Capt. James W. Collins, James P. Keogh Award 2010
CAPT James Collins is a highly effective national leader in addressing the two leading causes of occupational injury in healthcare workers: safe patient handling and movement and slip, trip, and fall prevention. His work has impacted healthcare worker safety globally and has led to a reduction in injury in various healthcare settings.
CAPT Collins currently serves as the Associate Director for Science in the NIOSH Division of Safety Research (DSR). Prior to that, he served as a Research Epidemiologist in DSR conducting preventive effectiveness research. CAPT Collins earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Health Policy and Management from Johns Hopkins University.
Using his engineering and epidemiology backgrounds, CAPT Collins has applied multidisciplinary methods to conduct research spanning the public health model from problem identification to rigorous science to evidence and advocacy for prevention. His early work defined the injury problem by identifying and targeting the highest risk tasks for prevention. Later he conducted a biomechanical lab study to identify safer ways to lift and move patients, and engaged extensive partners to conduct a 9-year intervention field study to demonstrate the effectiveness of a best practices safe patient handling program. Understanding and incorporating research-to-practice methods into his research, CAPT Collins worked closely with opinion leaders in the field and influential industry groups, such as the American Nurses Association, to raise awareness of the occupational hazard and promote the widespread implementation of effective solutions, both nationally and internationally.
Through CAPT Collins’ efforts, NIOSH emerged as a national and international leader in safe patient handling and slip, trip, and fall prevention research for healthcare settings. His research had a tremendous impact on shaping state and Federal legislation and improving student nursing curriculum on safe patient handling. He has contributed significantly to raising awareness of these issues as important public health problems, developing best practices and demonstrating their effectiveness through well designed research studies. His work has contributed to significant reductions in national injury rates associated with patient lifting in nursing homes and hospitals.
CAPT Collins exemplifies the Keogh Award’s goal of outstanding service in occupational safety and health. He has worked diligently as a researcher, advocate, and opinion leader toward the common goal of protecting nurses, nursing aides and orderlies. He is a tireless advocate for the improvement of working conditions for healthcare workers.