Roman P. Kownacki, MD, MPH, FACOEM
Economic Affairs Committee Chair
Legislative Affairs Committee Co-Chair
Kaiser Richmond Medical Center
Dr. Kownacki graduated from the Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA in 1986, completed his residency in Occupational Medicine at the University of Southern California in 1989 and his Masters in Public Health from UCLA in 1988. Dr. Kownacki is Board Certified in Occupational Medicine through the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He is currently the Chief of the Kaiser Permanente Richmond Occupational Health Center.
The Economic Affairs Committee is responsible for assessing the financial requirements and resources of WOEMA annually, making recommendations to the Western Occupational Health Conference chairperson as to the content of the annual conference program, making recommendations to the President and Board of Directors as to the additional educational needs of the membership, including recommendations with regard to conducting seminars other than the Western Occupational Health Conference to secure the financial viability of the organization and respond to changing economic situations regarding the practice of occupational medicine. The Committee Chair is responsible for conducting an annual financial audit at the WOEMA headquarters.
The Legislative Affairs Committee is responsible for keeping itself informed from all available sources regarding all legislation at the state level that affects the field of occupational health regarding proposed legislation and regulations in all member states of WOEMA. The Committee is expected to communicate information regarding such legislation and regulatory activities to the President and Board of Directors. Members shall be assigned by the President to represent WOEMA in submission of testimony when governmental agencies or a state legislature request information or testimony from the profession of Occupational Medicine. Members also shall be assigned to testify before governmental agencies or a state legislature whenever regulation or legislation affecting any aspect of the practice of occupational medicine being proposed for adoption or passage. WOEMA may at times employ a lobbyist to support the efforts of this Committee.
The Zenith Insurance Company
Dr. Rupali Das is Senior Vice President and California Medical Director at the Zenith Insurance Company, where she provides guidance to deliver appropriate medical care to workers while also balancing business needs. Dr. Das served as the Executive Medical Director of the California Division of Workers’ Compensation for over four years and oversaw all functions of the DWC Medical Unit to ensure appropriate and cost-effective medical care for the state’s ill and injured workers. This included improving the physician fee schedule and processes for QMEs, Utilization Review, and Independent Medical Review, as well as developing evidence based treatment guidelines. She has lectured widely and held various leadership roles inoccupational and environmental Health at the California Department of Public Health. Prior to joining public service, she was in clinical practice in Occupational Medicine at the Palo Alto Medical Clinic. She received her MD degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and her Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Das completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago and a fellowship in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at UC San Francisco. She is board certified in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine/Occupational Medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. She is Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF’s Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and continues to lecture and mentor residents and students. Her professional interests include prevention of illness and injury and health promotion to optimize productivity. In her free time she loves to garden and enjoys outdoor adventures with her family.
Dr. Boomus graduated from Michigan College of Human Medicine in East Lansing, MI. She completed her residency in Occupational and Environmental Medicine and Masters in Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is board certified in Occupational Medicine and is the residency director for the Preventive Medicine – Occupational Medicine Residency Program at the University of California, Irvine.
The Education Committee shall provide guidance and information to the President and Board of Directors with reference to the education of the members, the medical profession, and the public on all aspects of occupational health and medicine; shall make recommendations to the Western Occupational Health Conference chairperson as to the content of the annual conference program; and shall make recommendations to the President and Board of Directors as to the educational needs of the membership, including recommendations with regard to conducting educational activities other than the Western Occupational Health Conference. The Committee is charged with offering educational activities, primarily face-to-face meetings (conferences), consisting of a mix of educational methods chosen as most effective based on a review of the science behind health-care improvement. To maintain a continuing assessment of WOEMA’s efforts to address its educational mission, the Education Committee is charged with evaluating all WOEMA’s educational offerings to judge whether a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program has met its objectives of improving physician competence, performance or treatment outcomes. The methods may include, but are not limited to, gathering and reviewing the assessments of the members of the planning group, the members of the Education Committee and members of the conference faculty — all of whom are considered to be informed observers and evaluators — and analyzing the feedback provided by the registrants on the WOEMA evaluation forms and post conference surveys. Since WOEMA recognizes evaluation as an integral part of the planning process and the quality assurance function, the charge to the Committee calls for evaluation activities to occupy a portion of each meeting of a planning group and of the Education Committee.
