DANIEL H. ANNA, PhD, CIH, CSP, is president of AIHA and senior industrial hygienist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. He can be reached at (240) 228-1980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The First Glimpse of AIHA’s Strategic Direction
BY DANIEL H. ANNA, AIHA PRESIDENT
Last month’s President’s Message focused on the input and processes used by the Strategic Direction Task Force to develop recommendations for the organization’s goals over the next few years. This year-long effort culminated with the AIHA Board’s adoption of the Strategic Plan at its October meeting. SHARPER FOCUS, GREATER IMPACT At some point during the past several months, the phrase “Sharper Focus, Greater Impact” became the tagline for the strategic plan. This concept aligns with two fundamental ideas that have formed a foundation for decisions over the past few years: AIHA will focus on industrial hygiene knowledge and expertise. This idea helps us focus on the core segment of our community: industrial hygiene professionals. But it also helps us recognize that our knowledge and expertise benefit a broader base of allied professionals. AIHA will develop focused partnerships and alliances. Just as others benefit from our expertise in core IH areas, our member community can benefit from the expertise of those in allied professions. By creating and leading coalitions with specialized associations, we achieve scaled impact, generate new content on worker health issues, and deliver enhanced value to broader populations. These ideas have produced new relationships that strengthen our community, expand our reach, and improve the visibility of issues related to protecting worker health. The sharper focus on core industrial hygiene content is leading to a greater impact within our profession, in allied professions, and, in some cases, an even broader community.
We need to give our members the knowledge and skills they need to become more effective influencers.
POSITIONING AIHA FOR SUCCESS The task force identified three priorities that will be critical to AIHA’s success in the future. These priorities form the foundation of the strategic plan: Influence. AIHA and its members are able to inform science-based decisions, policy, and regulation through collaboration, communication, education, and advocacy. As an organization we need to effectively influence the decision makers in government and industry, and give our members the knowledge and skills they need to become more effective influencers themselves. Foster community. AIHA connects professionals whose activities support our mission to protect worker health. A healthy community will help meet the diverse needs of our members and customers on an international scale. Enable. AIHA and its community of professionals support the development of tools and technologies to meet the evolving needs of the profession. FOCUS AREAS As part of the strategic plan, the task force developed a specific goal for six current focus areas that each support one or more of the strategic priorities. The current focus areas are to drive broad dissemination of core content; customize benefits to maximize value to members; pioneer a coalition to advance IH science and practice; partner with others to generate and disseminate content; provide diverse support to local sections; and align support for all stages of career development. The goals under these focus areas will help us identify objectives and initiatives that will evolve throughout the life of the strategic plan. THANKS TO OUR VOLUNTEERS The members of the task force—Lindsay Booher, Mike Brandt, Gregory Day, Nicole Greeson, Steven Lacey, Angel Plaza, Georgi Popov, Brandon Reese, and Dina Siegel—deserve special thanks for volunteering their time and energy over the past year, as do all of the members and other stakeholders who completed surveys, participated in focus groups and discussions, and provided additional input. The final details were being added to the strategic plan following the October Board meeting, so look for a detailed rollout over the next several months. The plan will provide the path toward our desired future and guide us along the way.