Stephen J. Derman, CIH, FAIHA Manager of Environmental Health and Safety, Palo Alto Research Center; Principal, Medishare Env. Health & Safety Services Cupertino and Palo Alto, Calif.
The existence of COVID-19 has opened our eyes to the ever-present nature of a pandemic which, in various forms, is apparently occurring with increasing frequency. As industrial hygienists and safety professionals, we need to be better prepared to deal with disasters, emergencies, and other situations. Though our mantra has been recognition, anticipation, evaluation, and control, we don’t have the expertise to fully manage every hazard, but we should have the skillset and resources to analyze most situations and collaborate with others in preventing various risks.
AIHA can enable us to enhance our skill sets with information gained from experts in various disciplines who have more intimate knowledge of those specific situations. Though in-person courses are currently more challenging to partake of, written materials and virtual learning opportunities, as well as participation in AIHA’s committees, volunteer groups, task forces, and local sections, provide opportunities for learning from those with greater expertise and experience.
AIHA, through its history, along with our energized and dedicated members’ involvement in government affairs and cooperation with international professional organizations, provides credibility and accessibility to those we serve; this can be leveraged and cultivated. Through ongoing outreach with our colleagues and partners, we can publicize our brand to the public, other professionals, and persons seeking to understand our work, and perhaps become members of our profession.
Pamela Murcell, MS, CIH  KWA Safety & HazMat Consultants, Inc.  El Dorado Hills, Calif.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredible learning experience on many fronts. Dealing with COVID-19 restrictions is, in and of itself, temporary in the larger scheme of the world, but it has taught us that there are ways to still be effective without in-person contact. AIHA should look at evolving to a blend of techniques to include in-person and virtual contact. Having options of platforms will be a benefit for members. Regarding the second question, first of all, AIHA is already a leader for the OEHS profession. The goal would be to continue to enhance AIHA’s leadership position. AIHA could use what has been learned from COVID-19 and pivot to guidance on pandemics in general. COVID-19 was not the first pandemic and surely won’t be the last. Guidance information going forward should emphasize the OEHS role in occupational health as well as public health. As a director, I would embrace opportunities to represent AIHA and work on expanding AIHA’s sphere of influence. I would encourage, and participate with, a task force to develop a template for AIHA guidance documents for public consumption, not just guidance for our professional membership.
Justine Parker, CIH, CSP, CHMM, CPH Managing Health Scientist, Cardno ChemRisk Boulder, Colo.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely trying for many, both in our professions and in our homes. Some have seen a boon in work while others lost their jobs, had to take time off to care for sick family members, or even lost a loved one. Whatever the experience, we are coming out the other side of the pandemic changed. This change will influence our lives and affect us as OEHS professionals. AIHA has risen to the occasion when the need was apparent for guidance on COVID-19. I would like to see this community support become a staple for AIHA for not only major events but also for any OEHS issue affecting the everyday worker with emphasis on diversity and inclusion. For members, I would like to see AIHA partner with mental health providers to provide resources and education for members during the pandemic and beyond. I see AIHA as a voice, a resource, and a benchmark for the world. A voice that advocates for workers saying a worker’s well-being is a priority to our nation and the world. A resource for businesses that may not have ready access to current information for health and safety matters. A benchmark for policymakers to hear and understand where the average worker is and where they need to be regarding OEHS.
Courtney K. Tinner, CIH, CSP  Senior Industrial Hygienist, Sherwin Williams  Atlanta, Ga.
AIHA has a tremendous opportunity to leverage the virtual environment to engage and interact with its membership in ways it never has before. By creating a virtual community within the organization, we can survey the membership and identify core needs and/or subject matters to begin building a library of topics. These topics could then be used to host quarterly forums, featuring experts within our membership, that would allow us to provide support and guidance to our members as we navigate our new normal. Forums could be open to non-members, to give insight into what potential membership would afford them. 
During the pandemic, I have been impressed by how AIHA has pivoted to realign its strategies to better serve the membership by creating new partnerships and collaborations. With national news stories highlighting AIHA and joint publication guidance documents this year, AIHA has provided valuable information and engaged nonmembers. As a potential Board member, I would build upon this momentum by continuing to leverage partnerships to promote our profession. I would recommend we leverage our skills, knowledge, and expertise to serve as subject matter experts, to help industries better understand why our skills are so vitally important to their organizations. This new industry engagement may lend itself to an opportunity for additional membership categories for inclusivity.