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AIHce 2017 PREVIEW
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Discover the AIHce EXPerience
BY KAY BECHTOLD

It’s only a couple of calendar pages away: AIHce EXP 2017 will be held June 4–7 in Seattle, Wash. In about two months’ time, thousands of industrial hygienists and occupational and environmental health and safety professionals will pack their bags and head for the “Emerald City,” which is hosting AIHce for the first time in the conference’s 77-year history. This year’s attendees are in for a true AIHce EXPerience, which includes improvements such as a streamlined conference schedule and new features like session tracks and a closing general session.
To make the conference format more user-friendly and efficient, all education sessions are scheduled in hour-long time blocks with breaks in between.
Shorter Sessions, Closing Speaker among Changes to AIHA’s Annual Conference
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DON’T MISS A MINUTE Consider arriving early to enjoy all that Seattle has to offer, from the Space Needle to the waterfront. Members of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of AIHA have shared their recommendations in an online guide to food and fun in Seattle. Their primary advice? “Embrace the quirkiness! Bearded men throwing fish, wacky public art, and Birkenstocks are what we live for. Enjoy the diversity, try something new, and keep an open mind.”
Another good reason to get into town early is to attend the AIHce Social on the evening of Sunday, June 4. (Psst! Registration includes a free drink ticket for this event.) Start the week with colleagues and then get a good night’s sleep to prepare for the main event: AIHce’s highly rated education programming. WHAT TO EXPECT After watching opening keynote speaker and all-time Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings present “Life in the Form of a Question” on Monday morning, perhaps the first change AIHce attendees will notice is the updated conference schedule. To make the conference format more user-friendly and efficient, all education sessions are scheduled in hour-long time blocks with breaks in between, leaving attendees plenty of time to get from one presentation to the next. The schedule for committee meetings has been reorganized as well. Members of volunteer groups and committees will no longer have to miss out on education offerings to attend their meetings. Now, committee meetings will be held in the early morning or at the end of the afternoon, freeing up more time to attend sessions during the day.
For the first time, education sessions at AIHce EXP are grouped into 12 tracks, which will help guide participants interested in specific subject areas such as emergency preparedness and response, chemical and material hazards, and regulation and public policy. Speakers were encouraged during the call for proposals to consider new ways to deliver their presentations, so the conference will have a variety of session types, including some that will more actively involve participants. Attendees will be excited to learn that the popular IGNITE session is returning to AIHce—this time to the big stage. This year’s IGNITE presentations will be held on the morning of Tuesday, June 6. With presentations like “EHS & Beer,” “What’s That Smell?” and “IH in Flight,” IGNITE promises to be an informative and fun-filled event.
Another first for the conference is the addition of a closing general session that will bring the main conference program to an end on Wednesday afternoon, June 7. The closing session is intended to get attendees thinking about all the information they’ve gleaned from previous education sessions and prepare them to head home with even more ideas to apply in their workplace. This year’s closing session will be presented by Dr. John J. Medina, a leading developmental molecular biologist whose research is focused on the genes involved in human brain development. AIHA’s Managing Director of Global Learning, Mark Milroy, describes the opening and closing keynote sessions as “bookends on learning” and adds a fun fact: both keynote speakers are locals and live in the Seattle area. Though the main AIHce programming ends on Wednesday, professional development courses (PDCs) will be offered on Thursday, June 8, as well as the weekend preceding AIHce EXP, June 3 and 4.
Everyone wants to know just how many certification maintenance (CM) credits they can earn from attending AIHce. Participants will receive credit for each education session they attend from Monday through Wednesday, but the earning potential doesn’t end there. This year, all full conference registrations include free access to AIHce On Demand through Dec. 31, 2017, so attendees can earn credit for any additional session recordings they watch long after they’ve returned home from Seattle.
KAY BECHTOLD is assistant editor of The Synergist. She can be reached at kbechtold@aiha.org or (703) 846-0737.
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