1610c Global impact: whwb-us model of increasing professional outreach and growth

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Abstract

Problem

WHWB-US is an independent affiliate of WHWB. Many of our founding members are sensitive to global issues because of occupational health risks encountered during their work in other countries. There is a limited number of US industrial hygienists with global perspectives and, therefore, we need to develop a strategy that will increase our membership. We believe our approach may offer a blueprint for occupational hygienists in similar situations throughout the world.

Possible solutions

As WHWB-US grows, we wish to establish student chapters and to reach out to other professionals in fields such as engineering, public health, medicine, and business. WHWB-US chose Ann Arbour as its headquarters because the University of Michigan’s (UMich) Industrial Hygiene (IH) program has a strong global orientation. This led to the establishment of our first UMich student chapter in 2016. We are in the process of establishing student chapters at Brigham Young University in Utah and Idaho and George Washington University in Washington DC. Student members have worked with the electronics industry in Mexico, the e-waste industry in Thailand and the Vietnamese-American community in nail salons. We hope to add members by encouraging interested professionals from business, unions, consumer groups, physicians, and safety disciplines to join WHWB-US. We expect that lessons learned from these efforts will be scalable to global problems.

Going forward

WHWB-US is urging the involvement of graduate students and their faculty in medicine, public health, environmental epidemiology, engineering, IH and business to participate in the 2018 IOHA Conference in Washington DC. New members will contribute to WHWB-US growth, and these younger professionals will be encouraged to join in leadership and recruitment efforts.

Conclusion

We feel this approach will enable WHWB-US to expand its membership and offer a model for other practitioners from outside the US to join WHWB International and develop their own chapters and professional collaborations.

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