Keogh Award Recipients
Click here for winners from 2014-present.
Michael Attfield, PhD, is one of the world’s most respected authorities on the epidemiology of occupational lung disease. With achievements spanning four decades, Dr. Attfield has been unwavering in his commitment towards conducting meaningful research to improve worker health and safety.
The impressive scientific contributions of Dr. Attfield began early. After graduating from the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology, he was a statistician at the Institute of Occupational Medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland. During this time, he published papers on the health effects of coal mining that remain classics. In 1977, he was recruited to work for NIOSH in the Division of Respiratory Studies (DRDS), where he continued his public service for the next three decades, eventually earning a PhD from the School of Engineering at West Virginia University, becoming chief of the Surveillance Branch, and training many who are now occupational health leaders worldwide.
Dr. Attfield’s major contributions were demonstrating the radiographic and functional association of coal mine dust and obstructive lung disease among workers, as well as documenting increased cancer risk among workers with occupational diesel exhaust exposure. His findings have advanced knowledge about research and analytic methodologies, radiologic examinations, and lung function testing. He is an expert on the morbidity and mortality of a wide range of occupational illnesses, including cancer, pneumoconiosis, silicosis, tuberculosis, mesothelioma, and occupational chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Dr. Attfield’s publications have helped our understanding of a variety of hazards, including silica, kaolin, coal mine dusts, diesel exhaust, and sick buildings. By highlighting the many grave health risks faced by coal miners, whose working conditions are among the most hazardous and difficult, Dr. Attfield has helped improve the health of a traditionally underserved population.
The legacy of Dr. Attfield’s research extends beyond scientific literature to prevention policy. His work was the basis of the 1995 NIOSH Criteria Document “Occupational Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust” and the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s proposed rule to reduce the permissible exposure level for respirable dust for coal miners. His 20-year study with the National Cancer Institute on diesel exhaust in miners led to a decision in 2012 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer to classify diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans. This has long term impact on miners as well as millions of other workers around the world. He accomplished this despite years of legal and technical challenges, always sustaining his long-term vision and commitment. There is no better example of the Keogh Award spirit to “fight long odds to achieve safer and healthier workplaces.”
Alice Suter, M.S. Ed., Ph.D., has been a leader in occupational hearing conservation for the past four decades. Dr. Suter received a BA from the American University in 1959 and earned an MS Ed in deaf education from Gallaudet College in 1960. She earned a PhD in audiology from the University of Maryland in 1977.
Dr. Suter joined the Office of Noise Abatement and Control at the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1973. Her technical contributions and leadership formed the basis of the “Health Effects Criteria Document” and the publication of “Levels of Noise Requisite to the Protection of Public Health and Welfare with an Adequate Margin of Safety.” These documents were key to the global adoption of recommendations for health protection and recognition by the World Health Organization. Addressing the psychological, physiological, performance, and communication effects of noise, many of these recommendations remain “best practices” today.
In 1978, Dr. Suter transferred to the U.S. Department of Labor, where she led the development of the Hearing Conservation Amendment to the OSHA noise standard. A “safety net” for workers exposed to noise, the standard has led to employer-provided earplugs, annual hearing tests, training at work about noise and hearing loss, as well as many international hearing conservation policies.
Joining NIOSH in 1988 as a visiting scientist, Dr. Suter focused on agriculture and construction workers who were not covered by the noise regulations. She coauthored the NIOSH Publication “A Practical Guide to Effective Hearing Conservation Programs in the Workplace.”
Dr. Suter has authored over 50 publications, including the “Hearing Conservation Manual” (currently in its fourth edition). Written for the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation, the manual has helped shape the training of audiologists and occupational hearing conservationists in the United States. She is a fellow in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Acoustical Society of America (ASA). She has received a Distinguished Service Citation from ASA, the Alice Hamilton Award from the American Industrial Hygiene Association, and the Michael Beall Threadgill Award, Outstanding Hearing Conservationist Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Hearing Conservation Association.
Linda Rosenstock, M.D., M.P.H., is Dean of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), School of Public Health and Associate Dean of the UCLA School of Medicine. She holds academic appointments as Professor of Medicine and Environmental Health Sciences.
