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People and Events

Dreger, Marianne

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: May 2008 - Volume 50 - Issue 5 - p 606-608
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181787b85
People and Events
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The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has recognized four physicians, and the authors of the paper judged an outstanding JOEM article, for their contributions to the field of occupational and environmental medicine (OEM). The award ceremony took place in New York at the 2008 American Occupational Health Conference (AOHC), the College's annual spring meeting, during the Opening Session on April 13. Award winners are as follows:

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William S. Knudsen Award.

The highest award in OEM, the Knudsen Award was created in 1938 by William Knudsen, then president of General Motors, to recognize an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the field.

ACOEM Fellow M. Donald Whorton, MD, MPH, received this award posthumously for his lifetime of significant contributions to research and his medical leadership in the field of OEM. He died in January of this year at age 65. Dr Whorton was Executive Vice President and Principal for WorkCare in Anaheim, CA. He was specifically renowned for his studies on how the male reproductive system can be adversely affected by occupational and environmental exposures to chemicals. His authoritative study on DBCP was the springboard for California's 1978 legislation that mandated universities to establish teaching, research, and service centers that would be devoted to understanding occupational and environmental hazards with the goal of preventing disease, fatalities, and injuries. As a result of this legislation, the Centers for Occupational and Environmental Health, located at the University of California at Berkeley, Irvine, and Los Angeles, were established. Dr Whorton advanced the field of OEM through his epidemiologic morbidity and mortality studies and contributed a wealth of knowledge to OEM through his scientific articles. He served on numerous prominent national committees that authored landmark studies, including the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, and Institute of Medicine.

Dr Whorton received his medical degree from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and his MPH from Johns Hopkins University. A certified MRO, Dr Whorton was also board certified in occupational medicine and internal medicine. Dr Whorton joined ACOEM in 1977 and was elevated to Fellowship in 1980. He was a member of the Western Occupational and Environmental Medicine Association (WOEMA) and was honored by WOEMA in 1996, when that component presented him with the Jean Spencer Felton Award for Excellence in Scientific Writing.

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Meritorious Service Award.

The Meritorious Service Award was established in 1945 to recognize an ACOEM member who has provided laudable service to the College.

The 2008 Award was presented to George H. Franck, MD, MPH, FACOEM, an Associate Professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC. Dr Franck was honored for his contributions and dedication to ACOEM as a Past President, Treasurer, and distinguished member of the Board of Directors. He has been the College's long-term liaison to the American Medical Association (AMA) serving as ACOEM's delegate to the AMA House of Delegates.

Dr Franck received his medical degree in 1955 from Indiana University School of Medicine and his MPH from the University of Michigan School of Public Health in 1958. That same year he became a member of ACOEM and was later elevated to Fellowship in 1965. He has served and chaired numerous ACOEM committees and was also active in the Georgia component of ACOEM serving on their Board of Directors and as their President in 1968–1969. He is certified in occupational medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine and is currently a member of the Carolinas OEMA, an ACOEM component society. As he joined ACOEM in 1958, this year marks Dr Franck's 50th year of membership in ACOEM.

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Health Achievement in Occupational Medicine Award.

Created in 1948, this annual award is presented to recognize an ACOEM member for a unique achievement in the field of OEM.

Bernard R. Blais, MD, FACOEM, President and Founder of Blais Consulting, Ltd., Clifton Park, NY, was the recipient of the 2008 Award. Dr Blais was recognized for his tireless and almost single-handed development of, and leadership in, the field of occupational ophthalmology in the United States. As an active member of ACOEM, he has lent his expertise to a variety of ACOEM initiatives in such areas of occupational and industrial ophthalmology as occupational vision standards, ocular safety, preventive and protective eye care, eye hazard analysis, visual ergonomics for the workplace, and determination of visual impairments and disabilities. He has developed numerous ACOEM position statements including the definitive statement on contact lens use in the industry, and is the author of the Eye Chapter in ACOEM's Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines.

Dr Blais received his medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in 1958. He became a member of ACOEM in 1981 and earned the designation of Fellow in 1986. Dr Blais is co-chair of ACOEM's Sensory Perception Committee and is a member of the Council on Scientific Affairs and has served as chair of the Section on Occupational Ophthalmology. He is certified in ophthalmology by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a member of the ACOEM component, New York OEMA.

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Robert A. Kehoe Award of Merit.

Created in 1957 and named for Robert A. Kehoe, MD, a past president of ACOEM and a pioneer in the field of OEM, this award is presented annually to an individual who has shown distinction in and made significant contributions to OEM.

