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 September 2017 issue.



FREE CME – WOEMA Webinar Series:
Management of Concussion and Post-Concussion Syndrome
Thursday, October 26 • 12:00 PM PDT


This presentation will provide an updated review of concepts related to the management of concussion and post-concussion syndrome. Previously, management was limited to “watchful waiting” with the concept that although many (if not most) concussive injuries resolve spontaneously, there are individuals who have prolonged and/or permanent symptoms. This “Post-Concussion Syndrome” was often viewed as a “new normal” for those individuals and management was limited to teaching compensatory strategies and attempts at treating symptoms. A more evolved approach is aimed at an aggressive assessment and search for treatable causes of ongoing symptoms with interventions aimed at amelioration and improvement, rather than watchful waiting and compensation.

Learning Objectives – after this webinar participants will be able to:

  • Identify the most common symptoms associated with prolonged concussion and Post-Concussion Syndrome

  • Identify options for treatment of most common symptoms associated with Post-Concussion Syndrome

  • Identify factors (modifying factors) associated with increased risk of prolonged symptoms and Post-Concussion Syndrome

  • Awareness of evolving approaches and future directions for treatment of concussion and Post-Concussion Syndrome.

Vernon B. Williams, M.D. was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan.  He is a graduate of Cass Technical High School and The University of Michigan’s prestigious Inteflex Accelerated Pre-Medical/Medical Program. He completed neurology residency at The University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD and is board certified by the American Association of Psychiatry and Neurology. After residency he completed a multidisciplinary, interventional pain fellowship in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care (Division of Pain Medicine) at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD.  Dr. Williams joined the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles in 1997. At Kerlan-Jobe, he is a consulting Team Physician to the Los Angeles Rams, Clippers, Dodgers, Kings, Sparks, Anaheim Ducks, and several southern California collegiate, high school, and elite club athletic programs. He is the Founding Director of The Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at the Kerlan-Jobe. He is also the Founding Director of the Sports Neurology Fellowship at Kerlan-Jobe. In 2015, Governor Brown appointed him to the California State Athletic Commission Dr. Williams is an active educator on issues related to Sports Neurology and Concussion. He is the Chair of the American Academy of Neurology Sports Neurology Section.  He often serves as a medical-legal expert and as an expert consultant on Pain and Sports Neurologic Disorders to major television networks, radio, satellite, and print media. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi and Sigma Pi Phi (Boule’) Fraternities.


WOHC 2017 Resident Scholars


Congratulations to the WOHC 2017 Resident Scholars

Be sure to check next month’s issue for the winning residents!

Amilcar Cardona, MD
University of Utah
Charity Russell, MD
Loma Linda University
Krystal Franklin, MD
University of Pennsylvania
Saloomeh Sadaghiani, MD
Loma Linda University
Paul Hendricksen, MD
Uniformed Services University
Sylvia Onyensoh, MD
Meharry Medical College
Lincoln Holdaway, MD
University of Utah
Benjamin Schanker, MD
University of California, San Francisco
Jasmine John, MD
Meharry Medical College
Tyler Sura, MD
Loma Linda University
Tracey Lee, MD
University of California, Irvine
Steven Watts, MD
Loma Linda University
Nancy Ngoc Giao Ly, MD
University of Cincinnati
Sarang Yoon, MD
University of Utah


WOHC 2017 Annual Awards of Excellence

Rutherford T. Johnstone Award Lecture

      Constantine Gean, MD, MBA, MS, FACOEM

Dr. Constantine Gean is Board Certified in Occupational Medicine, is on voluntary faculty in the Department of Medicine at UC Irvine where he Chairs the Residency Advisory Committee and is Regional Medical Director for Liberty Mutual. He is the lead author on two pharmacology books, The Pocket Drug Guide and The Index of Prescription Drugs, is a member of the State of Oregon Medical Advisory Committee and is the past president of the Western Occupational and Environmental Medicine Association (WOEMA). Dr. Gean has been an ACOEM Board Member, and until 2017, was Chair and Co-Chair of the ACOEM Council on Education and Academic Affairs (COEAA). He has been the recipient of the 2017 ACOEM Meritorious Service Award, the 2017 ACOEM Outstanding Achievement Award (co-recipient), the 2009 ACOEM President’s Award and the 2008 WOEMA Jean Spencer Felton Award for Excellence in Scientific Writing. However, perhaps coolest of all, for 18 years Dr. Gean was the backstage physician at the Academy Awards.