After receiving an A.B. in psychology from Brandeis University, Dr. Rosenstock earned her M.D. and M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University in 1977. She was Chief Resident in Primary Care Internal Medicine at the University of Washington, as well as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. She began her career in 1982 as a faculty member of the University of Washington, becoming full professor in 1993 in the Departments of Medicine and Environmental Health. She also served as the director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Clinic at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and the director of the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program at the University of Washington.
In 1994, Dr. Rosenstock was appointed as the director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. During her six-year tenure, she created the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA), a national framework in which more than 500 partners identified research priorities in occupational safety and health in the country. For her accomplishments at NIOSH, she received the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award in 2000, the highest Senior Executive Service award.
The leadership and expertise of Dr. Rosenstock is widely recognized nationally and internationally. An elected member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, she is on the Planning Committee of the Interest Group on Environmental and Occupational Health and chairs the Committee on Preventive Services for Women. In January, she was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. She is a member of the International Climate and Health Council and the International Commission on Occupational Health and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.
CAPT James Collins is a highly effective national leader in addressing the two leading causes of occupational injury in healthcare workers: safe patient handling and movement and slip, trip, and fall prevention. His work has impacted healthcare worker safety globally and has led to a reduction in injury in various healthcare settings.
CAPT Collins currently serves as the Associate Director for Science in the NIOSH Division of Safety Research (DSR). Prior to that, he served as a Research Epidemiologist in DSR conducting preventive effectiveness research. CAPT Collins earned a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Health Policy and Management from Johns Hopkins University.
Using his engineering and epidemiology backgrounds, CAPT Collins has applied multidisciplinary methods to conduct research spanning the public health model from problem identification to rigorous science to evidence and advocacy for prevention. His early work defined the injury problem by identifying and targeting the highest risk tasks for prevention. Later he conducted a biomechanical lab study to identify safer ways to lift and move patients, and engaged extensive partners to conduct a 9-year intervention field study to demonstrate the effectiveness of a best practices safe patient handling program. Understanding and incorporating research-to-practice methods into his research, CAPT Collins worked closely with opinion leaders in the field and influential industry groups, such as the American Nurses Association, to raise awareness of the occupational hazard and promote the widespread implementation of effective solutions, both nationally and internationally.
Through CAPT Collins’ efforts, NIOSH emerged as a national and international leader in safe patient handling and slip, trip, and fall prevention research for healthcare settings. His research had a tremendous impact on shaping state and Federal legislation and improving student nursing curriculum on safe patient handling. He has contributed significantly to raising awareness of these issues as important public health problems, developing best practices and demonstrating their effectiveness through well designed research studies. His work has contributed to significant reductions in national injury rates associated with patient lifting in nursing homes and hospitals.
CAPT Collins exemplifies the Keogh Award’s goal of outstanding service in occupational safety and health. He has worked diligently as a researcher, advocate, and opinion leader toward the common goal of protecting nurses, nursing aides and orderlies. He is a tireless advocate for the improvement of working conditions for healthcare workers.
Dr. John Howard is currently serving as a distinguished consultant in the Public Health Law Program at CDC. Dr. Howard was the sixth Director of NIOSH and served in this capacity from 2002 to 2008. Prior to joining NIOSH, Dr. Howard provided outstanding service as the Chief of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health in California’s Department of Industrial Relations. His work there was hailed as one of the most proactive health and safety programs.
Dr. Howard exemplifies the Keogh Award’s goal of outstanding service in occupational safety and health through his leadership and efforts to make the nation’s primary investment in occupational safety and health information, research, and guidance more relevant to workers and employers in the U.S. and around the world. During his tenure at NIOSH, Dr. Howard was tireless in his desire to improve the relevance, impact, and stakeholder responsiveness of NIOSH research through strong and effective partnerships with labor and industry. He was highly instrumental in fostering partnerships that support and participate in achieving these goals. He was a champion of strong research to practice efforts in order to assure that NIOSH research is translated into meaningful advances for workers. He continually anticipated the needs of workers. For example, he was one of the first people in the world to identify and move to address the occupational hazards associated with nanotechnology. Dr. Howard also supported the development of a major initiative to design out hazards when designing tools, processes, and structures. This Prevention through Design Initiative is a seven-year national effort involving a wide range of partners from industry, labor, academia, government, and others to institutionalize the concept of thinking about worker health and safety in any design. Dr. Howard promoted a broad inclusionary view bringing all stakeholders into the dialog to solve workplace safety and health problems, supported the focus on the Hispanic workforce and the need to target programs to vulnerable populations, and strongly promoted a global view towards occupational safety and health. Workers around the world have benefitted from his leadership.
