Two Weeks Remain in Howard's NIOSH Tenure

"We need your help one more time!!!" was the message Monday from Aaron Trippler, the veteran government affairs director for the American Industrial Hygiene Association. AIHA, along with ASSE and many in the safety profession, is alarmed that NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard is nearing the end of his term without being reappointed; Trippler's message said Howard's last day will be July 5 unless HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt reappoints him. NIOSH is part of CDC, which is a unit of HHS.

"AIHA has received word from a higher up at NIOSH that Dr. John Howard's last day as NIOSH Director will be July 5 -- unless we can persuade HHS Secretary Leavitt to reappoint Dr. Howard for another term," Trippler wrote. "While AIHA has received word that no definitive decision has been made, because there has been no word, it looks as though Dr. Howard's term will simply be allowed to expire. That said, we really have nothing to lose by contacting Secretary Leavitt, Members of Congress and the President to see if we can at this late hour enlist their support to reappoint John to the position."

A page on the AIHA Web site allows members to send an email quickly and directly to their representatives, Leavitt, or the president. Saying it wouldn't hurt to send one to Bush, Trippler added, "In this message, I would simply state that most in the OH&S community feel that Dr. Howard has been one of the most outstanding appointments ever made to NIOSH. The President has a chance to ensure that OH&S is left in good hands with John's reappointment and the President should do all he can to see that this reappointment is accomplished."

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