AOHC 2009 Preview: Great Program, Perfect Setting

a view of downtown San Diego, Calif.This month brings the 2009 American Occupational Health Conference, a six-day event at the sumptuous Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel in San Diego, Calif. The city is hard to beat as a conference destination: Its beautiful weather and scenery combine with first-class accommodations and an inviting downtown.

This year's AOHC is the 94th annual meeting in this series. It is organized into tracks that include Clinical Practice; Management and Administration; Education and Scientific Research; Environmental Health and Risk Management; and Regulatory, Legal, Military, and Governmental Occupational and Environmental Medicine Practice. Pre-conference courses take place April 24-25, with the main event taking place Sunday, April 26 through Wednesday, April 29.

The first day of the main event, April 26, includes the AOHC Opening Session and the C.O. Sappington Memorial Lecture beginning at 8:30 a.m. This annual lecture began in 1954 and addresses major issues in occupational and environmental medicine. This year's presenter, Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., of Age Wave in San Francisco, has chosen a timely subject: "How the Age Wave Will Transform Health and Healthcare."

The conference includes a full slate of valuable sessions examining occupational medicine issues such as the ongoing three-year cardiovascular health initiative for firefighters and how Corporate Health Achievement Award-winning companies structure their employee health programs. The inaugural William B. Patterson Memorial Ethics Presentation will take place Tuesday, April 28, beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Highlights of the program include:

Sunday, April 26

10:30 a.m.-noon, Session 2101
Fitness-for-Duty Medical Evaluations for Firefighters and Law Enforcement Officers: Guidelines from NFPA and ACOEM
Moderator: David J. Louis, M.D., MS, FACOEM, HQ Air Force Materiel Command, Beavercreek, Ohio.
Speakers: Daniel G. Samo, M.D., FACOEM, Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group, Chicago; Thomas R. Hales, M.D., MPH, NIOSH-CDC, Cincinnati; Fabrice Czarnecki, M.D., MA, MPH, The Gables Group, Inc, Baltimore

10:30 a.m.-noon, Session 2102
Federal and Military Occupational Medicine Overseas
Moderator: Christopher J. Jankosky, M.D., MPH, USUHS, Bethesda, Md.
Faculty: Illy Dominitz, M.D., MPH, MBA, MDSU2, Virginia Beach, Va.; Patrick R. Laraby, M.D., MS, MBA, MPH, FACOEM, U.S. Department of Defense, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs), Washington, D.C.; Michael A. Montopoli, M.D., MPH, National Science Foundation, Office of Polar Programs, Arlington, Va.

10:30 a.m.-noon, Session 2104
What Constitutes Excellence: Corporate Health Achievement Award Winner Presentations
Directors & Faculty: Fikry W. Isaac, M.D., MPH, FACOEM, Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, N.J.; William S. Wanago, M.D., Comprehensive Health Services, Inc., New York

Noon–1:15 p.m., Session 7103
Fatigue Management Programs: Addressing the Challenges of 24/7 Operations
Moderator: Natalie P. Hartenbaum, M.D., MPH, FACOEM, OccuMedix, Maple Glen, Pa.
Faculty: Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D., Alertness Solutions, Cupertino, Calif.

Noon-1:15 p.m., Session 2107
Medications and Driving: The Federal Perspective
Moderator: Ellison H. Wittels, M.D., FACP, FMCSA, Houston
Faculty: James Swart, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, D.C.

Monday, April 27

7-8:15 a.m., Meal Session 7204
Things That Go Bump in the Night -- Sleep Disorders and Commercial Operations
Moderator: Natalie P. Hartenbaum, OccuMedix
Faculty: Natalie P. Hartenbaum; Kurt T. Hegmann, M.D., MPH, FACOEM, Rocky Mountain Center for OEH, Salt Lake City

7-8:15 a.m.
What Happens in the Smoke Filled Room: Practical Lessons in Management of Workers’ Compensation Reform
Moderator: Robert M. Aurbach, Uncommon Approach Inc., Albuquerque
Faculty: Kathryn L. Mueller, M.D., MPH, FACOEM, Colorado Division of Workers Comp, Denver

8:30-10 a.m., Session 2200
Semi-Plenary: The Secret of America’s Most Successful Companies in Creating a Healthy Work Environment
Moderator: Walter S. Newman Jr., M.D., Monterey Mushrooms, San Jose, Calif.
Faculty: Phil Walker, Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard, & Smith, San Francisco

8:30 a.m.-noon, Session 2201
OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping Process
Moderator: Patrick J. Beecher, M.D., MPH, MBA, FACOEM, General Motors Corporation, Detroit
Faculty: Patrick J. Beecher; Stephen Newell, JD, ORC Worldwide, Washington, D.C.; Donna Peck, Fern River, Inc., Manassas, Va.

