AIHA’s New Technical Staff Structure
As many of you may know, earlier this year, AIHA’s Managing Director of Scientific and Technical Initiatives, Russ Hayward, CIH, left to pursue other endeavors that we have learned will take him across the globe. During that transition, we had to do some soul-searching. We devised a new staffing formula that we believe has worked well for the association to date. It involved not having a full-time IH/OH on staff.
Many of you are probably thinking: how can a professional association representing IH/OHs operate properly without actually having one on staff?
When we began recruiting for Russ’ replacement, we originally specified the need for this individual to manage our many technical committees (volunteer and working groups), serve as a liaison between them and our Content Portfolio Advisory Group, and directly manage CPAG. After interviewing multiple IH candidates (many of whom were seasoned CIHs), it became apparent that the candidates either had no interest in doing this work or didn’t have the right skillset to succeed in this role.
Therefore, we decided to pivot our model toward an individual who was technically trained and exhibited strong project management skills. In the end, we felt we needed two new staffers who would both be involved in supporting our Education and Technical Initiatives Department. The more senior staffer we hired, Brooke Tata, has a technical background (MPH, but not in IH), and the more junior staffer, Conor O’Malley, brings excellent organizational and a more general project management mindset to the team. With the large number of projects being managed at any one time, we believed changing up the typical staffing formula will help us manage projects more efficiently.
Because we no longer have on-staff technical expertise, we have developed a “pool” of subject matter experts in the entire IH/OH community with whom our staff can consult when technical queries arise. Included are a few CIH generalists who can assist staff with “sanity-checking” the validity and feasibility of an idea before we might act on it.
This new staffing model will afford our technical committees greater care and attention, and will better ensure that membership interests are more efficiently addressed and managed than ever before.
We encourage our members to continue using Catalyst to exchange ideas and engage your peers in technical conversations. Did you know that each of the CPAG content priorities has its own room on Catalyst, where you should feel free to engage in deeper discussion about that topic?
If you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
Editor's note, September 20, 2019: Brooke Tata is no longer with AIHA. AIHA is in the process of filling her position.