COEH Builds Bridges: Interdisciplinary & Ethical Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
About Lela Morris, RN, MPH
Lela Morris, RN, MPH enrolled at the School of Nursing at the University of Washington. She became the first African American to be admitted and graduate from the School of Nursing. Lela began her health care career as a public health nurse in the District of Columbia. Dismayed at the plight of workers exposed to hazards in the workplace, she decided to devote her career to occupational and environmental health issues. Lela was the founding director of continuing education for the Northern California Occupational Health Center, now called the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, which is supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.  Her research focused on occupational health and safety for minority workers with the aim to address elevated risk of occupational injuries facing minority workers through public policy and employee education and training.

In 1987, Lela presented her research on occupational health of minority workers, “Minority workers: Educational Models for Workers, Health Providers, and Planners”, at the 115th American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting. Two years later, her work was published in the scientific journal called Workplace Health & Safety, formerly the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) Journal.  In addition to her successful career, Lela was an active member of the East Bay Area community. She was involved in numerous community and civic organizations.