Jean Spencer Felton Award for Excellence in Scientific Writing

Ulrike Luderer, MD, PhD, MPH

Dr. Ulrike Luderer is Professor and interim chief of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Director of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, and Director of the Environmental Health Sciences Graduate Program at the University of California Irvine. She also holds joint appointments in the Department of Developmental and Cell Biology and the Program in Public Health at UC Irvine. She received a Sc.B. in Biomedical Engineering and A.B. in French from Brown University, Ph.D. in Reproductive Endocrinology and M.D. from Northwestern University, and M.P.H. from the University of Washington, and is board-certified in Internal Medicine and in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Dr. Luderer’s research focuses on the mechanisms by which toxicants and ionizing radiation disrupt ovarian function, accelerate ovarian aging, and cause ovarian cancer in adults and in subsequent generations following exposure during development. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other organizations. Dr. Luderer currently serves on the Scientific Guidance Panel of the California Environmental Contaminant Biomonitoring Program and the California Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee. She previously served as a member of the USEPA Science Advisory Board Environmental Health Committee. She also served on expert panels for the NTP/NIEHS Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction and the National Academy of Sciences and as a member of the NIH Integrative and Clinical Endocrinology and Reproduction Scientific Review Group.


Telemedicine: Latest Fad or Here to Stay?

Sponsored Content



While some might consider telemedicine as just the latest fad in workers’ compensation, others see it as a revolution in delivery of occupational medicine services to the nation’s workforce.  While its introduction in the workers’ comp arena is relatively recent, telemedicine has actually been around longer than people think.  In the 1950s, clinicians at the University of Nebraska were experimenting with using telecommunication for medical purposes.  And in the 1960s and 1970s, NASA, the Department of Defense and the US Public Health Service invested time and money into research on telemedicine.  It was seen as a way to serve remote communities without local physician access. 

Concentra believes that telemedicine offers a convenient way to treat minor work comp injuries.  Now available in California, Concentra Telemed has clinicians who can provide medical care right away for someone injured at work. Patients can use a computer, a smartphone, or a mobile device with a webcam and microphone to talk to the physician.  Using video conferencing, the physician can diagnose, recommend treatment, and determine work activity. 

This immediate access to care reduces the stress and anxiety that some injured workers might experience until a medical professional evaluates the extent of their injuries.  They avoid driving time to a clinic or an emergency department, and they don’t have to cool their heels in a waiting room.  It’s quick and private, and involves face-to-face communication with a physician.  If handled well, it can feel every bit as personal as being seen in a brick and mortar facility.

While not appropriate for all injuries, telemedicine can be used to quickly deliver high-quality medical care for a wide variety of minor injuries, and with a minimum of muss and fuss.  In 1924, the visionary cover of a magazine called Radio News imagined a “radio doctor” who could see and be seen by his patient.*  A technology that was the stuff of science fiction early in the 20th century is now a reality.  As we gain more experience with this platform, and as technology advances (as it inexorably does), we anticipate that it will become even more useful and powerful.  Concentra is excited to be in the forefront of using this technology in the occupational medicine space.


OEM Topical News

by Troy Ross, MD, MPH, Newsletter Editor



Are We All Primary Care Doctors?

Diabetes rates continue to climb, and we see it impacting the work force. It is the bell weather, and OEM providers need to pay attention

Early Success in the Opioid Battle

Workers injured on the job received fewer prescription opioids after landmark legislation passed in Kentucky that set up a drug monitoring database….

How Not to Practice Medicine

Document, document, document, but it’s more than putting words to paper – it’s making a rational case based on evidence. Here’s why that matters


Thank you to our generous Legislative Fund donors




The WOEMA Legislative Committee has the active participation of about 18 members, with designated legislative “liaisons” from each of WOEMA’s five member states. Of note, WOEMA continues to be the only ACOEM Component with a paid lobbyist on staff, and we believe that the decision by the WOEMA Board over 10 years ago to retain the advocacy services of Don Schinske has been of pivotal importance in increasing WOEMA’s footprint in the legislative and advocacy arena.

With our lobbyist’s support, we have been very active representing your interests. Here are just a few of the recent initiatives WOEMA has taken on behalf of its members:

  • This Spring, WOEMA met with Cal/OSHA officials to urge timely adoption of the pending lead standard in California.
  • Developed recommendations for the addition of clinical quality measures in the medical treatment of injured workers, which are being pursued as amendments to current California legislation.
  • Participated in stakeholder workgroups for the development of California’s Workers’ Compensation drug formulary.
  • Continued to oppose legislative efforts to expand presumptions or change apportionments that are not based on medical evidence.
  • Supported legislative proposals for sound public health measures relating to childhood lead exposure.
  • Monitored and discussed relevant legislative and regulatory developments in Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah.

WOEMA would like to extend its sincerest thanks to the following individuals for their generous donation:

  • Bryce Breitenstein, Jr., MD, MPH, FACOEM
  • Rupali Das, MD, MPH, FACOEM
  • Steven Feinberg, MD, MPH
  • Roman Kownacki, MD, MPH, FACOEM – donation made in honor of Walt Newman, MD
  • James Lessenger, MD, FACOEM
  • Stephen Mandaro, MD, MPH, FACOEM
  • Paul Papanek, MD, MPH, FACOEM
  • Steven Schumann, MD – donation made in honor of Walt Newman, MD

There is still time to donate, please contact WOEMA staff at woema@woema.org