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 August 2018 issue.



WOEMA Promoting Stay-at-Work & Return-to-Work



Recognizing the importance of giving workers with disabilities economically sustainable alternatives to Federal disability benefits, the 2018 and 2019 proposed federal budgets support early intervention demonstrations. The Office of Disability Employment Policy, the Employment and Training Administration, and the Social Security Administration developed the RETAIN initiativeRetaining Employment and Talent After Injury/Illness Network — to test the impact of early intervention projects on SAW/RTW outcomes. Encouraged by WOEMA’s Legislative Affairs Committee, WOEMA and several individual WOEMA members sent letters of support for California’s RETAIN Demonstration Grant Proposal that is being submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor this month. The grant’s focus on Stay-at-Work and Return-to-Work issues is very much in line with WOEMA’s mission and we hope this support helps California earn the grant to develop solid programs and policies to promote Stay-at-Work and Return-to-Work policies.

To learn more about the work being done in the Legislative Affairs Committee please visit our Legislative Resources webpage, and to get involved please email me at woema@woema.org

Sachin Kapoor, DO, MPH, FACOEM
WOEMA President


FREE CME: WOEMA Webinar Series
Thursday, August 30, 12:00 PM PDT



Topic: Maintaining Board Certification in Occupational Medicine

Speaker: Eric Wood, MD, MPH

This webinar is designed to assist physicians in meeting requirements of Maintenance of Certification (MOC) for the American Board of Preventive Medicine. The lecture will provide an overview of the origins and evolving nature of MOC. It will address the four required parts of MOC: Part 1- Professional Standing; Part 2– Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment (LLSA); Part 3– Assessment of Cognitive Expertise; and Part 4– Assessment of Practice Performance. The timeline for completion of these parts will be presented. Finally, the learner will be directed to resources and tools that are available to achieve these goals.

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

  • Review the origins and evolving nature of Maintenance of Certification
  • Review Pathways to Board Certification
  • Describe and define the Four Parts of Continuous Certification
  • Identify timelines to meet MOC requirements
  • Provide resources for achieving MOC requirements


Dr. Eric Wood is Director of Occupational Medicine at the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (RMCOEH), University of Utah. He also serves as the Director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency program at the University of Utah. He completed residency training in Family Medicine and Occupational Medicine and is Board-Certified in both disciplines. He has broad training and experience in occupational health, having begun his career as an Industrial Hygienist working for both OSHA and private consulting to address and mitigate a wide spectrum of occupational health risks among workers. His current academic responsibilities include education and training of occupational medicine residents, graduate students, medical students, and other health professionals; research with a focus on Occupational Health and Wellness among Commercial Truck Drivers, and Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders; and consultation and clinical practice of occupational medicine.   He is Co-Chair of the NIOSH NORA Transportation, Warehousing and Utility (TWU) Sector Council. Dr. Wood is a Director of the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM), and he serves as Vice Chair of Occupational Medicine for the ABPM.



Western Occupational Health Conference 2018

September 12-15, 2018
Park Central Hotel, San Francisco




Plenary & Post-Graduate Sessions:

