Welcome to the WOEMA WINDOW. This e-newsletter is sent to members by email on a monthly basis. The e-newsletter provides links to this page. Below are the items that appeared in the April 2022 issue.

President’s Insights

By Rupali Das, MD, MPH, FACOEM

Greetings WOEMA Members and Friends!

I am excited to write my first letter to you as WOEMA President! Spring has just sprung, and yet we have experienced so much in just the first three months of the year. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, more so than any other medical specialty, connects to world events. To paraphrase Charles Dickens, it is really the worst of times and the best of times.

We are cautiously emerging after a difficult two years of weathering the COVID pandemic.  It was a time of stress, burnout, loss, and sadness, and for some a pause that allowed self-discovery. No matter where you fall on that spectrum, there is a palpable feeling of a new beginning in the air. Perhaps you are traveling after a long time, meeting colleagues again at in-person meetings, and giving real hugs instead of attending virtual meetings.  We hope the worst of COVID is over, but it is still too early to let our guard down completely. While we gather and travel as we did previously, the likelihood remains of becoming infected or re-infected, which could fuel the emergence of more variants. We remain optimistic that the lessons learned over the past two years have better prepared us for whatever lies ahead.

Sadly, we are witnessing with horror a humanitarian crisis caused by a devastating war that is not confined to Eastern Europe. Rather, a huge disturbance in the force ripples across the entire world. In March, WOEMA issued a statement condemning the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine, highlighting the occupational and environmental health consequences of this war. The worst of human nature has also brought out the best, with widespread and spontaneous acts of kindness and generosity. The “butterfly effect” describes how small actions can result in large differences a world away.  Although the term originally applied to meteorological events, I will take the liberty to make it relevant to our own actions. We can make a positive difference in world events, not only through monetary donations, but also by generously extending understanding, acceptance, and kindness to everyone.

Closer to home, it is surely the best of times for WOEMA as we embark on a strategic thinking process, continue our committee work, and plan our annual conference.

WOEMA developed the current strategic plan 10 years ago and it has served us well. Times and people have changed and now is the moment to take a fresh look at our strategies and goals. A small but dedicated group of WOEMA colleagues has been hard at work looking at what we do well, opportunities that lie before us, what we aspire to be, and how we will measure our progress.   Our revised strategic plan will be reviewed by the WOEMA Board of Directors and be publicly available later this year.

I am very proud of our committee chairs and committee members. These enthusiastic volunteers work tirelessly to serve our members by providing free, high quality education; promoting diversity and equity inside the organization and in the broader community of occupational and environmental medicine; and organizing an inclusive, enjoyable, and educational annual conference, and do so much more.

This month, I would like to bring to your attention a special request from the Nominating and Awards Committees, chaired by Dr. Erik Won and Dr. Bernyce Peplowski, respectively. You should have received an email invitation to submit names of candidates for open positions on the WOEMA Board and for awards. We want to hear from you. Please submit your suggestions by April 15.

Finally, we will hold our annual conference, the Western Occupational Health Conference 2022 (WOHC 2022), October 6-9 at the beautiful Silverado Resort in Napa, CA. The WOHC Planning Committee, under the capable guidance of Chair Dr. Alya Khan and Vice-Chair Dr. David Caretto, has organized a smörgåsbord of evidence-based and interactive educational sessions and fun activities. Registration opened up on April 4 and I encourage you all to register for the conference and reserve your hotel rooms early. I look forward to seeing you all in person.

Enjoy the Spring and heed this quote from Walt Whitman: “Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.”

Around the States – Covid-19 Status in Arizona     

What’s happening to Covid-19 in Arizona?  It is pleasing to note that Covid-19 infection rates continue to drop since its peak in January, 2022.  Governor Ducey has lifted the Az Covid-19 Emergency Declaration on March30, 2022, allowing for more relaxed activites.  However continued monitoring is still being done, and a second booster has been recommended for those 50 and older as well as those with certain immunocompromised conditions.  Currently 72% of Arizonans have had at least one vaccine dose, and 61% are fully vaccinated.  Hopefully all WOEMA states will continue to be in the forefront of this pandemic.


JEDI Focus

Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) issues remain a priority for WOEMA.

In February, the JEDI Committee honored Black History Month and highlighted individuals who have contributed to public health and public.

The Committee honored Women’s History Month, which this year has a very relevant theme: "Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope".

Also in March, a statement was issued condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine and warning of a worsening environmental and occupational health crisis.

Stay tuned to learn about how JEDI issues are incorporated into WOEMA’s developing strategic thinking process!


Member Spotlight

We are pleased to announce the following WOEMA members who will become ACOEM Fellows at AOHC 2022:

  • Sumeet Batra, MD, MPH, FACOEM
  • David C. Caretto, MD, MPH, MRO, FACOEM
  • Aisha S. Chaudhry, MD, FACOEM
  • Myra T. Cruz, MD, MS, MOH, FACOEM
  • Stephen K. Kumar, MD, MPH, FACOEM
  • Karega Y. Paisley, MD, MPH, FACOEM


Resident's Corner

WOEMA congratulates the following graduates of Occupational and Environmental Residency Programs who recently passed the Occupational Medicine/Preventive Medicine Boards: 

  • Dr. Joshua Fullmer
  • Dr. Dallas Shi
  • Dr. Hyrum Bronson
  • Dr. Cesar Reis
  • Dr. Nasrin Kazemi
  • Dr. John Neumann
  • Dr. Edwin De Kock
  • Dr. Neesha Mody
  • Dr. Dane Dicaro
  • Dr. Laura Bayne
  • Dr. Anthony Pacini
  • Dr. Sayi Awodele