By Larry Sloan
Happy New Year! As my tenure hits its 90-day mark, I am pleased to report that AIHA, in collaboration with ABIH and ACGIH, has formed a new task force to address how we can better communicate to the many stakeholder groups we serve what it is IH/OH professionals do and why it is so vitally important. AIHA isn’t allowing moss to grow under our feet! I’d like to draw your attention to several of many efforts with the overall goal of heightening public awareness about the importance of IH/OH:
- #IAmIH launched at Fall Conference 2016 as part of the 2017 membership campaign. #IAmIH is about recognizing the integral role that industrial hygiene professionals play in daily life and spreading the word to the general public.
- We recently invited all industrial hygiene and occupational health professionals to tell their story about how they came to be an IH and the impact they've had on their community. We received an overwhelming 41 submissions! The selection committee is currently in the process of compiling select entries into a short documentary and captioned videos for social channels to premiere at AIHce 2017. All applicants not chosen to be featured in the documentary will be showcased via the Synergist’s digital channels and then compiled into an e-Book showcasing the unsung heroes of IH. We plan to reach out to our international community to share international #IAmIH stories at IOHA 2018, which AIHA will host in Washington, D.C.
- In collaboration with ASSE, ABIH, and other organizations, we participated in a special USA Today supplement published Dec. 23 on occupational safety.
- We formed a new task force to explore updating and rebranding the profession to enhance our appeal to students and young professionals. The task force includes members from AIHA, ABIH, and ACGIH.
- The #IAmIH training and outreach challenge will be held at Leadership Workshop in March 2017. Attendees will be introduced to the outreach program and given a presentation on how to effectively build and carry out their own program. Those who participate will be entered into a drawing, with prizes awarded at AIHA’s Conference on Leadership and Management 2017.
- We will give presentations about #IAmIH at IOHA 2018, local section meetings, and the Intersociety Forum, which includes representatives from several health and safety organizations.
- We will host a reporter breakfast/webinar about #IAmIH. The event will help reporters understand what IH is and the resources available to them through AIHA.
Please let us know if you would like to volunteer to help with this public awareness campaign as it unfolds in 2017. What a great way to get involved with AIHA and play an integral role in communicating the important work IH/OH professionals do every day!
Larry Sloan is AIHA’s CEO.