Welcome to the WOEMA WINDOW.  This e-newsletter is sent to members by email on a monthly basis. The e-newsletter provides links to this page. Below are the items that appeared in the June 2019 issue.


An American Physician Abroad

an editorial by Scott Levy, MD, MPH, FACOEM, WOEMA Member
Chevron Regional Medical Manager – Europe, Eurasia, Middle East, Africa


I’ve been looking forward to chronicling the details of my expat experience for some time now and when I was invited by Dr. Troy Ross and the WOEMA newsletter committee I was thrilled to have that opportunity.  To avoid writing a novel about my life, I’ll do my best to discuss a few of the highlights, but I couldn’t possibly do justice to the experience or my team in just a few pages.


Dr. Levy at the Maria Imaculada Infant and Maternal Center

I’m in Cabinda, Angola, a remote location approximately 45 minutes by air from Luanda, the capital, on a bus with four members of our Angolan medical team. The dirt road is very bumpy with deep potholes filled with mud, and you can hear music in the distance.  As we approach, the music is getting louder and it appears to be coming from our destination. As we pull up to the Maria Imaculada Infant and Maternal Center there are approximately 50 women and their children chanting a song to greet us on arrival.  This community program was developed by our team with the goal of preventing mother to child transmission of HIV. The Center provides a valuable resource to HIV positive women who are pregnant or have young children.   At this location, women meet with our medical staff who review their current health plan, dispense their medications and test their children for HIV.  In addition to this, while the women are at the Center they are taught basic skills to help them generate an income as most live in poverty.  We provide milk and basic food essentials so that there is an alternative to breast feeding. The program starts during pregnancy and continues with us until the child is 2 years old. To date, the program has resulted in 150 children born to poor HIV positive mothers with zero transmission to the children.  As we speak with the families individually, it was very difficult to not get emotional listening to their stories.  I can say without a doubt that this is one of the proudest and most inspiring moments of my career and simply thinking of their voices brings a smile to my face.


It’s a Friday at 10 am and I’m “technically” off for the day and had plans to enjoy my long weekend at home in Singapore. I arrive at the local fitness center, change my clothes and as I leave the locker room my cell phone rings. “Dr. Levy, there was a very bad car accident involving someone walking across the street and we would like your assistance.  Can you help?”  Minutes later my plane tickets are booked and I’m in a taxi headed to my house to pack my things. Approximately 6 hours later I arrive at the patient’s bedside in a high acuity government hospital in Pnomh Penh, Cambodia. Information from some locations can be very difficult to come by and I needed three questions answered: a) Can this hospital handle the problem? b) If not, is he safe to be moved? c) If so, how quickly can we can get him to where he needs to be?    From previous trips to Cambodia I had a good understanding of the local services but had no local contact that was able to drop everything, oversee the medical care and advocate for the patient.  Unfortunately, this individual had severe injuries and there was no way to safely medevac him out. I spent a week at the bedside, communicating with the treating doctors, reviewing test results, liaising with outside experts and made sure the patient’s urgent needs were attended to before I was able to head home.  Although it was both physically and emotionally draining, I was confident with the knowledge that the patient received the best treatment possible given his circumstances.


We currently have a very large project in Tengiz, Kazakhstan that offers challenges.  The workforce in this very remote location numbers in the tens of thousands and continues to grow.  Although our local medical team’s capabilities are very strong, we occasionally have the need to medevac an individual to a location that can handle higher levels of acuity.  Due to the remote location and extreme weather conditions (-50C to +50C), an average medical evacuation may result in a patient arriving to their destination approximately 30-40 hours after the call for a plane is made. The long delay is attributed to identifying available aircraft and crew (pilots/medics), flying them into the country, allowing the pilots enough rest before loading the patient and heading to the destination where medical services can be rendered. In addition, the extreme weather conditions result in frequent closure of the airport.  As you can imagine, it’s extremely challenging to predict what a patient with vague chest or abdominal pain is going to look like in 40 hours. In these circumstances, we need a better solution to facilitate care.  Business leaders were very supportive and purchased a plane that we retrofitted for emergency evacuations by installing stretchers, oxygen tanks, respirators and essentially anything else we might need.  We also performed an internal competency assessment of our current medical team and secured the services to provide 24/7 aeromedically qualified physicians to serve as the medical escorts on complex cases.  We’ve now decreased our medical evacuation time down from 40 hours down to as low as 7 which has improved patient safety dramatically, while at the same time giving our providers greater certainty when deciding on the need for an evacuation.

The experiences above require the collaboration of a large network of multidisciplinary team members that work closely together to manage the safety and health of our workforce and the communities where they live.  Among our colleagues in our corporate headquarters, embedded teams at the worksites and our network of external global partners, I’m continuously reminded of the value we bring to our workforce and their communities.  I’m happy to have been able to share this with our WOEMA family.

FREE CME Webinar on Tuesday, June 25 • 12:00 PM PDT

Orthopedic Injuries – Fractures of the Wrist and Forearm



Presented by: Christopher Bayne, MD

This webinar will allow participants to be able to recognize the clinical symptoms suggestive of a wrist or forearm fracture. The participant will understand the pertinent anatomy and have the tools to diagnose the most common fracture patterns of the wrist and forearm. Furthermore, the participant will feel comfortable with the initial management of these injuries and understand when these injuries require emergent orthopedic surgery intervention.