The changes directed by Dr. Howard have resulted in an increased focus of information to prevent work-related disease and injury. His efforts have affected workers by ensuring the priorities of NIOSH align with the most important issues concerning worker safety and health. Dr. Howard’s commitment to occupational safety and health has been amply demonstrated by his work at high levels of government. Throughout his career, he has made state and federal institutions more responsive to the needs of workers through ongoing systemic changes in research, policy, and practice.
Dr. Singal had a long and illustrious career notable for his scientific achievements in occupational health. His public health career began in 1975 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at the Kentucky Department of Health Services. In 1977, he transferred to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) where he remained for the duration of his career. He served in many official capacities in the Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance Branch; however, none convey his impact on the countless number of individuals he informally educated and mentored at NIOSH and throughout the world.
He was an accomplished scientist and well recognized for his dedication to the field of occupational health. He was the principal author of the 1989 Exxon Alaskan oil spill report and the only comprehensive study of the work-related health effects among oil spill clean-up workers. He played an integral role in a groundbreaking investigation of the workplace health effects of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and the development of a model for future IEQ investigations, which is used throughout the world today. He wrote about topics such as trichinosis and malaria outbreaks, psychogenic illness, chemical neuropathy, and cancer clusters in the workplace. He personally provided service to thousands of workers through identifying workplace hazards and providing practical recommendations to prevent occupational disease. He shared his knowledge in medicine, epidemiology, scientific ethics, and occupational health practice, and was committed to superior teaching, work performance, and leadership.
Dr. Singal participated in many local, national, and international activities including conducting lectures to medical students on the role of the primary physician in occupational health, teaching an occupational epidemiology workshop to occupational medicine fellows in Taiwan, volunteering with the International Medical Corps in Bosnia, and preparing testimony for standard-setting hearings. He is well published in the scientific literature, received specialty board certification in both general preventive medicine and occupational medicine, and was affiliated with numerous professional organizations throughout his career.
For 25 years, Dr. Singal showed unequaled professionalism and dedication to occupational health research, teaching, and public health service. His work has contributed to the training of occupational health professionals, improved the scientific understanding of occupational disease, and facilitated the control of hazardous exposures in the workplace. After retiring from NIOSH, he remained active in public health through teaching as well as providing scientific service to universities and peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Singal’s diligence, integrity, intelligence, and foresight are a model for others in public health and elsewhere.
Dr. Steven Sauter has had a remarkable and unique impact on the field of occupational safety and health through his tireless and dedicated efforts to integrate the behavioral sciences into the mainstream of research and practice aimed at reducing injury and promoting worker well being.
Dr. Sauter was the NIOSH chair of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Organization of Work Team during the first ten years of NORA, and was the principle force behind the development of a national organization of work research agenda and the growth in the prominence of organization of work in the occupational health research community.
He has always had a strong appreciation of the full cycle of research, from exploratory and etiologic research to implementation and evaluation of practical solutions in the workplace. He has overseen a coordinated program of research on organization of work and musculoskeletal disorders for the past 14 years, which has had demonstrable effects on reducing risks to workers. For example, his first project in NIOSH was a study of rest break scheduling in “light, repetitive work.” After conducting controlled laboratory studies, the results were used as a basis for a series of frequent rest break interventions conducted at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) sites which demonstrated the ease of application of the rest break intervention as well as its effectiveness. The frequent rest schedule was subsequently adopted by the IRS sites where it had been tested.
Dr. Sauter has edited several influential books, many of which are used as textbooks in universities in both the U.S. and Europe. He is a visionary in the work organization field, with a gift for identifying emerging issues of importance such as long hours of work and health disparities. He also has made great contributions through leadership in developing and promoting occupational health psychology as an academic discipline and applied research field. His collaboration with the American Psychological Association (APA) resulted in the creation of a new specialty within Psychology to meet the growing demands for a national reservoir of researchers and practitioners able to address organization of work issues. In addition, he promoted the formation of the Society for Occupational Health Psychology that was recently chartered through Portland State University, and has worked with the international community to foster coordination with sister organizations. As a result of these efforts, five international NIOSH/APA conferences have taken place since 1990. Through collaboration with APA, he also founded the Journal of Occupational Psychology.
