AOHP looks to the future of occupational health

Employee health is an all-encompassing job, and the upcoming conference of the Association of Occupational Health Professionals in Healthcare (AOHP) in Tampa, FL, reflects that.

The conference will touch on infection control issues, including responding to latent TB infection and emerging infectious diseases. It will explore how nonoccupational ailments, such as arthritis, affect workers. And it will look to the future of ergonomics with a tour of the VHA Patient Safety Center at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, where new patient-handling equipment is being developed.

AOHP also has increased its success story sessions, allowing employee health professionals to share their own case studies.

"This shows you that the single employee health nurse in a hospital can implement successes," says Denise Strode, RN, COHN-S/CM, AOHP executive president. "We may not bring in revenue, but we’re cost-effective through the reduction of injuries and proactive management of programs."

AOHP also will remember the contributions of Geoff Kelafant, MD, a noted occupational health physician who had worked to bring together occupational health physicians and nurses at past AOHP conferences. Kelafant died in an accident while vacationing in March. The Geoff Kelafant Memorial Lecture will feature a speaker from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. AOHP also will remember former president Elaine Carty, who recently died unexpectedly.

The AOHP 2004 annual conference, "Tampa: Your ticket to tomorrow," will be held Oct. 6-9. For more information, contact AOHP, 109 VIP Drive, Suite 200, Wexford PA 15090. Web: www.aohp.org.