AIHA Honors 2016 Award Winners This Week

The American Industrial Hygiene Association® will honor the winners of its 2016 AIHA awards, chosen because they have made significant contributions to the industrial hygiene and occupational and environmental health and safety professions, on May 25 during the second annual Mark of Excellence Awards Breakfast at the 2016 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition.

The American Industrial Hygiene Association® will honor the winners of its 2016 AIHA awards, chosen because they have made significant contributions to the industrial hygiene and occupational and environmental health and safety professions, on May 25 during the second annual Mark of Excellence Awards Breakfast at the 2016 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition. The breakfast will take place from 6:30 to 8 a.m. in the Baltimore Convention Center's ballroom.

The 2016 award recipients are:

  • Susan D. Ripple, MS, CIH, FAIHA, receiving the Edward J. Baier Technical Achievement Award. She is a member and previous chair of the AIHA Workplace Environmental Exposure Level Committee and the Emergency Response Planning Committee of the AIHA Guideline Foundation, and she is one of the originators of the "WEEL Hazard Banding Matrix," which describes the utility of banding as a complement to traditional occupational exposure limits, according to AIHA. She currently serves as chair of the American Board of Industrial Hygiene and is chair-elect of the AIHA Fellows SIG. She received the Alice Hamilton Award in 2013, and was named an AIHA Distinguished Lecturer in 2015. The Baier Award goes to an individual or group of individuals, company, academic institution, organization, or association that has made the most significant contribution to industrial hygiene in recent years through technical expertise, innovations, or scientific advancements. This award is sponsored by Bureau Veritas North America, Inc.
  • Frederick W. Boelter, CIH, PE, BCEE, receiving the Donald E. Cummings Memorial Award. An AIHA Fellow, Boelter has been instrumental in the planning and development of numerous scientific seminars, workshops, and meetings at professional conferences, including AIHce and the AIHA Fall Conference, organized a symposium at Fall Conference in 2011 called Risk Assessment Symposium - Converging Risk Analysis, Management and Perception, and contributed to a series of articles to The Synergist in 2012 that documented the symposium and promoted the development of a risk and decision-making model for industrial hygiene. Former chair of the AIHA Risk Assessment Committee, he is a past recipient of the Baier Award. The Cummings Award goes to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the knowledge and practice of the profession of industrial hygiene and has been acknowledged for his or her contributions outside of the field (for example, in EHS, occupational health, public health, or business).
  • Shannon H. Gaffney, Ph.D., MHS, CIH, receiving the Kusnetz Award. Her Ph.D. work has advanced exposure science on a number of agents and topics at the core of the industrial hygiene field, and Gaffney has reviewed and contributed to the research behind setting occupational and environmental exposure limits. She also dedicates her time and resources toward developing young industrial hygienists and toxicologists was instrumental in forming the AIHA Students and Early Career Professionals (SECP) Committee. She has been a part of the association's Permanent Conference and SECP Committees, Northern California Section, Chesapeake Section, and the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation Annual Fund Committee. She is currently a column editor for the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. Named after its donors, Florence and Past President Howard Kusnetz, the Kusnetz Award honors an industrial hygienist under 40 who works in the private sector and shows promise of leadership in the industrial hygiene profession.
  • Mary O'Reilly, Ph.D., CIH, CPE, receiving the Alice Hamilton Award. O'Reilly is an adjunct assistant professor at Empire State College in Syracuse, N.Y., who has headed efforts to advance the profession through public and community service, social reform, and technological innovation. She was a principal investigator for a project testing water quality in rural wells and has also been involved in managing herbicide crews in the state of New York and has served on the New York State Occupational Health Clinic Oversight Committee, whose mission is to ensure that all workers in the state of New York have access to competent occupational medicine providers. She now serves on the board of directors for Workplace Health Without Borders and is the president of Workplace Health Without Borders-U.S. and a member of the advisory board of the Institute for Health and the Environment. The Alice Hamilton Award is presented to an outstanding woman who has been engaged in IH/OH for at least 10 years and is dedicated to public and community service, social reform, and technological innovation.
  • Barbara J. Dawson, CIH, CSP, receiving the Distinguished Service Award. A past president of AIHA, Dawson has served on the AIHA Board of Directors, during which time she coordinated the association's role in the Forum on Worker Health & Safety in the Bangladesh Garment Industry. She was a key AIHA participant in the NIOSH Total Worker Health Affiliate Program and has chaired the Gas and Vapor Detection Committee. The Distinguished Service Award is presented to an individual who has advanced industrial hygiene through unique technical contributions to the aims and goals of AIHA, proven leadership in the IH profession, influence on public policy or social reform, or public and community service.
  • Irvin A Fischer, CIH, CSP, receiving the Social Responsibility Award. Fischer established an industrial hygiene unit in a university and medical facility in Israel. "During that time, a children's recreational park was being constructed near an asbestos cement manufacturing plant, an area where there was significant asbestos contamination. A colleague of Fischer's who knew he was a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) approached him to take a look at the project and attend a meeting of the local environmental council. Fischer recognized the potential hazards of the new construction and began to assist the Organization for Environmental Health and Quality in Nahariya, Israel, on a voluntary basis. Over the next few years, Fischer's work regarding the proper handling of asbestos and asbestos-contaminated waste was presented to the courts and Israel's Parliament. His work influenced the courts' decision to cancel the project and launch a program to properly clean the existing contamination at the site. Fischer's efforts also raised awareness about the importance of expertise in public safety and industrial hygiene and directly influenced the inclusion of CIHs at the top level of the Israeli government," AIHA's announcement of the awards stated. The Social Responsibility Award is an honor bestowed upon an individual who supports a cause related to the field of IH/OH and is cosponsored and supported by Bureau Veritas North America, Inc.

"It's a great pleasure to acknowledge the recipients of this year's AIHA awards for their outstanding contributions and unwavering commitment to advancing the industrial hygiene profession and to protecting worker health globally," said AIHA President Daniel H. Anna, Ph.D., CIH. "These distinguished individuals are more than deserving of this recognition, and we are excited to honor them during the Mark of Excellence Breakfast at AIHce 2016."

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