During his career, Dr. Sauter’s research activities have impacted workplaces and workers alike. He is presented with the Keogh Award for his exemplary accomplishments, impact, and influence.
Marilyn Fingerhut, Ph.D. is being presented with the Keogh Award in recognition of her outstanding career of scholarship and leadership in preventing occupational injury and illness among workers. During her career, she has conducted innovative research on dioxin, established herself as a champion and expert for occupational women’s health issues, and has greatly accelerated occupational health risk assessment on a global level . She was instrumental in the development of the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) and in the growth of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centers on Occupational Health. Dr. Fingerhut’s professional work is recognized nationally and internationally. She has received numerous awards for her service to CDC and NIOSH and exemplifies the qualities that the Keogh award seeks to recognize.
Dr. Fingerhut began her scientific and leadership roles at NIOSH in 1984, when she became the first woman to be appointed as a supervisor in the Industrywide Studies Branch. Her innovative work on dioxin received the Alice Hamilton Science Award in 1992 and provided key information for the classification of dioxin as a human carcinogen.
Dr. Fingerhut has demonstrated scientific leadership in the spectrum of public health hazards that face workers in the U.S. and globally. She led the development and implementation of NORA that established work-related safety and health research priorities for the entire occupational research community. She has facilitated the sharing of NORA research globally, and is actively involved in the re-prioritization process for the second decade of NORA.
During 2001-2002, Dr. Fingerhut was detailed to the WHO Occupational Health Group in Geneva to energize the largely passive network of approximately 50 WHO Collaborating Centers throughout the world . The Centers enthusiastically embraced her proposal to jointly decide the priority areas of work that would most benefit developing countries and to contribute projects to a five year work plan. As a result, the number of collaborating centers have nearly doubled!
In 2000, Dr. Fingerhut received the highest award of the U.S. Public Health Service, the Distinguished Service Medal. In 1967, she received the Commendation Medal for establishing the NIOSH Dioxin Registry, as well as the Unit Commendation Medal for streamlining data collection for that registry. She received a second Commendation Medal in 1991 for her dioxin work and a second Unit Commendation Medal for contributions to the successful completion of the largest reproductive study conducted by NIOSH.
Dr. Sokas has made exceptional contributions in occupational safety and health through her work at the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, the George Washington University, OSHA, NIOSH, and the University of Illinois. Dr. Sokas is being recognized for her passion and commitment to improving the health of workers, particularly among underserved populations, as well as her dedication to furthering the training of medical professionals in occupational medicine.
Dr. Sokas holds a B.A. in Medical Science from Boston University College of Liberal Arts, an M.D. from Boston University School of Medicine, a Master’s of Occupational Health from Harvard School of Public Health, and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Physiology from Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Sokas currently is the Director of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, where she also teaches and conducts research. Before joining the University of Illinois, she was Lead Medical Officer and then Associate Director for Science in NIOSH, Director of the Office of Occupational Medicine in OSHA, Professor of Medicine and Health Care Sciences at the George Washington University, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center.
While at the University of Pennsylvania, Rosie demonstrated an excellent capacity to bridge the important gap between general medical practice and occupational medicine. After joining the developing program in occupational medicine at George Washington University, she established herself as an excellent teacher and researcher and had the opportunity to influence many young graduate students and doctors. At OSHA, she developed the first formal goals, objectives, and occupational plan for the Office of Occupational Medicine, and directed the integration of occupational medicine support services into major field compliance activities. At NIOSH, Rosie’s commitment to public health was demonstrated in the crucial role she played for the nation’s workers in the aftermath of 9/11 and the anthrax attacks. NIOSH now is recognized for its capability to offer essential contributions during terrorist events, a standing and credibility that is a direct result of her work. Dr. Sokas was and remains a truly effective advocate for NIOSH and for worker safety and health. She also has made a profound impact on the education and training of occupational physicians; her work on medical education is something she shared with Jim Keogh. She tirelessly has worked to train or improve training in occupational medicine. For example, during her career she has worked to define the competencies for residency training for the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, something that impacts nearly all occupational residents trained today. Now at the University of Illinois, she continues to impart her skills and passion to generations of occupational physicians.
