“Keeping our nation’s workers healthy and productive is not only good business but is the right thing to do for the workers, their families, their employers, their customers and for the nation. Occupational health nurses serve a vital role in keeping workers healthy, safe and productive and I feel privileged to be educating the next generation of these key health care providers.”
Dr. Elizabeth Anne Thomas had more than 20 years of experience as an occupational health nurse practitioner prior to moving to academia. Having worked in high technology industries, in which she focused on meeting the health, safety, and ergonomic needs of employees, Dr. Thomas has extensive experience as a team leader in Total Quality Management. She has designed, implemented, and managed numerous occupational health programs, including award-winning workers' compensation and ergonomics programs. Dr. Thomas’s research at UCLA focuses on issues affecting older working adults, including type 2 diabetes, hearing loss, and work-related exposures such as noise and chemicals as well as preventing work-related musculoskeletal injuries.
Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest
Occupational health, workers’ compensation, ergonomics, type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, hearing loss.
Faculty Research and Clinical Expertise
Dr. Thomas's primary research strands focuses on type 2 diabetes in older working adults and preventing musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace. She has conducted grounded-theory qualitative studies on diabetes self-management at work and quantitative work on type 2 diabetes, hearing loss and work-related exposures (noise and chemicals) in older Mexican Americans. Current studies include an extension of grounded-theory qualitative studies on diabetes self-management at work and a quantitative study of self-efficacy for diabetes self-management, self-management behaviors, and work productivity in older adults. Additional recent and planned studies are on preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders through identifying at-risk workers and providing an intensive structured exercise intervention program that improves fitness level and reduces injury occurrence.
Dr. Thomas has 20+ years of experience as an Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner working in high technology industries meeting the health, safety, and ergonomic needs of employees. She has designed, implemented, and managed numerous occupational health programs, including award winning workers' compensation and ergonomics programs. She has extensive experience as a team member and team leader in Total Quality Management initiatives.
|2006-2009||Betty Irene Moore Nursing Fellowship for Doctoral Education|
|2009||Experienced Researcher Grant, AAOHN Foundation|
|2011||UCLA School of Nursing Intramural Grant|
|2011-2012||California State Association of Occupational Health Nurses Board of Directors, Treasurer|
|2010-2012||California El Camino Real Association of Occupational Health Nurses Board of Directors, Nominations|
|2011-2015||California State Association of Occupational Health Nurses Board of Directors, Treasurer|
|2011||California State Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Member, Planning Committee|
|2012||CSAOHN State Conference American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Member, Planning Committee|
|2014||American Occupational Health Conference American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Member, Awards and Scholarship Committee|
|2015||American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Member|
|National Annual Conference Planning Committee|
Santa Ana College, AA, 1974, Pre-Nursing
Cerritos College, AS, 1976, Nursing
California State University, Fullerton, BSN, 1986, Nursing
University of California San Francisco, MSN, 1989, Nursing
Occupational and Environmental Health University of California San Francisco, PhD, 2009, Nursing
Honors and Awards
|1997||Corporate Services Divisional Recognition Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in the Development and Implementation of a Box and Cassette Handling Class for Clean Room Manufacturing Technicians, Intel Corporation|
|1999||Corporate Services Divisional Recognition Award for Reducing Costs in Occupational Health Services by Driving the Nurse On-Call System, Intel Corporation|
|2000||Divisional Award for Development & Implementation of an Ergonomic Audit System, Intel Corporation, California Technology Manufacturing Division|
|2004||Total Quality Management Special Achievement Award, Analog Devices, Inc.|
|2004||Finalist in AQP National Quality Competition as Team Leader for Total Quality Management team, "Let's Get Physical"; Project also voted as best safety project of the conference by conference peers.|
|2004||Recognition award from the Tuberculosis Prevention Partnership of Santa Clara County for exceptional contributions to the Tuberculosis Prevention Partnership of Santa Clara County in the area of Occupational Health partnership and education|
|2005||Nominated for "Best Project Management Method" and "Predictable Operations: Cost Reduction" awards as Team Leader for Total Quality Management Team, E=mc2 (Ergonomic Microscope Comfort and Control), Analog Devices, Inc.|
|2005||Awards for "Most Improvement on a Key Site Goal: World Class Systems" and "Best Presentation" awards for OHSAS 18001 Implementation project, Analog Devices, Inc.|
|2006||Received award for exceptional service through team leadership of E=mc2 team and E=mc2, too team, Analog Devices, Inc.|
|2007||Awarded second prize for Poster Presentation of E=mc2 Ergonomic Microscope Comfort and Control project at|
|2007||American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Symposium 2014 Elected to Fellowship in the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses|
Thomas, E. A. (2014). Disability management. In P. V. Moore & R. L. Moore (Eds.). Fundamentals of Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing: AAOHN Core Curriculum (4th ed.). Pensacola, FL: American Association of Occupational Health Nurses.
Hong, O., Chin, D. L., & Thomas, E. A. (2013). Global occupational health and safety responsibilities of occupational health nurses based in the United States. Workplace Health & Safety, 61, 287-295. doi: 10.3928/21650799-20130624-68.
Hong, O., Buss, J., & Thomas, E. (2013). Type 2 diabetes and hearing loss. Disease-a-Month, 59, 139-146. doi: 10.1016/j.disamonth.2013.01.004.
Thomas, E. A., & Cadogan, M. P. (2012). Work-related injury and the older adult. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 38, 9-12.
Thomas, E. A. (2011). Implementation of occupational health services improvements through application of Total Quality Management processes. AAOHN Journal, 59, 267-273.
Thomas, E. A. (2011). Diabetes at work: A grounded theory pilot study. AAOHN Journal, 213-220. Doi: 10.3928/08910162-20110418-01.
Thomas, E. A., Janson, S., Wallhagen, M., Hong, O., Gillen, M., & Haan, M. (manuscript in process). Type 2 diabetes and hearing loss in older Mexican Americans.
Thomas, E. A. (2011). Ergonomic Microscope Comfort and Control: Application of Total Quality Management processes to reduce employee discomfort. AAOHN Journal, 59, 119-126. Doi: 10.3928/08910162-20110223-02.