Photo courtesy University of Michigan School of Public Health
AIHA Past President Steven P. Levine, PhD, CIH, passed away March 29, with his wife, Barbara, and close friends by his side. Dr. Levine, a professor emeritus, taught in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan for 21 years. He joined the faculty as an associate professor in 1982 and was promoted to professor of industrial health in 1990. His research focused on environmental safety and health management and policy, including international policy issues. A leader in environmental safety and health management and policy, Dr. Levine contributed to international standards and the harmonization of management systems. He retired from active faculty status in May 2003. “As a professor, Steve was always concerned about the development of his students, not just from an academic and professional perspective, but their personal development as well,” said AIHA Past President Michael T. Brandt, DrPH, CIH, PMP, who was a student of Levine’s. “In addition to his role as our academic mentor, he thought it vital to develop our overall capabilities, to make sustainable contributions to worker health and safety as well as to the communities in which we live. He was always thinking about the well-being of his students and the importance of maintaining balance in our lives while striving for professional success.” After receiving his PhD from the University of Colorado, Dr. Levine began his career in 1972 as a post-doctoral research scientist at the Veterans Administration Hospital Research Center in Denver, Colo. Later, he served as senior research chemist for Stauffer Chemical Company for two years before moving on to Ford Motor Company’s Scientific Research Laboratories. In the early 1980s he became laboratory director for the Oil and Hazardous Materials Company in Findlay, Ohio.
Steven P. Levine, PhD, CIH
Dr. Levine published more than 100 peer-reviewed works, and served on many national and international committees and advisory councils. He served on the AIHA Board of Directors from 1992 to 1995, and was president of the association in 2000–2001. In May 1998, Dr. Levine was seriously injured one afternoon when a truck struck the motorcycle he was riding outside Ann Arbor. His injuries included broken bones in both arms, wrists, and legs, a broken hip, and multiple cracked ribs. Following hours of surgery, he was transferred to the University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center, where he went into respiratory arrest. He would later credit the care he received there for saving his life. Over the course of his long recovery, which involved many months of physical therapy, Dr. Levine’s roommates in the hospital included four men who were injured in separate workplace incidents. He would tell The Synergist that getting to know those men had left him with “a deep and abiding belief that we must succeed in our efforts to protect workers from injuries and illnesses.” Dr. Levine reflected on his experience as a patient in the Spring 2008 issue of the UM School of Public Health’s alumni magazine:
I learned that the goal of a safe and healthy workplace, for which I have worked all my life as a professional and a scholar, is a worthy goal. If we fail to provide safe workplaces, in the U.S. and elsewhere, the result is misery, pain, and poverty for workers, families, and communities. Even just broken arms or legs have disastrous consequences, such as loss of employment, self-image, family lives, and emotional well-being. The pain I suffered in this motorcycle accident was a gift. It made me a better champion of the goal of working for safer and healthier workplaces.Dr. Levine was the Jeffrey S. Lee Lecturer at AIHce in 2000. He was named an AIHA Fellow in 2002, and received the Donald E. Cummings Memorial Award in 2006 for outstanding contributions to the profession. Before his passing, Dr. Levine requested that he be remembered by his students and peers with a donation to the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF), of which he was a great supporter. Donations to the Steven P. Levine Memorial Scholarship can be mailed to AIHF, 3141 Fairview Park Dr., Ste. 777, Falls Church, VA 22042.
A leader in environmental safety and health management and policy, Dr. Levine contributed to international standards and the harmonization of management systems.