Louis Fazen, MPH, PhD, MD, is an occupational medicine physician interested in preventing occupational illness and enabling workers to achieve better health outcomes.
Job stress; job strain; effort-reward imbalance; organizational justice; job security; long working hours; healthy work design; organizational structure; employee ownership; cardiovascular disease risk; occupational health
Experiences & Accomplishments
In my clinical work, I have often noted how my patients frame health in the context of their working lives—efforts to control diabetes are mitigated by erratic work schedules; repetitive strain injuries are exacerbated in the setting of job insecurity; and medical treatments are deferred in response to employer-sponsored health insurance deductibles. In these narratives, work is too often described as a constraint on health.
I have long been interested in such structural barriers to health as well as a community’s ability to redress them through collaboration and collective action. My PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health focused on empowering Community Health Workers—community members who had limited education but were intimately familiar with the surrounding social and environmental context—to educate their community and collectively overcome barriers in access to health care. In fellowship, I observed how occupational hazards and injuries tended to accrue in workplaces with rigid hierarchies, poor communication, and insufficient worker autonomy. Stemming from my PhD research and my clinical observations, I became interested in how more collaborative work environments and flatter organizational structures could potentially prevent occupational illness and promote worker health. In healthy work design, I see a tremendous opportunity to reorganize work for the benefit of workers—to foster their autonomy, to increase their agency, and ultimately, to enable workers to achieve better health outcomes.
Honors & Awards
2020 -2021 Rutgers Research Fellowship, Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing, School of Management and Labor Relations
2020 Alex Poljak Award for Innovation in Occupational and Environmental Medicine
2012 Drazan Fellowship, Yale School of Public Health
2006-2015 Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Award (Medical Scientist Training Program)
Most recent publications:
Wisnewski AV, Redlich CA, Kamath K, Abad QA, Smith RF, Fazen LE, Santiago R, Liu J, Luna JC, Martinez B, Baum-Jones E, Waitz R, Haynes WA, Shon JC.Immunogenic Amino Acid Motifs and Linear Epitopes of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines, PLoS One. 2021 Sep 9;16(9)
Wisnewski AV, Liu J, Lucas C, Klein J, Iwasaki A, Cantley L, Fazen LE, Campillo Luna J, Slade M, Redlich CA. Development and utilization of a surrogate SARS-CoV-2 viral neutralization assay to assess mRNA vaccine responses. PLoS One. 2022 Jan 18;17(1)
Fazen LE, Linde B, Redlich C. Occupational lung diseases in the 21st century: the changing landscape and future challenges. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2020 Mar 5
O'Meara WP, Karuru S, Fazen LE, Koech J, Kizito B, Tarrus C, Menya D. Heterogeneity in health seeking behavior for treatment, prevention and urgent care in four districts in western Kenya. Public Health. 2014 Nov;128(11):993-1008.
Fazen LE, Chemwolo BT, Songok JJ, Ruhl LJ, Kipkoech C, Green JM, Ikemeri JE, Christoffersen-Deb A. AccessMRS: integrating OpenMRS with Smart Forms on Android. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2013;192:866-70.