Western Occupational & Environmental Medical Association
Leading Occupational & Environmental Medicine

Welcome to the WOEMA WINDOW, our e-newsletter sent to members by email on a monthly basis. The newsletter links to this page. Below are the items that appeared in the June 2017 issue.

FREE CME: WOEMA Webinar Series
Thursday, June 29 • 12:00 pm PDT

Integrating Health and Safety – Two Employer Solutions

Presented by: Pamela Hymel, MD, MPH, FACOEM & T. Warner Hudson, MD, FACOEM, FAAFP

Total Worker Health® is the integration of both workplace health promotion (health) and workplace health protection (safety).  Both Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and UCLA Occupational Health have approached their safety and health programs via strategic integration of important program components between the two departments. The background, rationale, program content, operational details, and results over 5 years from these two workplaces will be presented so others can consider how integrating their health and safety programs might positively impact their workers and workplaces. 

Learning Objectives – After attending this webinar participants will be able to:

  • List the basic concepts of NIOSH Total Worker Health Program®
  • Describe innovative ways two employers are integrating health and safety
  • Implement data that most effectively outlines program successes and areas of opportunity
  • Develop and design a focused hot spotter type wellness intervention
  • Operate a worker health program

Dr. Pamela Hymel is Chief Medical Officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (WDPR) where she is responsible for integrating a segment wide health and well-being strategy. In her current role, she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the onsite occupational health services centers, guest first aid locations, disability/accommodation management, drug screening, global occupational health issues, and well-being strategy and programs for WDPR. Dr. Hymel served as President of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) from 2009-2010 and was on their Board of Directors for over 10 years.

Dr. T. Warner Hudson has been Medical Director of UCLA Health System and Campus for 7 years and has worked across all UC on the focused wellness program for injured workers called “WorkStrong”; on the steering committee of UCLA’s Healthy Campus Initiative,  and is currently working on new UC-wide population health efforts. He spent 20 + years as a Corporate Medical Director and Director of Health Safety and Environment for multinational companies. Dr. Hudson served as president of ACOEM in 2011-2012 and president of WOEMA in 2000-2001.


Western Occupational Health Conference

September 13 -16, 2017 // Maui, HI

Click Here to Download the Brochure!


Featured Sessions:

How to Excel as an Independent Medical Examiner: Secrets to Success (PG -3)
Chris Brigham, MD; Lorne Direnfeld, MD; Steve Feinberg, MD
Learn “secrets” and best practices for having a successful and independent medical evaluation (IME) practice – whether this is part of your existing practice or your new focus. Learn how to develop, grow, and sustain a successful IME practice. In this unique workshop, you will learn from the experiences of others who have achieved success – including what works and, equally importantly, what does not.

Power Pharma: The Essentials of Pharmacotherapy 2017 – Indications, Risks/Benefits, Interactions, & Misuse
Robert Goldberg, MD; Jeanette Connelly, PharmD; Britten Featherston, PharmD; Amanda Waltemath, PharmD

Treating physicians have limited up-to-date knowledge of commonly prescribed medications, their indications, risks and benefits, interactions, and misuse. Understand the pharmacology of the top drug uses, achieve a higher level of knowledge and awareness of medication side effects, risks, and misuse, and understand the dangers of polypharmacy.


Click Here to See the Full Schedule

Special Events:

I Am Woman, Should I Roar? The Linguistics of Leadership

Join us for WOEMA’s first-ever luncheon devoted to our Wahine members.  Relax and mingle at our poolside setting and then enjoy a guided conversation with Dr. Barbara Hernandez, Director of Physician Vitality at Loma Linda University. Explore how women’s use of language and communication impacts our daily work in medicine.
(Advance ticket purchase required)

Register Now!

Click Here to see All Special Events

CME Worksite Tour

Earn FREE CME credit while touring the Hawaiian National Guard Civil Support Team (CST) Headquarters on the Island of Oahu.

Wednesday, September 13 • 8:00 am – 1:00 pm

I’m Interested!

Under New (Outlier) Management

On average, fewer than 10 percent of workers’ compensation cases account for more than 80 percent of total expenditures. And more than 90 percent of these high-cost claims are for non-catastrophic musculoskeletal conditions. Concentra is launching a new approach to decrease both the human cost of work-related disability, and the expenditure of resources on relatively simple problems.

Concentra has developed a proprietary tool that helps clinicians identify and escalate cases in which patients are not getting better as anticipated.  Working together in a consultative way, medical and therapy directors review the barriers to recovery for these patients, and decide on the best way forward. 

