Letter to the Membership-January 2022
Dear AIHA members,
I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year from the Board of Directors and staff of AIHA! As we start the new year, I would like to communicate progress on two exciting new initiatives which were launched last year, as well as provide a teaser about a few other strategic priorities which I will be addressing in subsequent letters. As always, we are deeply appreciative of the support of members like you.
First an update on the CDC/NIOSH grant -- In December, AIHA, in partnership with the Integrated Bioscience and Built Environment Consortium (IBEC), launched Commit To C.A.R.E., a new public awareness campaign and repository for a comprehensive suite of assets designed to help educate employers, employees, and the public on how to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace and surrounding communities. Educational products include short videos, an online risk assessment tool, brochures, and much more. The initiative, funded by a cooperative agreement with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), comes as employers and businesses await the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on OSHA’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing mandates in the workplace. I am happy to report that we have secured commitments from several public health organizations from around the world, including the National Safety Council, Society for Critical Care Medicine, the Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare, and Indoor Air Quality Association Australia, among others. I encourage you to share Commit to C.A.R.E with your colleagues and peers and invite them to take this pledge as well.
As a part of the grant, AIHA and IBEC are also working together to host the C.L.E.A.N. Virtual Summit: Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Workers: Challenges, Solutions & Invisible Barriers. This virtual summit will be held on January 25 from 12:00 pm– 5:00 pm ET. It will bring together some of the most prominent leaders and experts from various industries working with vulnerable populations including healthcare, education, construction, agriculture, and gig workers. They will explore the challenges, discuss solutions, and assess the invisible barriers we must overcome to protect our most vulnerable workers. I recommend you sign up and attend at least part of or, ideally the entire free virtual summit.
Next, I would like to turn to our Defining the Science initiative. As we all know, the success of OEHS as a profession depends on innovative research, training, and practical application—elements of a self-improving, evolving system. In 2021, AIHA began collaborating with ACGIH to establish the Defining the Science Advisory Group (DTS-AG), with the goal of developing and maintaining a national OEHS research agenda. One of the top priorities identified by the initiative was improving the accuracy of qualitative exposure judgments. AIHA and ACGIH are exploring ways that our associations can help fill this need.
We have several other exciting new initiatives in the pipeline. These include the creation of two new advisory groups – one to address professional Standards of Care and the other to focus on Exposure Judgments. In addition, we will be launching a new State of the Art vs. Practice project. More on these in my next letter.
Your commitment to excellence has helped AIHA reach new successes and promote the OEHS profession in the public arena. 2022 will be a big year for AIHA and our profession. Thanks for renewing your membership and sticking with us. On behalf of everyone at AIHA, Happy New Year!
John R. Mulhausen, PhD, CIH, CSP, FAIHA
AIHA President 2021-22
P.S. Be safe, and I look forward to seeing you, hopefully in person in Nashville (if not, then virtually) at AIHce EXP2022!