Newswise — The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has awarded its 2017 Health Achievement in Occupational Medicine Award to Richard Heron, MB, and Ron Loeppke, MD, in recognition of their work in establishing the International Occupational Medicine Society Collaborative (IOMSC).

Dr. Heron is Vice President of Health and Chief Medical Officer at British Petroleum in England, and Dr. Loeppke is Vice Chairman of U.S. Preventive Medicine in the United States.

Founded in 2013 under the auspices of ACOEM and the UK’s Society of Occupational Medicine, the IOMSC is a medical and scientific organization composed of occupational and environmental medicine (OEM) societies from all over the world. Representatives meet periodically to discuss mutual issues and concerns in global occupational medicine and to work together to advance the specialty.

Under the leadership of Dr. Heron and Dr. Loeppke, the IOMSC has grown from 18 original societies to 38 societies today, with representatives from six of the seven continents. The IOMSC’s member societies represent approximately 40% of the world’s workforce.

The IOMSC recently launched a survey of its members to identify global trends and practices in occupational medicine, which indicated that practitioners of OEM world-over face similar issues and challenges -- ranging from the rise of chronic disease in the workplace to new environmental hazards.

The organization has also recently adopted a formal constitution and by-laws and has begun an initiative to identify global best practices in OEM.

“Dr. Heron and Dr. Loeppke played critical roles in helping launch the IOMSC,” said ACOEM President James Tacci, MD. “Thanks to their vision and leadership skills, diverse OEM practitioners globally can now begin to share ideas and advocate together more effectively to advance health and safety in the workplace.”

The Health Achievement in Occupational Medicine Award was created by ACOEM in 1948. It recognizes ACOEM members for a specific, unique achievement in occupational and environmental medicine. Dr. Heron and Dr. Loeppke were honored during a special presentation at ACOEM’s 2017 American Occupational Health Conference, taking place in Denver through April 26. For more information about the IOMSC, visit




The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) represents more than 4,000 physicians specializing in occupational and environmental medicine. Founded in 1916, ACOEM is the nation’s largest medical society dedicated to promoting the health of workers through preventive medicine, clinical care, disability management, research, and education. For more information, visit