AIHA to Recognize Extraordinary Contributions of 2016 Awardees at AIHce

This year’s AIHA awardees will be recognized during the Mark of Excellence Awards Breakfast at the 2016 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition in Inner Harbor Baltimore, MD.

The American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) has announced the recipients of the 2016 AIHA Awards, which honor individuals who have made significant contributions to the industrial hygiene and occupational and environmental health and safety professions. The award recipients will be recognized on Wednesday, May 25 during a celebration to recognize the extraordinary contributions made by dedicated members and volunteers to the industrial hygiene profession.

The 2016 AIHA named award recipients are:

Susan D. Ripple, MS, CIH, FAIHA – Edward J. Baier Technical Achievement Award

Throughout her entire career, AIHA Fellow Susan Ripple has spearheaded efforts in industrial hygiene in the areas of occupational exposure limits and guidelines, hazard and control banding, and, most recently, competency and credentialing. Ripple is a member and previous chair of the AIHA Workplace Environmental Exposure Level (WEEL) Committee and the Emergency Response Planning Committee of the AIHA Guideline Foundation. In 2012, she led the transition of the AIHA WEEL Committee to the Occupational Alliance for Risk Science (OARS) so that important guidelines would continue to be developed. 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, as described in her October 2009 article in The Synergist, “Hyped about Hazard Banding.”

As chair of the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH), Ripple is currently leading an effort to ensure that occupational and environmental health and safety professionals develop and demonstrate competency in the area of risk assessment through the credentialing process.

Ripple has been a part of AIHA’s Exposure Assessment Strategies Committee, 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 is given to the 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 – Donald E. Cummings Memorial Award

Frederick Boelter has nearly 40 years of experience in industrial hygiene, environmental engineering, and risk management. Boelter, an AIHA Fellow, has been instrumental in the planning and development of numerous scientific seminars, workshops, and meetings at professional conferences, including AIHce and AIHA Fall Conference, that focus on risk-based techniques. He organized a symposium at Fall Conference in 2011 called Risk Assessment Symposium – Converging Risk Analysis, Management and Perception that highlighted groundbreaking scientific and technical risk assessment techniques. In 2012, Boelter contributed to a series of articles in The Synergist that documented the symposium and promoted the development of a risk and decision-making model for industrial hygiene, collaborative partnerships, technology transfers, and improved risk-related training, communication and education.

Boelter is a former chair of the AIHA Risk Assessment Committee. He is also a past recipient of the association’s Edward J. Baier Technical Achievement Award.

The Cummings Award is bestowed upon 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 environmental health and safety, occupational health, public health, or business).

Shannon H. Gaffney, PhD, MHS, CIH – Kusnetz Award

Shannon Gaffney has contributed significantly to the science, practice, and community of industrial hygiene. In addition to her PhD work advancing exposure science on a number of agents and topics at the core of the industrial hygiene field, 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, and her efforts were instrumental in forming the AIHA Students and Early Career Professionals (SECP) Committee.

An AIHA member since 2001, Gaffney has been a part of the association’s Permanent Conference and SECP Committees, Northern California Section, Chesapeake Section, and the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF) Annual Fund Committee. She has also participated in the AIHA Future Leaders Institute and Future Leaders Summit. Gaffney is currently a column editor for the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (JOEH).

Named after its donors, Florence and Past President Howard Kusnetz, the Kusnetz Award honors an industrial hygienist under the age of 40 who is currently employed in the private sector and shows promise of leadership in the industrial hygiene profession.

Mary O’Reilly, PhD, CIH, CPE – Alice Hamilton Award

Mary O’Reilly has been involved in occupational hygiene for more than 25 years. Currently an adjunct assistant professor at Empire State College in Syracuse, N.Y., O’Reilly has led various 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. She 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. O’Reilly presently serves on the board of directors for Workplace Health Without Borders (WHWB), whose mission is to improve workplace conditions in places where there is an unmet need for occupational or environmental hygiene professionals. She’s also the president of Workplace Health Without Borders-U.S., a branch of WHWB. In addition, O’Reilly is 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 – Distinguished Service Award

Barbara Dawson, a past president of AIHA, has been a strong leader and contributor to the association and the profession for many years. While serving on the AIHA Board of Directors, Dawson coordinated the association’s role in the Forum on Worker Health & Safety in the Bangladesh Garment Industry. She was also a key AIHA participant in the NIOSH Total Worker Health Affiliate Program. She supported ABIH activities as director from 2003-2006 and chair from 2006-2008. From 1994 to 1995, Dawson served as chair of the Gas and Vapor Detection Committee.

Dawson is part of AIHA’s Delaware Local Section, where she has twice served as president, once in 1985-1986 and again in 2004-2006. She is a long-time supporter of AIHF, and has collaborated on a number of peer-reviewed publications in JOEH and the Annals of Occupational Hygiene. Dawson was named AIHA Fellow in 2009.

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 – Social Responsibility Award

In 1995, Irvin Fischer moved to Israel to establish an industrial hygiene unit in a university and medical facility. 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.

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, PhD, 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.”

These six honorees are among a group of nine who will receive AIHA’s most coveted awards this year.

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