2004 Recipients of the Innovation in Occupational and Environmental Health Award


Pfizer, OEHF Announce Recipient Of Occupational/Environmental Health Grants

KANSAS CITY, May 4, 2004 – As evidencedby the number of applications received for the grants for Innovation in Occupational and Environmental Health, there is a diverse range of employee health and productivity initiatives being developed across the nation. One recipient has been selected for this highly coveted grant, which is offered by Pfizer Inc and the Occupational and Environmental Health Foundation (OEHF). The recipient of a $25,000 grant is Daniel G. Samo, MD, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare Foundation (ENH), Evanston, Illinois, and the Village of Glencoe, Illinois.

The First National Consensus Guideline for a Comprehensive Occupational Health and Safety Program for Law Enforcement Officers.

Dr. Samo will lead a task force in developing the first national guideline to assist physicians in providing occupational health and safety for law enforcement officers. The initiative is backed by the Village of Glencoe , as well as the City of New London, Connecticut, and other organizations involved with occupational health and safety issues of law enforcement personnel. The guideline will be published and maintained by the Public Safety Medicine Section of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

As a leading advocate of occupational health and safety, Dr. Samo recognizes that there is a lack of guidelines to assist physicians in dealing with medical issues among law enforcement officers. While some local and statewide documents regarding the occupational health of law enforcement officers have been enacted, there is no consensus standard. However, there is a national consensus standard for firefighters developed by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). The NFPA standard serves as a nationwide guideline for physicians and is often used to guide care of fire fighters by municipalities and other fire jurisdictions. Physicians in the Public Safety Medicine Section routinely handle queries from physicians regarding the occupational health of public safety workers.

To fill this critical need, Dr. Samo, along with the Public Safety Medicine Section of ACOEM, is developing the first national consensus guideline for a comprehensive occupational health and safety program for law enforcement officers. This grant will help fund the development and implementation of this new standard.

The consensus document will be developed by a task group of experts, including physicians from the Public Safety Medicine Section and members of recognized national and international associations representing law enforcement rank and file, law enforcement executives, and municipal managers. The group will also use content experts and the input from relevant interest groups. The national consensus guideline will address key issues related to the occupational health and safety of law enforcement officers, including essential job functions, physical requirements for applicants, and fitness-for-duty criteria for incumbents. Other topics will include surveillance issues, wellness and health maintenance topics, and requirements of the Homeland Security Act.

The standard will be completed over the next 3 years. After the guideline is published, the task group will provide speakers to assist interested groups with its implementation.

The national consensus guideline will be improved and updated every 3 years. The program also calls for developing a research foundation to address emerging issues related to the occupational health and safety of law enforcement officers.

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“Pfizer is proud of our continued partnership with OEHF and ACOEM in providing the resources for innovative programs addressing the needs of employees and occupational health professionals,” said Lisa Egbuonu-Davis, MD, vice president, US Medical, Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals. “This grant allows us the opportunity to demonstrate our on-going commitment to advancing employee health.”

“We are proud to play a vital role in helping these creative, forward-thinking experts advance the quality of occupational health and employee safety and productivity,” said Gregg Stave, MD, chair of the OEHF. “We are confident the proposed program will benefit law enforcement organizations and the physicians who serve them throughout the United States.”

The grant recipient and the details of their project will be showcased on May 4 at the 89th annual American Occupational Health Conference (AOHC) of the ACOEM, held in conjunction with the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Inc. AOHC is the world’s largest meeting of occupational and environmental medicine professionals.

The OEHF was established in April 2002 by ACOEM in recognition of the need to support research and educational initiatives that may be beyond the scope of the ACOEM mission. The Foundation advances the knowledge concerning occupational and environmental health and medicine and promotes and protects the health of workers through preventive services, clinical care, research, and education programs.

Pfizer Inc discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets leading prescription medicines, for humans and animals, and many of the world’s best-known consumer brands.

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