PHILADELPHIA — The Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded the Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) Residency Program at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania a $2.3 million grant over the next five years to help train the next generation of OEM physicians.

"The Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency program at Penn helps address a national need; the shortage of residency trained Occupational and Environmental Medicine physicians in the United States," said Judith McKenzie, MD, MPH, associate professor of Emergency Medicine and OEM Residency Program Director. "This funding will provide critical support in helping us to continue to train OEM physicians, with specific aims to further diversify the workforce and help alleviate the national shortage."

OEM physicians are devoted to the conservation and restoration of the health of the workforce and promotion of worker health, productivity and well being. They diagnose, treat, and prevent occupational and environmental injury and disease, are experts in work fitness and disability evaluations, and in hazard recognition, evaluation, and control. OEM specialists are also versed in toxicology, disaster preparedness and emergency management. These physicians work in various settings such as corporations, government, and academia.

Since the program's inception in 1997, Penn has graduated 99 OEM residents.  McKenzie hopes to be able to train 30 more residents over the next five years.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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