Occupational Medicine at UHS keeps UW research safe, efficient

UW-Madison is the fourth-largest research university in the nation, and conducts invaluable research in dozens of departments, many of them in research laboratories. Some research in biological and chemical labs come with their own risks. Preventing and caring for work injuries, illnesses, and exposure to hazardous chemicals in research is the mission of the UHS division of Occupational Medicine.

The Occupational Medicine division at UHS supports the broader UW research enterprise with medical oversight, consultation, pre-exposure evaluation, and post-exposure treatment of animal, chemical, or biological exposures.

Working closely in conjunction with the Office of Environmental and Occupational Health, the program is designed to address the unique hazards that are found within the research and academic environment at UW.

Typically performing invaluable, behind-the-scenes work, Occupational Medicine improves working conditions at UW, and provides services designed to protect UW students and employees from exposure, illness, or injury.

“Our department is committed to developing healthcare programming to serve the research community by advocating for worker health,” said UHS Occupational Medicine team member Joel Malak. “The health of our workforce is a central factor in maintaining campus prosperity, constancy, and security.”

Pre-exposure services range from vaccinations and Tuberculosis skin testing to physical exams and laboratory testing.

Occupational Medicine interacts with numerous departments across campus and helps to make processes more efficient. For example, they recently coordinated the Select Agent Suitability and Reliability Assessment (SASRA) program in conjunction with the UW Police Department and Biosafety. Each year, they facilitate flu vaccine clinics for UW faculty and staff, as well as develop a database to ensure compliance for employees who have dual appointments.

Occupational Medicine is also there in times of crisis. They are responsible for coordinating medical care after exposure to an infectious substance, as well as caring for needle-stick injuries incurred in clinical research settings. In situations where minutes can mean all the difference, Occupational Medicine coordinates a response in a timely and safe matter.

To learn more, visit http://www.uhs.wisc.edu/occ-medicine/.

Staying Mad fit this summer

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone! Or, in Madison’s case, the endless snow, Lake Mendota wind-chills, and negative temperatures are a thing of the past. Take advantage of Madison’s glorious summer weather and exercise in the great outdoors! Here are some fun suggestions for the ultimate outdoor summer workout:

Lakeshore Path

If you’re looking for a perfect outdoor running or walking trail, look no further than the Lakeshore Path. The trail to Picnic Point also offers dip bars and other strengthening exercise courses along the way to enhance your workout.

(Photo by Bryce Richter/UW-Madison)

(Photo by Bryce Richter/UW-Madison)

Bike around Lake Monona

Up for a 13 mile ride around one-half of the Isthmus? This ride will take the average cyclist about an hour or so, which is plenty of time to get your heart rate up all while taking in some stunning scenery around Lake Monona. Visit http://www.cityofmadison.com/bikeMadison/ for more info on planning your trip and an interactive bike trail map.

Intramural Sports

Nurture your competitive spirit with Rec Sports. Over the summer, Rec Sports offers sand volleyball, cornhole, ultimate frisbee, softball, soccer, and basketball. Registration opens May 25 and closes June 9, and is even open to those who graduated in May! Visit the Rec Sports website for details.

Outdoor UW and Lake Mendota

Yes, Lake Mendota is more than a backdrop for your Instagram post at the terrace. Outdoor UW, an affiliate of Hoofers, provides a plethora of opportunities to get outdoors and work in some exercise, including stand up paddleboard, canoe, and kayak rentals, sailing lessons, swimming docks, and more! Stop by their office at Memorial Union to get started.

UW-Madison Arboretum

A hidden gem of UW-Madison, the Arboretum offers over 20 miles of trails for your hiking or trail running pleasure. The Arboretum is just a short 20 minute bike ride from campus, making it an accessible, beautiful, and perfect place to enjoy an afternoon or morning workout. For more info on trails, maps, and more, visit their site.

Bascom Hill

Looking to reconnect with the heart of campus during the summer months? Bascom Hill is the perfect place to get in a hill work out, whether you decide to do sprints, intervals, or ladder-style running workouts. Plus, Abe’s got your back.

What is YOUR favorite Madison outdoor workout? Leave us a reply!

Written by Gina Nerone, UHS Web and Communications Assistant

UHS responds to the Tony Robinson ruling

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

University Health Services, like the rest of the UW-Madison and Madison community, waited to hear the outcome of the Tony Robinson verdict. We know that this may be a time of frustration, loss, confusion, and anger, and all of these feelings are understandable. We encourage you to seek support for yourself, offer support to others, and to do so in safe and familiar spaces.

We hear you, and we are here for you, especially during finals and commencement. We understand that this could be a challenging time to dig in to your studies and final projects and commit to academic excellence. We, along with your trusted communities, are here to support you today, tomorrow, and with on-going services.

UHS will offer culturally-aware resources and provide opportunities that facilitate various ways of expressing reactions. There will be a Let’s Talk session Wednesday, May 13, from 11:00 am – 12:45 pm in the Red Gym Mezzanine C. Additional opportunities for open forums, discussion, and community will also be offered at locations TBD:

  • Thursday, May 14, 5:30 pm
  • Friday, May 15, 2 pm
  • Tuesday, May 19, 5:30 pm
  • Thursday, May 21, 1 pm


An opportunity to acknowledge and express in words, art and through community personal feelings resulting from the non-indictment decision in the Tony Robinson case and racial justice experiences, in a safe space with UHS counseling staff available.

Wheelhouse Studios will be hosting University Health Services (UHS) Robinson Decision reaction sessions.  The complete schedule is:

  • Tuesday, May 19, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
  • Thursday, May 2, 1:00 – 2:30 pm

Everyone is welcome—come when you can, however you are; use this time and space as you need to recognize and express what you may be feeling. During these times, UHS staff will be present to facilitate this drop-in opportunity for the campus community.

Wheelhouse will provide large, paper-covered display boards in their lobby space for folks to leave comments and reactions. They will offer the scratch foam relief print option that they offered after the shooting incident (while the supplies that they have last).  If print makers want to leave their print/a copy of their print to add to their currently (posted) collection they welcome the addition.  These prints will be archived and become part of the Wisconsin Union Art Collection.

UHS Honored by UW-Madison LGBT Campus Center

UHS Associate Psychologist, Bonnie Benson has been awarded the Rainbow Degree by UW-Madison’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Campus Center for being a strong partner to the Center and to their mission.

Benson, who specializes in gender identity, sexual orientation, and multicultural issues is widely recognized for her commitment to creating safe spaces on campus for students, faculty, and staff. She worked collaboratively with the Center to create trans* health services at UHS and has shared her knowledge in order to affect the lives of students beyond UW-Madison both regionally and nationally.

Trans* Showcase Poster 2015

Pictured is the poster on serving trans* students created by Benson and her team, which was featured at the 16th Annual Showcase hosted by the UW Office of Quality Improvement.

She will be recognized on May 14, 2015 at Rainbow Graduation held in Tripp Commons at Memorial Union from 5:30-7:30pm.