ACOEM Annual Meeting Begins in San Antonio

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Newswise — (San Antonio – April 27) The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) opened its 99th annual meeting in San Antonio Sunday, April 27 with a keynote speech by Molly Joel Coye, MD, Director of the Institute for Innovation in Health at the University of California, Los Angeles and Chief Innovation Officer of UCLA Health.

During the meeting’s opening session, Dr. Coye urged meeting attendees, comprised primarily of occupational and environmental medicine (OEM) physicians from around the world, to leverage the power of OEM medicine to help bring better integration of care to patients.

Dr. Coye noted that while some physicians may spend only 2 to 3 hours with a patient during a typical year, OEM physicians – many of whom serve as medical directors for large employers – are linked to employees for thousands of hours each year via the health promotion and safety programs they administer or promote on a day-to-day basis in the workplace. The influence of workplace health programs, she said, could be a critical factor in addressing the nation’s health problems, including chronic disease.

“We have to sustain behavioral change in order to improve health outcomes,” she said, noting that integration of workplace health strategies with those in the home could provide the comprehensive, daily focus needed for patients to achieve optimum health.

Coye used examples from UCLA of new online technology intended to better engage and empower patients in their own care, including the use of mobile phones as personal health monitors – strategies that could magnify U.S. health outcomes if adopted more widely across the employer community.

Also during the opening session, ACOEM recognized several OEM physicians for their contributions to the OEM profession:

Robert S. Rhodes, MD: Knudsen Lifetime Achievement In Occupational and Environmental Medicine Award – ACOEM’s highest honor -- recognizing an individual who has had a distinguished career in OEM.

Dean B. Baker, MD: Kehoe Award for Excellence in Education/Research in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, recognizing an individual for significant contributions to academic excellence or research.

Denece O. Kesler, MD: ACOEM Health Achievement in Occupational Health Award, recognizing an ACOEM member for a specific, unique achievement in OEM.

Joseph A. Fortuna, MD: ACOEM Meritorious Service Award, recognizing an ACOEM member who has provided meritorious service to the College.

Marc Wilkenfeld, MD: The Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award at the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, recognizing an ACOEM member physician who demonstrates the ideals of compassionate and respectful care for a patient’s physical and emotional well being.

A team of authors from Australia was honored with the Kammer Merit in Authorship Award, recognizing the most outstanding article or contribution published in 2013 in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Those honored included Ryan F. Hoy, Michael Abramson, Geza Benke, John Burgess, Shyamali Dharmage, Lyle Gurrin, Melanie Matheson, Stephen Morrison and E. Haydn Walters.


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