Health as a strategic initiative to institutionalize primary prevention in work, environmental and lifestyle exposures. Prior to his current assignment, Col Phillips was the Director of Policy and Programs for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Occupational Health, Pentagon, Washington DC. Mr. Phillips entered the Air Force from a four-year AF ROTC scholarship in 1985. He obtained his BS in Aerospace Engineering and his MS in Engineering and Environmental Management. Colonel Phillips has held a broad range of leadership positions throughout the Air Force.

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