- THE MAGAZINE
Attendees from around the world gathered for a week of professional development and networking. Delegations from China, Mexico, Brazil, Italy, Poland, and India were present. In addition to these delegations and their meetings, AIHA hosted an international reception where more than 250 international members and guests had the opportunity to network. The International Occupational Hygiene Association dinner and reception included presidents from different international organizations, including Australia, France, South Africa, and Finland. AIHA was also happy to host attendees from the Canadian Council of Occupational Hygiene.
From June 2–7 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, conference-goers found hundreds of hands-on educational opportunities offered. Participants had the chance to earn up to 6.5 CM points, attend 74 weekend professional development courses (PDCs), 40 educational tracks that included an early career and student track, 119 technical sessions, podium sessions, roundtables, EHS crossover programs, technical tours, and poster sessions. Cosponsored by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), the meeting also featured a three-day exposition with exhibits from more than 300 companies.
“AIHce offers a unique opportunity for association members and students to focus on new and evolving aspects of occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) and further develop their expertise in their particular areas of interest,” said Donald J. Hart, PhD, CIH, AIHA president. He added, “This truly was a positive and energetic crowd. The opportunities to enhance and promote the profession and the free flow of knowledge and information makes this an event we look forward to each year.”
“This year’s conference provided a good balance of applied, technical, and interactive sessions as well as more opportunities to network. All of the hard work to improve the quality of the sessions, and the overall content of the conference, paid off,” said ACGIH Vice Chair Lawrence M. Gibbs, MEd, MPH, CIH. “It’s an exciting time in the field of industrial hygiene, and the program delivered by ACGIH and AIHA provided attendees with the information and tools necessary to excel in their careers.”
The opening general session keynote speaker Steve Uzzell, who says his work as a photographer belies his true avocation as a problem solver, delighted a crowded ballroom of AIHce attendees with his presentation, Open Roads Open Minds: An Exploration of Creative Problem Solving. “Everybody in this room spends their day doing the same thing – solving problems,” he said. “Though the tools and vocabulary are different, the principles are the same.”
Linda Rae Murray, M.D., MPH, sparked the passions of those attending the Tuesday general session covering the challenges facing OEHS professionals. Murray shared expertise and insight regarding the impact of social, economic, and political changes on worker health and safety, including the graying of the profession, funding issues government agencies are facing, health care challenges, special needs of immigrants, the decline of labor unions, and more. “We as a field must not only think about the four walls of the factory or the office,” Murray said. “We have to look beyond that and understand that when we come together to address the critical issues of our society that we in fact are solving problems of occupational health and safety.”
At the June 7 annual AIHA business meeting, Donald J. Hart, PhD, CIH, ascended to the position of president, as Frank M. Renshaw, PhD, CIH, CSP, concluded his successful presidential year. Lindsay E. Booher, CIH, CSP, became president-elect and Cathy L. Cole, CIH, CSP, became AIHA’s new vice president. Elizabeth L. Pullen, CIH, will begin her term as secretary, and David M. Gioiello Jr., CIH, CSP, will continue his term as AIHA’s treasurer. Allan K. Fleeger, CIH, CSP, will begin this year as AIHA’s treasurer-elect. Daniel H. Anna, PhD, CIH, CSP; Kevin G. Gara, CIH; and Shelley R. Wheeling-Lark, MPH, CHMM, CSP, CIH, took their places on the board of directors. Michael T. Brandt, DrPH, CIH, PMP; Ellen P. Clas, MS, CIH, CSP; Christine A. Corrigan, MS, CIH; Christopher D. Jones, MS, CIH; Zandra M. Walton, CIH; and Neil J. Zimmerman, PhD, PE, CIH, will remain on the board of directors.
“On behalf of the AIHA Board of Directors, I would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers, speakers, presenters, and staff members who came together to produce another excellent conference,” said Frank M. Renshaw PhD, CIH, CSP, past president of AIHA. “I am always impressed by the generosity of our volunteers and others who work so hard to make AIHce appear so effortless. We’ll see all of you in Minneapolis for AIHce 2008, May 31–June 5.”
Three words mark the theme for AIHce 2008: Vision. Value. Impact. Minneapolis will be alive in June 2008 with outdoor festivals on the streets and a backdrop of spectacular natural surroundings along the Mississippi River. Most restaurants and attractions are within short walking distance to the Minneapolis Convention Center, making it easy for attendees to experience and enjoy the city while at AIHce 2008.