We are delighted to honor her with this award in memory of Jim Keogh. While she was a Professor at the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Rosie worked with Jim on the relationship between hypertension and lead burden. In 1998, she published with Jim on a shortened form of provocative chelation, a diagnostic test used to demonstrate remote past lead exposure.
Dawn Castillo has been Chief of the Surveillance and Field Investigations Branch in DSR since 1998. She also is an active member of the NIOSH-wide Surveillance Coordination Group which is responsible for developing recommendations for tracking work-related injuries, illnesses, and hazards. Dawn received her B.S. in Biology in 1985 from the University of California, Irvine, and her M.P.H. in Epidemiology in 1986 from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining NIOSH in 1991, she performed research at these universities on AIDS and on traffic-related injuries to children.
Dawn has authored 15 articles in peer-reviewed journals, four book chapters, and six NIOSH technical documents addressing a range of occupational injury topics, most notably injuries among youth. This expertise was key in her leadership of a NIOSH-wide committee that identified research needs related to child labor, and was instrumental in developing and implementing the NIOSH Childhood Agricultural Injury Prevention Initiative. She also established an interagency agreement with the Department of Labor to conduct research contributing to the regulation and enforcement of child labor and led the development of NIOSH recommendations for changes to child labor laws. Dawn’s expertise and dedication to the protection of working youth is recognized world-wide as she frequently provides consultation on youth work to the World Health Organization and International Labour Organization.
Dr. James A. Merchant is the first dean of the University of Iowa College of Public Health and a nationally known expert on occupational and environmental health, rural health, and public health policy. A native of Ames, Iowa, Dr. Merchant received a bachelor’s degree in bacteriology from Iowa State University in 1962 and an M.D. degree from the University of Iowa in 1966. He completed his internal medicine residency at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, followed by a fellowship in pulmonary and environmental medicine from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Trudeau Fellowship from the American Thoracic Society for study at the University of London’s Brompton Hospital and Cardiothoracic Institute.
Dr. Merchant directed the Appalachian Laboratory for Occupational Safety and Health and the NIOSH Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, and taught and practiced pulmonary medicine at the University of North Carolina and West Virginai University (adjunct appointment) before returning to the faculty of the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1981. At Iowa, he served as head of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, directed the department’s Division of Occupational and Environmental Health and Institute for Rural and Environmental Health, and led the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, and Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, the Injury Prevention Research Center, the Center for International Rural and Environmental Health, and the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center.
At the national level, Dr. Merchant chairs the NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors and serves on the Advisory Committee to the Director of CDC and the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine. He has been awarded a commendation medal from the US Public Health Service, a Health Policy Fellowship with the US Senate, and the William Steiger Memorial Award from the ACGIH. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 1999.
Dr. Merchant’s research interests include the epidemiology of occupational/environmental lung disease, environmental and occupational health, rural health, agricultural disease and injuries, international health, and public and rural health policy. He has received numerous grants from the CDC, the National Institutes of Health, private foundations, and corporations.
Dr. Philip J. Landrigan is Director of the Center for Children’s Health and the Environment, and Ethel H. Wise Professor and Chair of the Department Community and Preventive Medicine and Director of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He also holds a Professorship in Pediatrics. Dr. Landrigan obtained his medical degree from the Harvard Medical School in 1967 and a Master of Science in occupational medicine and a Diploma of Industrial Health from the University of London.
Dr. Landrigan served as a medical epidemiologist at CDC in Atlanta from 1970 to 1985 where he performed studies of measles and rubella, directed research for the Global Smallpox Eradication Program, and established and directed the Environmental Hazards Branch of the Bureau of Epidemiology. From 1979 to 1985, he was Director of the NIOSH Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies. Dr. Landrigan is a member of the Institute of Medicine, Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, and former Editor of Environmental Research.
Dr. Landrigan continues a long and distinguished career of research and advocacy in occupational and environmental health, beginning with his early explorations of childhood exposure to lead from occupational sources (take-home toxins”). This work evolved into continuing advocacy for prevention of exposure to lead and other toxic metals nationally and internationally. He has been a pioneer in drawing attention to the problems of child labor and extends this energy and advocacy to under-served populations worldwide, constantly calling attention to the special risks to workers in developing nations. He chaired a National Academy of Sciences Committee whose final report—Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children—led to the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996. He also served on the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veteran’s Illnesses and as Senior Advisor on Children’s Health to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He was responsible at EPA for establishing a new Office of Children’s Health Protection. Most recently, he has advocated for organized approaches to understanding the worker and community consequences of the tragedies of September 11, 2001.
