Western Occupational & Environmental Medical Association
Leading Occupational & Environmental Medicine

Messages from Drs. Blink & Papanek

It has been an exciting and rewarding year as WOEMA president. I’ve been humbled by the talent and energy of WOEMA members who work together to create and implement policies, educational programs, and other achievements.

I’m now running for a position on the ACOEM Board of Directors for next year, after my WOEMA presidency finishes. I’ve been active in ACOEM intermittently for many years, and during the past 3 years have been part of the Clinical Practice Work Group on a project to rework billing codes used in Workers’ Comp so as to improve compensation for quality care and documentation, and to issue an ACOEM position paper on UR in WC. I’ve previously been part of the  AOHC planning committee as well.

One factor is particularly important this year and is one driver of my candidacy for the ACOEM Board: Paul Papanek is running for Vice President of ACOEM, a position leading to the ACOEM presidency. Paul would make a superb ACOEM president, and I would be honored to serve on the Board during his term.

I won’t delve into the inside-baseball details here, but there are changes afoot at ACOEM that offer a huge opportunity to move our parent organization to a higher level of prominence in public affairs, which holds the promise to help all our careers and to move national policy toward better protection of workers and the environment, while making regulatory systems such as WC more efficient and fair.

I ask for your vote, and for you to vote for our own Paul Papanek as well. The deadline to vote is soon – vote today!

Thank you,


I’m honored to be a candidate for Vice President of ACOEM, a position leading to the ACOEM presidency.  I’ve been a WOEMA member for over 20 years, and have served as WOEMA President, as Chair of our 2004 WOHC, and as a past Chair of our Legislative Committee which I continue to work with.  Within ACOEM, I’ve been active for over 10 years, having served as Speaker of the House of Delegates, a Board Member, the AOHC Chair in 2012, and most recently as Chair of the Public Affairs Council.  Accordingly, I’ve come to know both the main corridors and some of the back hallways within ACOEM, and am confident I can bring the perspective of a seasoned volunteer, engaged practitioner, and enthusiastic supporter of our mission.

As many of you know, I have been a firm believer in the importance of advocacy, in order to strengthen our specialty, enhance the practices of our Members, and safeguard America’s workers and community environments.   When we have opportunities to do so, ACOEM and WOEMA leaders must speak up strongly on topics ranging from medical quality, to improved OEM regulations, to healthy and sustainable community environments.   We also have have terrific opportunities to partner with other organizations, while maintaining a strong position of OEM leadership.  At the Johnstone lecture last year, I emphasized the importance of modernizing our educational and social messaging techniques, while we strive to build membership and enlarge the pipeline for new incoming OEM physicians.

I pledge to work dligently and to collaborate with our Members, as well as with the workers and employers whom we serve, as we continue to make ACOEM the pre-eminent voice for safe workplaces, healthy workers, and a thriving community environment.  I ask for your vote.  Please go to the ACOEM website, and vote before the December 15 deadline.