Glenn S. Pransky, MD, MOCCH, FACOEM, Director of the Liberty Mutual Research Center for Safety and Health in Hopkinton, Mass., was the recipient of this year's Kehoe Award for his significant academia contributions as Director of the University of Massachusetts' Medical Center Occupational Medicine Residency Program (1985–99), and chair of ACOEM's OM Residency Directors Section. Dr Pransky has advanced research in the field by leading activities in work-related musculoskeletal disorders as director of the Occupational and Environmental Health Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. He served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Physician Health Program Advisory Committee of the Massachusetts Medical Society and teaches at the University of Massachusetts and Harvard School of Public Health. He has been the principal or coinvestigator for numerous grants including the Academic Award for Environmental and Occupational Curriculum Development from the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences. He is also a scientific reviewer for a number of OEM and public health publications including the British journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.

Dr Pransky received his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1981 and his MOCCH from Harvard School of Public Health. A member of ACOEM since 1988, Dr Pransky was elevated to Fellowship in 2001. He is certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine in occupational medicine and certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He is a member of the New England COEM, a component society of ACOEM.

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Adolph G. Kammer Merit in Authorship Award.

Named in honor of Adolph Kammer, MD, first editor of the College's peer-reviewed Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (JOEM), this award recognizes outstanding articles published in JOEM.

This year's recipients were Edward Emmett, MD, MS; Frances Shofer, PhD; Hong Zhang, MD, MPH; David Freeman, MS; Chintan Desai, BSC; Leslie Michael Shaw, PhD; and Nancy Rodway, MD, MPH, for their two-part article “Community Exposure to Perfluorooctanoate: Relationships Between Serum Concentrations and Exposure Sources,” and “Community Exposure to Perfluorooctanoate: Relationships Between Serum Levels and Certain Health Parameters.” This series determined that serum (perfluorooctanoate) in residents near a fluoropolymer production facility greatly exceeded general population medians and that residential water source was the primary determinant of serum (PFOA). The authors also found no significant positive relationships between serum (PFOA) and liver or renal function tests, cholesterol, thyroid-stimulating hormone, or with red cell indices, white cell, or platelet counts.

The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) will sponsor five educational offerings in Chicago on July 11, 12, and 13, at the Renaissance Chicago Hotel.

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Commercial Driver Medical Examiner.

A one-day educational offering on July 11, this course is for the physician, physician's assistant, advanced practice nurse, occupational health nurse, or other health care professional responsible for or involved in certifying the eight million truck and bus drivers on the road who are required to meet 13 interstate federal medical requirements. ACOEM designates this activity for a maximum of 7.5 AMA PRA category 1 credit(s). Natalie Hartenbaum, MD, MPH, FACOEM, is the course director.

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MRO Assistant.

A new single day course scheduled July 11, is designed to educate individuals to become qualified assistants to medical review officers (MROs). Participants will learn practical skills that assure the MRO, the employer, and the donor that his or her duties are performed in a consistent and professional manner throughout the entire drug testing process.

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Medical Review Officer (MRO) I: Fast Track.

A two-day course scheduled July 12 to 13, this activity fully meets the U.S. Department of Transportation's qualification training requirements for MROs and is designed for physicians and other collection and health care professionals who are familiar with basic substance abuse testing procedures. The course is also appropriate for MROs who seek the required CME hours for initial certification or recertification opportunities from the Medical Review Officer Certification Council (MROCC). ACOEM designates this educational activity for a maximum of 12 AMA PRA category 1 credit(s). ACOEM's MRO courses are directed by Kent Peterson, MD, FACOEM.

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AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

A two-day offering on July 12 to 13, enables participants to master the new Sixth Edition of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment through insightful presentations and active involvement in assessing example workers' compensation cases. An understanding of both the concepts of the Sixth Edition and how to apply the new process and criteria is the objective. Participants will demonstrate the skills required to assess musculoskeletal, neurological, pain, mental and behavioral, and other impairments. This learning experience is the ideal next step for individuals who have had introductory training on the Guides, whether web-based or as a one day seminar. ACOEM designates this educational activity for a maximum of 15 AMA PRA category 1 credit(s). Christopher R. Brigham, MD, FACOEM, is the course director, assisted by Craig Uejo, MD, MPH.

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Basic Curriculum in Occupational Medicine: Segment 3.

This segment will be conducted July 12 to 13, and focuses on industrial hygiene and specific workplace health concerns such as physical hazard, ergonomic assessment, and worksite evaluations. Attendance at Segments 1 or 2 is not a prerequisite for enrolling in Segment 3 since the series can be taken in any order. ACOEM designates this activity for a maximum of 15 AMA PRA category 1 credit(s).

For more information on ACOEM courses, call Laura Strange, ACOEM Education Department, at 847/818-1800, ext. 391; or visit the web site at www.acoem.org. On-line registration is also available at www.acoem.org.

©2008The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine