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NIOSH Appoints New Director of Western States Division

April 19, 2017
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Stephanie Stevens (202) 245-0641

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has appointed Ryan Hill, MPH (CDR, USPHS) as director of its Western States Division (WSD). CDR Hill will serve as the Division’s first full-time director beginning May 1.

In his new role, CDR Hill will lead a diverse group of scientists who conduct research to reduce a wide variety of occupational safety and health hazards in high-risk industries predominant in the West, such as oil and gas extraction, maritime, commercial fishing, wildland firefighting, and aviation. CDR Hill will maintain and enhance partnerships with industry, labor, academia, and state and federal agencies to maximize the impact of WSD research and apply strategies and technologies to eliminate or reduce work-related injury, illness, and death.

“CDR Hill possesses a wealth of expertise in the safety and health issues and unique hazards facing workers in the western United States,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “I am confident that under CDR Hill’s leadership, NIOSH’s Western States Division can achieve its mission to improve workplace safety in the high risk industries of the West.”

CDR Hill will be stationed in Spokane, Washington, and will be responsible for management of the WSD facilities in Spokane, Anchorage, Alaska, and Denver, Colorado.

CDR Hill came to NIOSH in 2007 as an epidemiologist in the Alaska Pacific Office in Anchorage. He went on to serve as the coordinator, then manager, of the NIOSH Oil & Gas Extraction Safety and Health Program, leading one of the most productive research programs at NIOSH. Among many achievements, CDR Hill led the development of the first national surveillance system, the FOG Database, to collect detailed information on fatal events in workers in the oil and gas extraction industry.

Prior to joining NIOSH, CDR Hill served as an Injury Prevention Specialist for the Indian Health Service in Kotzebue, Alaska, from 1999 to 2002 and in Anchorage, Alaska, from 2002 to 2007.

A native of Washington state, CDR Hill graduated from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, and went on to obtain a Master of Public Health degree from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

The Western States Division, formed in 2015, is a geographically diverse NIOSH division that conducts research and provides technical assistance for the prevention of work-related illness, injury, and death, with an emphasis on the special occupational safety and health needs in the western United States. Learn more about the NIOSH Western States Division.

NIOSH is the federal institute that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. For more information about NIOSH visit