Director’s Intramural Awards for Extraordinary Science (DIA) Updates for 2013

Distinguished Career Scientist 2011

Ken Wallingford DSHEFS

A year after he received the distinguished career scientist award, Ken decided to retired. Based on his strong belief in the value of collaboration, mentoring, and continuous learning in scientific organizations, he allocated the monetary award to fund training for five NIOSH employees. They each received personalized coaching over a six month period through “Coaching for Enhanced Performance.” This training is available through the CDC University and helps all employees, regardless of position, to develop the competencies needed to be more effective in their existing role.

Scientific Support Winner 2011

Pamela K. Schumacher DSHEFS

In April 2011, it was my honor to accept the Director’s Intramural Award for Extraordinary Science -Scientific Support from Dr. John Howard. The monetary award of $2,500 was used to continue support of industry and occupation (I&O) coding within the Surveillance Branch in DSHEFS. NIOSH is charged with conducting occupational hazard and health surveillance to identify trends and to assist in setting priorities for research and prevention activities. Since the late 1970’s, NIOSH has collaborated with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the U.S. Bureau of the Census, other Federal agencies, and state health departments to capture and code I&O on data records for surveillance of occupationally related diseases, injuries, and exposures. In support of this charge, NIOSH offers I&O coding training, coding software, and consultation services.

The Surveillance Branch has assembled a team of trained industry and occupation coding clerks. These dedicated staff members have the sole purpose of coding I&O data from vital records, surveys, and cancer registries. This wonderful award was used in part to help support coding efforts at NIOSH which include two NORA projects: 1) The National Occupational Mortality Surveillance (NOMS), which is the ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and dissemination of death data to monitor the extent and severity of occupationally related acute and chronic disease and injury in association with industrial or occupational settings; and 2) The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS survey), which is administered through cooperative agreements between the states and CDC’s Division of Behavioral Surveillance. The BRFSS annually interviews more than 420,000 adults in 50 states and 3 territories and collects data monthly. This surveillance project will add an Industry and Occupation Optional Module in the world’s largest state-based public health surveillance system in years 2012-2015.

Also an important role for these coders has been to provide quality checked I&O-coded data for the development of NIOSH’s Industry and Occupation Computerized Coding system (NIOCCS). NIOCCS is a web-based I&O coding tool released for public use in December 2012. Features include: auto-coding and computer-assisted coding of I&O narratives; coding according to the Bureau of the Census 2000 or 2002 Alphabetical Index of Industries and Occupations; option to output associated North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes; and crosswalk capabilities for Census 1990, 2000, and 2002 classifications schemes.

The coding support of the above projects gave the NIOCCS system in-house, reliable I&O data. The system’s production and accuracy level was continually checked against a trained coder’s coded data set. The need for maintaining a trained coding staff is only increasing with the development of NIOCCS and the ability to electronically code I&O from any data source.

Page last reviewed: April 26, 2013