Krystal Lin, MD, MSPH
Education Committee Co-Chair
Redwood City, CA
Dr. Lin obtained her MD from the University of Rochester, and later completed a residency in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). In addition to possessing solid clinical skills, she has strong analytical skills (a masters degree in biostatistics) and has had prior clinical trial and programming experience. She has worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta and in that role, collaborated closely with the Chinese CDC in Beijing on Hepatitis C surveillance projects. She also has a passion for technology and is a strong believer in the power of artificial intelligence to revolutionize the delivery of healthcare. She is actively involved in the healthcare technology community in Silicon Valley.
Craig F. Conlon, MD, PhD
Ethics Committee Chair
The Permanente Medical Group, Northern California
Dr. Conlon is the Medical Director of Employee Health Services of the Northern California Permanent Medical Group in the department of Occupational Medicine. He is Board Certified in Occupational and Environmental Medicine through the American Board of Preventive Medicine. His research interests include worker injury prevention and ergonomics. His research on computer-associated musculo-skeletal disorders with UCLA and UC Berkeley, led to a PhD in Environmental Health Sciences at UCLA in 2008. He is a medical school graduate of Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA and completed his residency at Western Medical Center, Santa Ana, CA
The Ethics Committee is responsible for monitoring WOEMA activities to ensure all members act in support of the principle of transparency, in support of the broad interests of WOEMA and avoid any conflict – financial or otherwise – between their respective individual interests and the interests of WOEMA in any and all activities undertaken by them on behalf of WOEMA. The Committee is responsible for reviewing any potential conflict of interest that is raised and to make a report/recommendation to the President and to the Board of Directors. The Ethics Committee is also responsible for ensuring that Board members are familiar with and adhere to the WOEMA Code of Ethics.
Bernyce Peplowski, DO, MS, FACOEM
WOHC Planning Chair
Dr. Bernyce Peplowski has been practicing OEM for 35 years. She has a diverse career, spanning on site 24 hour care/prevention model with large employer, 2 large multi-specialty medical groups and 2 payors. She is currently providing consulting services for medical groups and insurers, with emphasis on bundled pay and integrated occupational and non-occupational services, linked to outcomes. Her academic and educational affiliations include: Associate Clinical Professor in Preventive Medicine at Loma Linda University; Chair of WOHC 2013 and 2017; Masters in Health Professions Education (adult medical education). Her S\special interests include the integration of WC and HealthPlan, to include risk shared bundled payment based upon outcomes. Dr. Bernyce Peplowski chairs the WC Committee for the California Medical Association and sits on the Executive Board of WOEMA. She participated in ACOEM Guides development from inception.
The WOHC Planning Committee is responsible for developing and conducting all aspects of the Western Occupational Health Conference (WOHC), an Annual Meeting that attracts physicians and other health professionals from across the U.S. and Canada.
Dr. Dhillon completed his training in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Tyler, Texas and his Masters in Environmental Sciences from Stephen F Austin State University in Texas. Prior to that he completed Family Medicine training at Carilion Health System in Roanoke, Virginia. He is board certified in Family Medicine and Occupational and Environmental Medicine. He joined The Permanente Medical Group in 2010 and practices clinical occupational medicine full time. Before that, Dr. Dhillon served on the faculty as an Assistant Professor in Occupational Medicine Residency Program at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler. He is still involved in precepting Family Medicine residents from local residency programs in Occupational Medicine and is active in local medical community/ societies.