Learning objectives – After this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Know the anatomy of the wrist and forearm
  • Perform pertinent physical exam
  • View imaging for diagnosis of wrist and forearm (as well as possible associated injuries)
  • Identify emergent signs and symptoms
  • Use appropriate immobilization of wrist and forearm fractures

Dr. Christopher Bayne is an Orthopedic Surgeon and Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, CA. He obtained his Medical Degree at Harvard University in Boston, MA and completed his Orthopedic Surgery training at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. He completed a fellowship in Hand, Upper Extremity, and Microvascular Surgery at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Clinically, he has a special interest in upper extremity trauma, brachial plexus injury, and shoulder and elbow arthroplasty. He is passionate about education and is actively involved in the UC Davis Orthopedic Residency and Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship programs.


CME for this webinar is offered FREE of charge for WOEMA/ACOEM members

Announcing the 2020 WOEMA Annual Election of Officers and Directors



In accordance with the WOEMA bylaws, the Nominating Committee of Robert Blink, MD (Chair), Leslie Israel, DO and Sachin Kapoor, DO, has submitted the proposed slate below for the 2020 Board of Directors and Officers. It will be presented to the WOEMA membership at the Annual Business Meeting on Friday, September 13, 2019 at 4:55 PM at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina during the Western Occupational Health Conference (WOHC).


Chairman of the Board
Bernyce Peplowski, DO, MS, FACOEM 
Consultant, Honolulu, HI

Erik Won, DO, MPH, MBA, FACOEM (2020)
Newport Brain Research Laboratory, Newport Beach, C

Scott Krasner, MD, MPH, FACOEM 
Krasner Medical Consultants, Tucson, AZ

First Vice President
Rupali Das, MD, MPH, FACOEM
Zenith Insurance Company, Pleasanton, CA

Second Vice President
Ramón Terrazas, MD, MPH, QME, FACOEM (2020)
SF Fire Department, San Francisco, CA

Secretary/Newsletter Communications Editor
Troy Ross, MD, MPH 
ARC Health & Wellness, Sparks, NV

Heidi Roeber, MD, MPH 
Honeywell Aerospace, Phoenix, AZ


 Rosalie Banasiak, MD, FACOEM, Concentra, Phoenix, AZ (2020)

 Amanpreet Dhillon, MD, MS, FACOEM, Kaiser Permanente, Ripon, CA (2020) 

 Steven Feinberg, MD, MPH, Feinberg Medical Group, Palo Alto, CA (2021)

 Matthew Hughes, MD, MPH, FACOEM, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (2021)

 Candidates to fill two vacancies for director positions:

 Minh Nguyen, DO, MPH, MHA, FACOEM, Concentra, Irvine, CA (2022)

 Rajiv Das, MD, MPH, MS, MRO, FACOEM, Safeway/Albertsons, Saratoga, CA (2022)


Dr. Steven Pike is Chosen for Rutherford T. Johnstone Memorial Lecture



The Rutherford T. Johnstone Memorial Lecture is awarded annually to a current or past member of WOEMA who has contributed significantly to the furthering of occupational and environmental medicine. WOEMA Board of Directors selected Steven Pike, MD, JD, MSc, MBA, CIH, FACOEM, FACMT, FACEP, President of EnviroMD, Inc., Director/Partner of Emergency Medicine Associates, and Chief of Staff at Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Pike will present a lecture at the Western Occupational Health Conference (WOHC) on Friday, September 13, 2019 at 4:30 PM at the Sheraton Hotel and Marina (Bay Tower). A $500 honorarium is awarded by WOEMA. Click here to learn more about the legacy of Rutherford T. Johnstone.

Resident Scholarship Opportunities



Attention Residents! Apply for a scholarship to attend WOHC 2019.

WOEMA is inviting resident physicians to WOHC 2019 to present posters on occupational and environmental medicine research or projects that have been conducted.  A review panel will award a first prize ($250) and a second prize ($125) to the presenters.

A limited number of scholarships* are available to residents.  Those awarded scholarships will be requested to assist with speaker introductions and other activities to facilitate the conference. 

*WOEMA members given priority.

Important dates to remember:

  • August 1st, 2019 – Scholarship application deadline
  • August 15, 2019 – Scholarships awarded; applicants notified
  • September 11-14 – WOHC 2019


Networking and Special Events at WOHC 2019 in San Diego!



Don’t miss the many special activities that are planned for the 2019 Western Occupational Health Conference (WOHC) in San Diego, especially the WOHC Signature Event: “Fiesta By the Bay” on Friday, September 13, beginning at 7:00PM. This outdoor evening will be full of fun and enjoyment with colleagues and friends, overlooking the San Diego Bay at the Marina.  Our Mexicana theme will compliment the culture  that has  made San Diego so desirable, including the food, music, and a front row view of the sun setting over the harbor. Who knows? You may even learn some Salsa dancing. We hope you’ll join us.