WOEMA Honors Juneteenth  

WOEMA honors Juneteenth, June 19, as an annual commemoration of the end of slavery. This day has been celebrated by the African American community since the late 1800s. In 2021, President Biden declared Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, as a federal holiday.

 Juneteenth has special significance for WOEMA, as the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee, was initially announced as a Task Force on this day in 2020.

Today, Juneteenth continues to be an important marker of the continuing struggle for constructive solutions to inequity faced by myriad workers and underserved populations.

Read more about the historical legacy of Juneteenth here.

WOEMA Celebrates LGBTQ+ Month

June is Pride Month.

Pride Month is celebrated every June as a tribute to those who were involved in the Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969 in Manhattan, New York. This event was seen as the “tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States,” According to the Library of Congress. Pride Month recognizes the diverse members of the LGBTQIA+ Community. Historically Gay Pride Day was celebrated on the last Sunday in June. Today the celebration is a month-long series of events highlighting all members of the LGBTQIA+ community and is celebrated all over the world.

Pride month serves as a time for LGBTQIA+ members’ self-affirmation, acknowledging dignity and equality and increasing visibility of people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer / Questioning, Intersex, Allies or people of other gender identities and sexual orientation.... Click here to read more.


WOEMA Honors Black History Month 

This month, the JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) Committee invites you to join WOEMA as we celebrate Black History Month, an annual commemoration of achievements by African Americans and a time to recognize their central role in US history.  In the United States, the population of Black or African American alone or in combination is over 49 million. And 33.7% of employed Black population age 16 and older works in management, business, science and arts occupations in 2021.  The 2023 theme for Black History month “Inspiring Change,” celebrates the contributions of African Americans to overcoming racial inequities and promoting opportunities for equal advancement within the Black community.  Click here to read more. Click here to read more


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Heart of
Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Across the healthcare industry, an acknowledged overdue emphasis has been placed on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

From the origin of this specialty, occupational and environmental medicine (OEM) has championed diverse and underrepresented (URM) workers’ illnesses and injuries, says Robert Goldberg, MD, FACOEM, of San Francisco.

“Immigrants have often done the most dangerous work, with the highest exposures, going back 130 years,” says Goldberg. “Other medical specialties are in some ways disparate newcomers to this, but we have always recognized that people of diverse backgrounds don’t appear in clinical studies as often and have poorer outcomes when they respond differently to treatments, medications, and the lack of diversity within the ranks of physicians in general.”  Click here to read more.


WOEMA Celebrates National Native American Heritage Month 2022

November is Native American Heritage Month, also known as American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Heritage Month. WOEMA honors the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories of the first Americans while also acknowledging the public health and environmental challenges that AI/AN people continue to face and strive to overcome.  Click here to read more. 


JEDI Committee Gathers at WOHC 2022

It was wonderful to see everyone in person at WOHC 2022. What a great team!  We missed those of we were not able capture in this photo. I know you were there in spirit!

WOEMA Celebrates Hispanic American Heritage Month

The JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) Committee invites you to join WOEMA in celebrating Hispanic American Heritage Month.  Click here Click here to read the entire statement.

WOEMA Honors Black History Month

This month, the JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) Committee invites you to join WOEMA as we honor Black History Month, an annual commemoration of achievements by African Americans and a time to recognize their central role in US history. 

The story of African Americans is one of hope, resilience, courage, and triumph. Data from the US Census Bureau and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics  demonstrate that the Black or African American alone population contributes significantly to US society (see Table). 

Black or African American population Characteristic

N (% of total)

In US population

41.1 million (12.4%)

In US workforce

33.6 million (12.3 %)

In community & social service occupations1

(19.7 %)

In healthcare practitioners and technical occupations2


1Includes substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists and social workers.

2Includes physicians, dentists, dieticians & nutritionists, pharmacists, physician and dental assistants, physical therapists, nurses, midwives, and medical technicians. 

The theme of Black History Month 2022, Black Health and Wellness, is especially relevant to our medical specialty. It acknowledges the legacy of not only Black scholars and medical practitioners in medicine, but also other ways of healing (e.g., birth workers, doulas, midwives, naturopaths, healers, etc.) throughout the African continent and African diaspora.

Martin Luther King, Jr., said “of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhumane”. The COVID-19 pandemic not only revealed the impact of racial inequalities in our national health system, but also brought social and racial injustice and inequity to the forefront of public health. COVID-19 data shows that communities of color (Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian and Alaska Native populations) in the U.S. are experiencing higher rates of hospitalization and death. Black and African Americans have died from COVID-19 at 1.4 times the rate of Caucasian Americans.

Commendable efforts are being made to identify and combat existing disparities. African Americans have embarked on self-determination, mutual aid and social support initiatives to build hospitals, medical, dental and nursing schools (Historically Black Colleagues and Universities, HBCUs) and community clinics through collective efforts of individuals, grassroots organizations and mutual aid societies.

In commemorating Black History Month, we highlight several pioneering individuals with ties to public health or public service:

Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was the first African-American woman to earn a medical degree.

Charles Richard Drew was a physician, researcher, and surgeon who revolutionized our understanding of blood plasma.

Alfred Day Hershey, PhD., geneticist, became the first African-American to share a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He received the award for his research on the replication and genetic structure of viruses.

Dr. William Augustus Hinton developed the Hinton Test for diagnosing syphilis in Boston, MA, and later developed an improved version, the Hinton-Davies Test, in 1931.

Mary Eliza Mahoney was the first black professional nurse in America.

James McCune Smith was the first African-American to earn a medical degree and practice medicine in the United States.

Daniel Hale Williams founded the first black-owned hospital in America and performed the world's first successful heart surgery.

Dr. Louis T. Wright, a pioneer in clinical antibiotic research, developed the intradermal injection technique for vaccinating soldiers against smallpox. 

With gratitude to all who contribute to our profession. 


WOEMA Honors Women's History Month 

The JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) Committee invites you to join WOEMA in celebrating Women's History Month. Click here to read the entire statement.

WOEMA Statement on Ukraine Invasion and Resulting Humanitarian and Occupational and Environmental Health Crisis

The Western Occupational and Environmental Medical Association(WOEMA) strongly condemns the unprovoked acts of aggression being waged by the Russian military on the sovereign country of Ukraine. Click here to read the entire statement.


WOEMA Honors Asian American, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month 

This month, WOEMA celebrates Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month and the diverse contributions of these communities to all fields and, especially, medicine and public health.  The Asian American community is diverse, dynamic, and growing, encompassing a wide range of experiences from Native Hawaiians, to 1800s pioneers from East Asia and the Philippines, to immigrants from South and Southeast Asia.  Click here to read the entire statement.


Justice, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee Resources

The Western Occupational and Environmental Medical Association is fully committed to the goal of reaching Justice (J) Equity (E) Diversity (D) and Inclusion(I) within the organization and all of its activities as well as promoting JEDI to our members for their education and development in their many different roles as physicians.


Rupali Das  (She, Her)           Erik Won                                 Oluseyi Awodele

Chair, JEDI Committee           Co-chair, JEDI Committee     Member, JEDI Committee