  • PowerOrtho: What Not to Miss in Back, Shoulder, and Foot Injuries – Kevin Burnham, MD; Steven Wang, MD; James Van den Bogaerde, MD
  • PowerPharma: Take a Deep Dive in the Science and Use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs – Lori Reisner, PharmD; Gurkirpal Singh, MD
  • A Provider’s Guide to Public Safety Medicine: Understanding and Using the Available Guidelines and Standards – Fabrice Czarnecki, MD; Dan Samo, MD
  • Health Igniting Performance & Leadership: The Role of the Occupational Physician in the Evolving Healthcare Landscape – Bob Carr, MD
  • Technology and Occupational Health – John Howard, MD
  • Meeting the Challenge of Burnout – Christina Maslach, PhD
  • Report Writing: Avoiding UR & IMR Denials – Steven Feinberg, MD
  • Upper Extremity Ergonomics – Carisa Harris, PhD
  • Delayed Recovery of Injured Workers – Michael Coupland, Cpsych; Denise Algire, RN
  • Neuropsychological Evaluation: Inside & Outside the Brain – Linda Gourley, PhD
  • Cannabis Implications for Employers – How Does “Legal” Marijuana Impact the Workplace? – Nicole Golob Minkow; Barry Pearlman, Esq.
  • Mild TBI/Concussion: An Update – Gary Abrams, MD
  • Tuberculosis in US Healthcare Workers: Past, Present & Future – Wendy Thanassi, MD
  • Telemedicine: A New Tool for Occupational Health Providers – Milton Cheng, MD
  • Climate Change: Practical Considerations for Clinicians – Gina Solomon, MD
  • Reimagining the Future: A Journey Through the Looking Glass – Frank Diana
  • Novel Delivery Systems in Occupational Medicine: A Response to the Projected Health Worker Shortage – William Buchta, MD

Worksite Tours:

  • Live Fire Burn at the San Francisco Fire Department Training Facility – Treasure Island
  • Behind-the-Scenes Golden Gate Bridge Tour 



WOEMA Business Meeting at WOHC 





Attention WOEMA members! The WOEMA Annual Business Meeting will be held on Friday, September 14, 2018 at 5:30 PM, at the Park Central Hotel in San Francisco during the Western Occupational Health Conference (WOHC).
In accordance with WOEMA bylaws, the Nominating Committee of Scott Levy, MD (Chair), Roman Kownacki, MD, and Robert Blink, MD, submitted the proposed slate (link below) for the 2019 Board of Directors and Officers. It will be presented to the WOEMA membership at the Annual Business Meeting



Apply for ACOEM Fellowship




The status of Fellow is the highest classification of membership in ACOEM. Fellowship distinguishes and recognizes members of the College for their training, accomplishments, and experience in occupational medicine at the national, component, and local levels, as well as the member’s academic and scientific contributions. The Committee of Fellowship Examiners feels passionately that the College needs more Fellows and that those who are making significant contributions to the College and the field of occupational and environmental medicine deserve special recognition.

Requirements for Fellowship:

  • Must be a member in good standing in ACOEM for at least three years and have;
  • Obtained Board Certification (Occupational Medicine or other ABMS Medical Specialty by the time of the next AOHC. If ABMS Certification other than Occupational Medicine – Evidence of education and experience in OEM.  1.Completion of the MPH or equivalent (as determined by the Committee of Fellowship Examiners) plus an additional 50 (15 of which can be from component) hours of ACOEM CME in the previous 5 years.                                        2. If not MPH – Completion of 100 (30 of which can be from component) hours of ACOEM CME in the previous 5 years.
  • Must have an active, unrestricted license to practice medicine.
  • Must present two recommendation letters, at least one from an ACOEM fellow.
  • Must complete a fellowship application
  • Narrative demonstrating contribution to ACOEM, components or the field of OEM – —Evidence of service requirement may be satisfied through a multitude of activities including but not limited to: teaching, presentations, public advocacy, publications, meeting attendance or committee service

Applications for Fellowship are due November 1



Reminder  on Work-Related Caused Disability

by Steven Feinberg, MD




There is no question that genetics/heredity is a major component of the degree of degenerative disease seen as one ages. When trying to ascertain the degree of disability caused by nonindustrial degenerative disease, there are a few things one should remember. While some back pain is related to spine degenerative disease, causation can also be muscular and related to myofascial pain. Furthermore, and most importantly, there are occupations and tasks as well as life experiences that can contribute to spine degenerative disease. An activity that one might do at age 20 might have a much different effect at age 55. Lastly, trauma can damage the spine and lead to subsequent increased degenerative disease. Also, the presence of degenerative disease will more probably lead to disability either cumulatively or when an injury occurs. Work, even prolonged sitting, can cause lower back discomfort and sometimes disability. This NIOSH publication can help as a reminder of the importance of work-related cause disability.