The center-level clinical leaders engage the next level of medical and therapy leaders in this ongoing process, and all of them collaborate on developing an effective plan to get these patients to a positive outcome.  A focus on functional restoration, and helping patients with dysfunctional ways of thinking reframe how they look at their situations are key to renormalizing these patients’ lives.

Concentra is encouraged at the early results with using this tool.  Collegial clinical discussions are helping to avoid medically unnecessary disability, and decrease the human cost of work-related injuries. 

Learn More

Resident Scholarships Available

Attention Residents! Win a scholarship to WOHC 2017!

Scholarships to attend the Western Occupational Health Conference are now available.  Those selected to receive a scholarship will also be invited to present a poster or research abstract before a panel of judges.  The top contenders will be awarded 1st ($250) and 2nd ($150) prizes!

This is an invaluable opportunity to network with leading OEM physicians and top employers. Many of our previous residents scholarship recipients are current WOEMA Board and Committee members!

Don’t wait to apply! Submissions from 2nd year residents are due June 30th and 1st year resident submissions are due July 14th.

Click Here to Apply

Click Here to See Past Winners

Legislative Affairs Committee Update

May 26, 2017


  • Meeting with Cal/OSHA regarding the lead standard will take place on June 14th at 1:30 P.M., in Oakland.  Attendees will be Bob Harrison from UCSF, Perry Gottesfeld of Occupational Knowledge International and Don Schinske, WOEMA  Lobbyist.  
  • SB 617 (Bradford) – Now off the Suspense File.  Floor vote will take place within the next week.  Dr. Robert Blink has written a compilation of WOEMA suggestions that will be reviewed by the committee, prior to submission to the Senate Labor Committee.  
  • Silica Standard – Federally on hold but California will implement the standard in September 2017.  WOEMA is considering hosting a webinar regarding the new Silica Standard and medical surveillance of silica.  ACOEM is considering whether to offer a B-Reader course.
  • Cal/OSHA TB Standard – California is thinking about a different approach to TB screening, as cases now seem to be concentrating  in specific areas.  Some counties have had no reported cases in five years.  Is current PPD screening and interpretation of PPD still appropriate?  Legislative Committee will continue to monitor for any changes.  

June 2, 2017

  • SB 562 (Lara/Atkins) – Single-payer bill passed.  Will go to Assembly Health Committee for discussion.  Currently residing in the Appropriation Suspension File.  Details regarding the operation and funding yet to be discussed.
  • AB 1316 (Quirk) – Legislative Committee will study in more depth for further discussion at next meeting and recommend addendum if needed.
  • Different data sets among California agencies will be pooled together to produce one data set looking at injured workers and their risk factors, which will be publicly available without the identifiers in the near future.  Preliminary data shows higher injury rates in the fields of transportation and dairy/poultry.

June 9, 2017

  • AB 570 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – The Legislative Committee reviewed AB 570 and agreed to recommend opposing this bill as there is no evidence to support it.
  • SB 617 (Bradford) – Members of the committee initiated a letter of suggestion to amend the bill.  The letter was circulated among the committee for revision and now is being reviewed by the WOEMA executive committee.
  • AB 715 (Wood) – It was suggested the committee should look at the opioid guideline being developed, and how it would be streamlined with the MTUS guidelines used in Workers’ Comp.  Further investigation needed.
  • AB 978 (Limon) – It was suggested that the committee look at AB 978 where an amendment would allow the employer to be given 10 days (instead of 5 days) to comply with the employee’s request for a copy of a written injury prevention program.
  • California Drug Formulary roll out date is delayed and the implementation is expected to begin January 1, 2018 along with the SB 1160.
  • Cal/OSHA TB Standard  – With low/no incidence of TB in certain counties, what should be considered the appropriate screening method?  In addition, with the Silica Standard, what would be considered the appropriate silica screening? Further discussion to take place.  

OEM Topical News


Workplace Safety Impacts Us All

Is that work comp injury you’re seeing the sign of a bigger problem?

– Submitted by Dr. Rupali Das, WOEMA Director


If Sitting is the New Smoking, What is Standing?

Standing desks are not the panacea that some would like to think. Beware of the hype.

– Submitted by Dr. Akbar Sharip, Resident Scholarship Chair


Diagnosing Lung Disease: Doctors Get it Wrong – A Lot

Asthma in the workplace is too important to misdiagnose. Before you jump to conclusions, consider this.
(free registration to access this content)

– Submitted by Dr. Bernyce Peplowski, WOHC Conference Chair