Dr. William Halperin’s career at NIOSH exemplifies the high ideals of the James Keogh Award. During his more than 20 years at NIOSH, Dr. Halperin contributed to the health of the nation’s workers by conducting research to identify workers at increased risk and making recommendations for their protection. Within NIOSH, he held diverse positions of responsibility: Chief of the Industrywide Studies Branch; Acting Chief of the Surveillance Branch; Director of the Division of Safety Research; Associate Director for Surveillance, and Deputy Director.
Dr. Halperin initiated and oversaw much of NIOSH’s groundbreaking efforts in epidemiologic studies of occupational cancer including studies of dioxin, benzene, and beryllium. Dr. Halperin significantly advanced the field of surveillance with his book Public Health Surveillance. This text is now used in schools of public health and state health departments throughout the United States, as well as internationally. He was the architect and co-chair of the First National Conference on State-based Occupational Safety and Health Activities, providing national leadership in fostering better working relationships with state health departments. He has consistently advocated for greater emphasis on occupational injury as a leading occupational safety and health problem, influencing the NIOSH agenda. In addition, Dr. Halperin brought about the first phase of NORA implementation, translating the stakeholder process into action.
Dr. Halperin is a three-time winner of the Alice Hamilton Award for Excellence in Occupational Safety and Health. He has authored more than 125 scientific publications and his paper “Medical Screening in the Workplace: Proposed Principles,” published in the Journal of Occupational Medicine, won the American College of Occupational Medicine’s Adolph G. Kammer Merit in Authorship Award for 1988.
Dr. Halperin and a small group of NIOSH colleagues collaborated to develop the “The Sentinel Health Event (Occupational): A Framework for Occupational Health Surveillance and Education.” This innovative article regarding the role of the medical practitioner in occupational and environmental medicine is one of the most cited in occupational disease surveillance literature.
Throughout Dr. Halperin’s career, he has promoted research on special populations that are not regularly included in occupational health research such as children, women, and minority workers. He has been, and continues to be, a strong advocate for public health and the safety and health of working people. He has been active in research, influencing practice, training new researchers, and guiding policy. Dr. William Halperin is a fitting person to receive the James P. Keogh Award for Outstanding Service in Occupational Safety and Health.
Now, as Chairman, Department of Prevention Medicine and Community Health at the New Jersey Medical School, Dr. Halperin continues to be a strong advocate for public health and the health and safety of working people.
Dr. Richard A. Lemen began his occupational safety and health career in 1970 when he received his commission from the U.S. Public Health Service. He began as an Epidemiologist, later serving as a Section Chief and a Branch Chief. Dr. Lemen also served as Director of the Division of Criteria Documents and Standard Development and the Division of Technical Services before the merge to the Division of Standards Development and Technology Transfer. He also spent time as the Acting Director of NIOSH. At the time of his retirement in 1996, he was the Deputy Director of NIOSH.
Dr. Lemen’s most significant contribution may be his pioneering work on asbestos. Early in his career, Dr. Lemen carried out field studies of asbestos workers. His work resulted in journal publications and formed the basis for the NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) of 0.1 fibers/cubic centimeter which was published in the 1976 revised asbestos criteria document. Dr. Lemen testified five times before the U.S. Congress on the workplace hazards of asbestos. Through Dr. Lemen’s research, leadership, and determination, workplace asbestos exposure limits were reduced and in 1986, the OSHA limits were reduced to 0.1 fibers/cubic centimeter. Under Dr. Lemen’s direction, NIOSH produced 26 criteria documents that provided high-quality scientific standard recommendations for the U.S. Department of Labor. In 1988, he directed the largest review of occupational health standards when NIOSH provided scientific recommendations for exposure limits on 626 substances.
Dr. Lemen has also worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) as Chairperson of the Collaborating Centers for Occupational Safety and Health. He initiated and succeeded in gaining adoption of an International Workers Declaration for Health and Safety at Work.