AOHC: Occupational Health Issues Heat Up in Atlanta

Do your employees have attendance problems related to health and wellness? Are workers' compensation claims increasingly difficult to manage? Are injuries and illnesses negatively impacting your company's bottom line or employee productivity? Is your facility a potential terrorist target? If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, then your occupational health program might need an update.

And what better way to do it than to join thousands of occupational health professionals in Atlanta this week for the American Occupational Health Conference (AOHC)?

The conference, convened by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) and the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN), will offer a joint plenary session on Wednesday, May 7, at 8 a.m., featuring OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. Henshaw will update his audience about OSHA, focusing on the efforts of the agency to partner with various industries to reduce occupational injuries and illnesses and efforts to provide outreach to Hispanic and other non-English-speaking workers.

AAOHN and ACOEM offer their own general sessions Tuesday through Thursday, May 6-8. Concurrent session topics for ACOEM include hazardous chemical release response, return to work, the role of the occupational health physician, and disaster preparedness.

"Topics have been carefully selected to appeal to a wide range of experience and knowledge levels," said ACOEM President Edward J. Bernacki, M.D., MPH, FACOEM.

The AAOHN General Session will feature a favorite speaker from the 2002 AOHC, Bobbie Staten, who promises to have the audience laughing, thinking, reflecting and growing with her talk, "Batteries Not Included," on Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The Sappington Lecture, which doubles as the ACOEM General Session, is scheduled for Wednesday. Marc L. Berger, MD, vice president, U.S. Human Health Division, Outcomes Research and Management, Merck & Co., discusses "Investing in Health-related Productivity: The Next Frontier of Enhancing ROI."

"AOHC is the ultimate opportunity for occupational and environmental health professionals to gather, share ideas and experiences, learn new techniques or theories, and leave energized and ready to change the work world and community with the new knowledge we have acquired," said AAOHN President Deborah V. DiBenedetto, BSN, MBA, COHN-S/CM, ABDA, RN.

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