1:30-5 p.m., Session 2209
Pyschosocial Issues Among Healthcare Workers
Moderator: Michael J. Hodgson, M.D., MPH, Veterans Health Administration, Washington, D.C.
Faculty: Andrew Clarke, M.D., Physician Health Program of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; T. Larry Myette, M.D., MPH, Healthcare Benefit Trust, Victoria, Canada

3:30–5 p.m., Session 2211
Three-Year Cardovascular Health Initiative with the Howard County, Maryland Fire Department
Moderator & Faculty: Marc Leffer, M.D., MPH, Concentra Medical Centers, Columbia, Md.

Tuesday, April 28

8:30–10 a.m., Session 2300
Semi-Plenary: William B. Patterson Memorial Ethics Presentation
Moderator: Laura S. Welch, M.D., The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, Md.
Faculty: Myron C. Harrison, M.D., MPH, FACOEM, ExxonMobil Corp., Irving, Texas

8:30 a.m.–noon, Session 2314
Delivering Extraordinary Patient Service in an Occupational Health Clinic
Moderator & Faculty: Frank H. Leone, MBA, MPH, Ryan Associates, Santa Barbara, Calif.

10:30 a.m.-noon, Session 2304
MRO Controversies
Moderator: Elizabeth A. Jennison, M.D., MPH, MBA, FACOEM, Honeywell International, Morristown, N.J.
Faculty: Douglas W. Martin, M.D., FACOEM, FAADEP, FAAFP, St. Luke's Center for Occupational Health Excellence, Sioux City, Iowa; David K. Walker, M.D., Substance Abuse Testing Control Unit, Medicine and Occupational Health, ExxonMobil, Houston; Richard O. Dockins, M.D., MPH, Medicine and Occupational Health, ExxonMobil, Houston; David M. Batey, Ph.D., MPH, Substance Abuse Testing Control Unit, Medicine and Occupational Health, ExxonMobil, Houston; Karl Auerbach, M.D., FACOEM, Strong Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Rochester, N.Y.

Noon-1:45 p.m., Session 2500
ACOEM Annual Membership Meeting and Luncheon
The college's 94th Annual Membership Meeting and Luncheon honors the Class of 2009, who will be elevated to Fellow status, as well as Presidential, Resident Research, and Grants for Innovation in OEH award recipients. The meeting will conclude with the address by outgoing ACOEM President Robert R. Orford, M.D., CM, MS, MPH, FACOEM. He'll pass the gravel to Dr. Pamela A. Hymel, who will then present her inaugural address as ACOEM's incoming president.

2–5:15 p.m., Session 2309
Real-World Spirometry: Avoiding Pitfalls and Interpreting Results Using 2005 American Thoracic Society (ATS) Guidelines
Moderator: Mary C. Townsend, DrPH, M.C. Townsend Associates, LLC, Pittsburgh
Faculty: Mary C. Townsend; William L. Eschenbacher, M.D., VA Medical Center, Cincinnati

2-5:15 p.m., Session 2310
Building a Better Mousetrap: Improving Surveillance of Occupational Injuries and Illness
Moderator: Robert K. McLellan, M.D., MPH, FAAFP, FACOEM, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, N.H.
Faculty: John Mendeloff, Ph.D., Center for Health and Safety in the Workplace, Rand Corporation, Pittsburgh; Kenneth D. Rosenman, M.D., Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.; Laura S. Welch, M.D., The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, Md.

2-5:15 p.m., Session 2311
NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluation Program: Responses to Interesting or Unusual Problems
Co-Moderators: Melody M. Kawamoto, M.D., MS-OH, NIOSH, Cincinnati; Bruce P. Bernard, M.D., MPH, NIOSH, Morgantown, W.Va.
Faculty: Carlos Aristeguieta, M.D., NIOSH, Cincinnati; Elena H. Page, M.D., MPH, NIOSH, Cincinnati; LCDR Rachel L. Bailey, DO, MPH, NIOSH, Morgantown; Judith Eisenberg, M.D., MS, NIOSH, Cincinnati; Loren C. Tapp, M.D., MS, NIOSH, Cincinnati

Wednesday, April 29

10:30 a.m.-noon, Session 2403
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Moderator: Joel C. Gaydos, M.D., MPH, U.S. Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, Silver Spring, Md.
Faculty: Joel C. Gaydos; Dennis J. Faix, M.D., MPH, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego; Jose L. Sanchez, M.D., MPH, U.S. Department of Defense, Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center

Established in 1916, the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has its headquarters at 25 Northwest Point Blvd, Suite 700, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007, phone 847-818-1800, fax 847-818-9265, conference e-mail [email protected]. Hotel reservations may be made by calling 800-233-1234 and referencing AOHC/ACOEM or visiting

Next year's event, the 95th annual AOHC, will take place May 2-5, 2010, at the Shingle Creek Resort in Orlando, Fla.

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