"WOEMA Establishes Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"

Originally published on June 19, 2020

Dear WOEMA members:

On June 10, 2020, WOEMA issued a statement condemning racism and discrimination and made a commitment to working to help reduce disparities. As a step in that direction, I am pleased to announce the creation of a Task Force on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that will initially be comprised of 5-7 core members and will include two co-leads, First Vice President Dr. Rupali Das and myself. The charge to this Task Force will be to review diversity, equity, and inclusiveness across WOEMA’s membership, committees, educational offerings, and other work products and recommend improvements as we move forward.

This announcement comes on Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, which commemorates June 19, 1865, the end of the Civil War and the emancipation of slaves in the United States. Today, Juneteenth is especially significant as our society and the world continues to work towards social reform and constructive solutions on issues of inequality. As OEM practitioners we are well acquainted with the disproportionate burden of hazardous jobs and poor health outcomes among underserved communities.

I look forward to sharing the Task Force’s recommendations on how we each individually and as an organization can contribute to reducing health care disparities and improving the lives of underserved workers and communities.

Best,

Erik Won, DO, MPH, FACOEM
President


DEI Task Force Members

Rupali Das, MD, MPH
Task Force Co-Chair

Dr. Rupali Das is Medical Director and Senior Vice President at Zenith Insurance Company. She previously served as Executive Medical Director of the California Division of Workers' Compensation and in leadership positions in Occupational and Environmental Health at the California Department of Public Health and Cal/EPA. Dr. Das is board certified in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine/Occupational Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. She is on WOEMA’s Board of Directors and past chair of the legislative and educational committees. Dr. Das is Clinical Professor of Medicine at UC San Francisco’s Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. She sits on the Board of Trustees for Cal Performances and mentors students from underserved communities as part of the Noonan-South Central Scholars (SCS) Program.

Erik J. Won, DO, MPH, MBA, FACOEM
Task Force Co-Chair

Dr. Won is President and CEO of Newport Brain Research Laboratory. He is Board Certified in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and completed his residency at the Harvard Occupational and Environmental Medicine residency program. He received his MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health and MBA from the University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business. He previously served as a US Navy Flight Surgeon, and as Chief Regional Physician and Chief Technology Officer (Health Services) for the Boeing Company. Dr. Won has served as WOEMA Education Committee Chair, has been a member of WOHC Planning Committees and currently serves as a WOEMA Director.

Robert L. Goldberg, MD, FACOEM

Dr. Robert Goldberg, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Healthesystems, is responsible for providing strategic direction and oversight for all medical aspects of the company, including both the Pharmacy and Ancillary Benefits Management programs. Dr. Goldberg is actively involved in the development of new product offerings and services and works directly with clients to better understand their clinical needs and in turn deliver clinical excellence. He chairs the Healthesystems Pharmacy and Therapeutics committee and leads the team that developed and continually updates the ACOEM Guidelines- based formulary for Reed MDGuidelines and the California Division of Workers Compensation. A Jefferson Medical College graduate and Board-certified in Occupational Medicine, he was a fulltime Professor of Medicine and Occupational Medicine Residency Program Director at the University of California, San Francisco. He has over 25 years of medical management experience and over 20 years of experience treating injured workers in private practice.  Dr. Goldberg served as President of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) and WOEMA, and as Vice-Chair, Occupational Medicine of the American Board of Preventive. He is a Fellow of ACOEM and an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine (Ireland) of the Royal College of Medicine.

Sarah Johnson, MD, MPH

Dr. Sarah Johnson recently completed UCSF’s Occupational and Environmental Residency program. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University and attended medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is also a proud alumna of Teach For America. Prior to moving to San Francisco, she completed two years of general surgery in Chicago and has worked as a Medical Review Officer for the past four years. She will pursue a clinical career and is interested in developing new strategies to improve worker health and wellness.

Alya Khan, MD, MS

Dr. Alya Khan is the Occupational Medicine Residency Director and Assistant Clinical Professor at University of California, Irvine. Dr. Khan completed her residency training in Internal Medicine from Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, NJ and a fellowship in Occupational and Environmental Medicine from UC Irvine and holds dual board certifications from ABIM and ABPM. She also received a Master's degree in Environmental Toxicology from UC Irvine. Dr. Khan's clinical work is at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health that provides clinical and preventive services to local and regional employers, conduct worksite surveillance programs, as well as provide toxicology consultations. She is the chair of the UCI-COEH annual symposium and a member of M-POWER committee (Medical Professionalism and Optimal Wellness Education and Resource) at UC Irvine. Dr. Khan has been the co-chair for the education committee at WOEMA where her passion and focus is on providing up to date, valuable educational offerings for the OEM community. 

Deborah Smith, MD, MBA

Dr. Deborah Smith is CEO, Founder and Medical Director of BodyPrime Wellness which is a new venture launching in 2020 to deliver Lifestyle Medicine-based self-education and Masterminds to guide individuals in working collaboratively with their Medical Providers to prevent and reverse disease utilizing Lifestyle Medicine approaches.  Dr. Smith is also Co-Executive Director of Corporate Lifestyle Health, a Texas-based nonprofit established to bring Lifestyle Medicine-based Wellness to Businesses and NGOs. Dr. Smith's prior experience includes supporting Boeing as a Senior Manager in Health Services.  While at Boeing Dr. Smith led the development and implementation of the Boeing Industrial Athlete Program. Prior academic experience includes faculty appointments at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Dr. Smith has completed a Master's of Business Administration in Healthcare from George Washington University and is Board Certified in Lifestyle Medicine and Internal Medicine.

Ramon J. Terrazas MD, MPH, QME, FACOEM

Dr. Ramon J. Terrazas, MD, MPH, is board certified in occupational medicine and currently serves as Medical Director for Encompass Health Solutions, a provider of workers’ compensation services including nurse triage.  He also serves as Medical Consultant to the City of Oakland’s Police Department, Alternative Dispute Resolution (COA OPD ADR) Program.  Previously he served for over a decade as the Fire Surgeon for the San Francisco Fire Department. He also currently provides services through his consultancy, Integral Physicians Occupational Medicine, and performs medical evaluations as a Qualified Medical Evaluator for the State of California’s workers’ compensation system. He is a fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and has served for over a decade on WOEMA’s Board of Directors and is a member of ACOEM’s Public safety Section. Dr. Terrazas serves as Vice-President of the Board of Directors for La Clinica de la Raza, northern California’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center.