The Western States Occupational Network (WestON) meeting is a collaboration between the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Western States Office, Mountain and Plains (MAP) Education and Research Center (ERC), and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE). The overall goal of this meeting is to build capacity for statebased occupational epidemiology in the Western region, including improving or developing surveillance of work-related injuries and diseases, investigation of cases and outbreaks, implementation of epidemiological capacity in occupational health at the state level and dissemination of information for public health prevention. Objectives of this meeting include developing common priorities for occupational risk assessment, applied epidemiology, worksite interventions and other prevention efforts; and to promote scientific collaboration among state-based occupational epidemiologists, NIOSH and academic colleagues in the Western region. An organizing committee composed of CSTE, state and NIOSH representatives and the Director of Continuing Education at the MAP ERC regularly meet via teleconference to plan WestON meetings, finalize the agenda, invite participants, and further define objectives, goals and outcomes of each meeting. The second WestON meeting was convened at the MAP ERC in Aurora, CO September 24-25, 2009. The meeting provided an opportunity to build capacity, explore collaborations, and provided interaction between NIOSH ERCs, Agricultural (AG) Centers and states. Fifty-seven individuals attended the meeting, comprising 15 of the 19 Western states, all six Western region ERCs, all four Western AG Centers, two representatives from NIOSH-funded training programs, and numerous scientists from NIOSH. The 2009 meeting agenda combined formal presentations with informal breakout sessions in response to suggestions from surveyed attendees at the 2008 WestON meeting. The meeting was designed to inform meeting participants about occupational safety and health (OSH) surveillance issues, provide a success story about how one state created an OSH program from scratch, update participants on the National Occupational Mortality Surveillance System, Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) activities in the West, union interaction with states, workers' compensation data for research, and minimum guidelines for state activities in occupational health (OH). Facilitated breakout sessions provided opportunities for focused discussion, sharing experiences with establishing state-based work-related injury and illness surveillance programs, and establishing collaborations. CSTE maintains a Western state occupational epidemiology listsery used to communicate with meeting participants, share news items of interest, distribute electronic surveys, and plan for subsequent meetings. The CSTE website also provides information on WestON and links to each meeting's agenda and meeting minutes (http://www.cste.org/group/OHOverview)
. A few notable outcomes from the meeting: 1. Four additional Western states have completed (Wyoming in collaboration with the MAP ERC and the NIOSH Western States Office) or are in the process of completing the OH Indicators (Montana in collaboration with the MAP ER and the NIOSH Western States Office and North and South Dakota in collaboration with the MAP ERC, the Minnesota ERC and the NIOSH Western States Office). 2. Additional Western states have applied for a PHPS Fellow to establish and administer an OH surveillance program. 3. Several Western States applied for NIOSH-funded cooperative agreements for occupational safety and health surveillance.