From 1998 to 2001, staff with the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital Center in Plattsburgh, N.Y., further developed and replicated an existing community-based coalition that provides health care to injured workers in rural Clinton County, called the North Country On the Job Network.
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., conducted a descriptive and qualitative evaluation of the project.
The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Workers' Compensation Health Initiative national program.
Under the grant, project staff:
- Replicated the coalition in Essex County, an adjacent rural community.
- Established a system to collect and analyze data as part of the program evaluation.
- Designed educational programs for participating physicians, employers and employees that targeted industry-specific injuries and promoted a safe work environment.
- Formalized the coalition's administrative structure.
Among the findings the evaluators reported to RWJF:
- At the end of 2000, 67 companies were enrolled in the program (56 in Clinton County, 11 in Essex County); an estimated 14,000 employees were eligible for the program.
- A more independent spirit in Essex County created some resistance to the replication of the network there.
- Although not intended, the program has largely become an emergency-room based occupational medicine program.