The Membership Committee is responsible for recruiting and retaining WOEMA members in coordination with WOEMA activities/programs. The Committee Chair will coordinate an annual campaign in conjunction with ACOEM to contact non-renewed members and encourage them to continue membership. In addition, the Committee is responsible for reaching out to new members to welcome them to the organization and to gain their involvement in the organization. The Membership Committee will provide guidance and information to the President and Board of Directors with reference to increasing the value of membership to ensure retention and on methods for recruiting new members to ensure the future viability of the organization.
Troy Ross, MD, MPH
Newsletter Committee Chair
ARC Health and Wellness
Dr. Ross serves as an Occupational Medicine physician for ARC Health and Wellness in Sparks, NV. He is Board Certified in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. After training in the Army and earning his MPH from the University of Washington he served in varied positions such as chief of Preventive Medicine at an Army medical center, Division Preventive Medicine Officer deployed in Iraq, brigade flight surgeon, and state flight surgeon for NV Army National Guard. He retired from the Army in October of 2016 and has continued his career in OEM and Preventive Medicine in his hometown of Reno, NV.
The Newsletter Committee is responsible for ensuring the periodic publication of the WOEMA newsletter. Working with an Associate Editor, the Newsletter Editor shall be responsible for collection of newsletter submissions and editorial review. The Associate Editor shall be considered to be a candidate to assume the role of Secretary/Newsletter Editor at the completion of the Editor’s term.
Peter Vasquez, MD
Nominating Committee Chair
Dr. Peter Vasquez, MD graduated from Ohio State University College of Medicine, and completed Residency Training in and Board Certification in the specialty of Family Medicine. He went on to complete Post-Graduate training and attain Board Certification in the field of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Of his 28 years in clinical practice, Dr. Vasquez has engaged in private Family Practice, family medicine and public health for Native American Communities, Occupational Health, and consultation and advice for corporate human resource, safety, and occupational health professionals. Dr. Vasquez currently works for Premise Health, where he is the leads the clinical aspects operations.
The Nominating Committee is responsible for presenting the annual slate of officers and directors to the WOEMA membership for the election that is held at the Annual Business meeting during the Western Occupational Health Conference (WOHC) typically in September.
Akbar Sharip, MD, MPH, FACOEM
Resident/Young Physician & Scholarship Program Committee Chair &
Website Committee Chair
Loma Linda University Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Loma Linda, CA
Dr. Sharip is an Associate Professor of the LLU School of Medicine and Director of the LLU OM residency program. Dr. Sharip is board certified in both Occupational and Environmental Medicine and General Preventive Medicine and Public Health.
The Resident Scholarship Program Committee is responsible for promoting scholarships for residents to attend the Western Occupational Health Conference (WOHC). Each year, WOEMA offers a limited number of scholarships for residents to participate at WOHC and this committee is responsible for selecting the recipients and coordinating efforts to welcome and active the residents in the organization. Additionally, the Committee coordinates a poster session at WOHC and is responsible for choosing the best submissions to receive monetary awards as determined by the Board of Directors.
The Website Committee is responsible for maintaining and updating the content and functionality of the WOEMA website to ensure that it remains a usable resource for the membership and properly communicates the value of membership in the organization.
Ellyn McIntosh, MD, MPH, FACOEM
Awards Committee Chair
Long Beach, CA
Dr. McIntosh received her MD degree in 1984 from the Pennsylvania State University. She received a Masters of Public Health degree from UCLA, and completed her Occupational Medicine Residency at UC Irvine. She is board certified in Occupational Medicine. She retired in June 2016 from ExxonMobil Corporation, where she was an Occupational Health Manager, a position she held since 2000.
The Awards Committee is responsible for selecting the recipient from the WOEMA membership for the annual Jean Spencer Felton Award for Excellence in Scientific Writing. The Chair of the Awards Committee presents the award, a plaque, to the recipient at the annual Western Occupational Health Conference (WOHC). The Committee is also responsible for selecting the recipient from the WOEMA membership for the annual Rutherford T. Johnstone Memorial Lecture Award for outstanding service in occupational medicine. The Chair of the Awards Committee shall present the award, a plaque and an honorarium, to the recipient at the annual Western Occupational Health Conference (WOHC).