CHRISTINE A.D. LORENZO, CIH,
is president of AIHA and safety and occupational
health manager for federal and state operations at OSHA.
She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (720) 264-6572
For the past few years, AIHA has been transforming the way it approaches content development. Several previous articles in The Synergist have described elements of this transformation. This month, I’d like to discuss the broader context surrounding current AIHA initiatives and reveal the connections among various projects, some already underway and some scheduled to begin soon. THE FOUNDATION Leading up to AIHA’s 75th anniversary in 2014, the Board of Directors was grappling with developments both within and outside the industrial hygiene profession that had potential to affect AIHA’s ability to remain viable and prosperous into the future. These trends included the revolutionary change in communications brought about by the Internet, the changing generational preferences for consuming information, and the staggering pace of change in technology. Given this environment, the Board’s task was to figure out how AIHA could continue to thrive for another 75 years.
In the summer of 2013, the Board approved six recommendations intended to ensure that AIHA has a sustainable stream of resources that will allow us to fulfill our mission to protect worker health well into the future. These recommendations were to develop an organization-driven content strategy; convene scientific summits of science-based organizations; create “personalized” premium membership benefits; create science-based content collaborations; create an improved support system for AIHA’s local sections; and align resources to support our members’ careers.
These recommendations stemmed from input the Board received from members, vendors, partners, and other stakeholders. Additional input over the following months revealed that the first of these recommendations, for developing an organization-driven content strategy, was of primary importance—the foundation for nearly everything else we needed to accomplish.
A Purposeful Approach to Content BY CHRISTINE A.D. LORENZO, AIHA PRESIDENT
This discovery led to the formation of the Content Portfolio Management Team (CPMT), whose role is to identify trends and emerging issues in industrial hygiene. Over several months the CPMT reviewed an environmental scan of key issues in IH, data related to AIHA members and customers, and other market research. Based on this review, the CPMT recommended that AIHA focus on developing products and services around six topic areas: exposure banding/OEL process; sensor technologies; emerging markets – global IH/OH standard of care; IH value strategy/business case development; changing work force demographics; and big data management and interpretation. BODIES OF KNOWLEDGE Before we can develop content in the six identified areas, we need to make sure that content is informed by the latest scientific research. Elsewhere in this issue you will read about AIHA’s bodies of knowledge projects, or BoKs. The BoKs are one facet of our approach to research. BoK projects are currently underway in respiratory protection program administration, exposure assessment, and field use of multigas meters/PIDs. In the second half of 2015, we will launch new BoK projects in two of the CPMT’s recommended areas of focus: exposure banding/OEL process and IH value/business case development. Calls for volunteers for these BoKs will be distributed in the coming months. The cover article of this issue reflects another of CPMT’s content recommendations. The rapid development of sensor technologies holds great promise for IH, but much work needs to be done to ensure that they are meeting our needs. In January, the Board approved plans to hold a scientific summit on sensor technologies during the first quarter of 2016. More information about this event will be forthcoming. PURPOSEFUL CHANGE The future-centered recommendations adopted by the Board in 2013 and the CPMT’s recommendations for content development have guided much of AIHA’s work over the last year and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. AIHA members will have many opportunities to contribute and provide feedback. Ultimately, the work we’ve undertaken will help us better meet the needs of both our members and the marketplace.
Developing an organization-driven content strategy was of primary importance—the foundation for nearly everything else we needed to accomplish.