Potomac Section News and Notes

Call for Abstracts for  the 2020  Safety and Cultural Heritage Summit: Preserving our Heritage and Protecting Our Health

This will be a virtual professional development seminar, and will take place starting on October 29, 2020. Abstracts should focus on controlling health and safety risks from preparing, treating, managing, and exhibiting artistic, historic, and natural science collections as well as abating structrual hazards and responding to disasters impacting collections, including challenges in the pandemic. For more information, please click here.


Call for Abstracts for the 9th Nano Conference

Please visit  https://www.aiha.org/events  for more information. The deadline was extended to August 1, 2020.


Announcement of Election Results: AIHA Potomac Section 2018-2019 Board of Directors.  POSTED June 10, 2018


Please join us in congratulating the newly elected members to the Potomac Section Board of Directors for 2018-2018
President-Elect, Kay Dietrich, CIH, CSP
Secretary- Elect, Mary Kay Snow, CIH, CSP
Treasurer-Elect, Damien Hammond, CIH, CSP
At-Large Director, Kelsey Babik, MPH
At-Large Director, Bruce Donato, CSP, CHMM, CECD
At-large Director of Web Administration, Joe Jurinski, CIH
Thank you to the continuing Board Members:
President, Joel Thein, MS, CIH
Immediate Past-President, Janice Ruggles, CIH, MHS
Secretary, Marissa Msefya
Treasurer, Sorin Schwartz
At-Large Director, Enjoli Degrasse
At-Large Director, Charles Bragdon, CIH
Last, but not least, THANK YOU to our immediate-past Board Directors for their service to the Potomac Section.  It was a busy year and your contributions made it a successful one.  Your efforts are greatly appreciated.
Immediate Past-President, Mary Kay Snow, CIH, CSP
Secretary, Kathryn Makos, CIH
Treasurer, Bruce Donato, CSP, CHMM, CECD
At-Large Director, William Barnett, CIH, CSP
At-Large Director, Lindsay Mahoney

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Potomac Section Industrial Hygienist of the Year.  POSTED May 15, 2018

Members can nominate a candidate for the award by completing the nomination form and returning it to Mary Kay Snow.  The form can be downloaded here: 2018 IHY Nomination Form


Potomac Section 2017 Annual Meeting POSTED June 18, 2017

The local section held its annual meeting on June 13, 2017 in Gaithersburg.  The new board was installed and the 2017 Industrial Hygienist of the Year award was presented to Kathy Makos.  Congratulations to Kathy and thanks to Bruce for hosting the event! 


jthein2017annualmeeting kmakosihyear2017 mksnowkmakos2017annualmeeting

President-elect Joel Thein 

2017 Potomac Section Industrial Hygienist of the Year

Kathy Makos
Past-president Mary Kay Snow and Kathy Makos



 Potomac Section 2017 Election Results POSTED June 10, 2017


President-Elect -  Kyaw (Joel) Thein

 Joel Thein is a certified industrial hygienist with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).  He has 15 years of experience as a safety and health professional and holds a Master of Science Degree in Environmental and Occupational Health Science from Hunter College, the City University of New York (CUNY), and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health Science from York College, CUNY.  He has served as a Senior Industrial Hygienist with the DOL Office of Worker Safety and Health (OWSH) since 2011 where he is responsible for the overall administration and management of the internal DOL safety, occupational health and workers’ compensation programs.   He is proud to be a part of this area’s very strong and active local section and has benefited from the many networking and learning opportunities offered through the Potomac Section.  Mr. Thein is passionate about environmental health and safety and is eager to create opportunities to learn, share, and engage with others in this varied community of Safety and Health professionals.   It is for this reason that he is expressing his interest in the position of AIHA Potomac Section President-Elect.


Secretary-Elect - Marissa W. Msefya

Ms. Msefya brings more than 15 years of leadership experience and 6 years of admin experience to this position. As a new member of the AIHA local section and a new IH professional, her open mind and creativity can bring a new perspective to the board and overall mission of the local section. She hopes to work with the other board members to conduct more outreach to recent graduates and young professionals and develop into a great IH professional.   She enjoys serving her community and understands the importance of service through a professional organization. In college, she served as the secretary of American Chemical Society NSU branch and held various leadership roles in the student government. Now as a young professional, she continues to serve others in leadership capacities within her church and local community, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the City of Gaithersburg.


Directors 2- year term [2017-2019]

Mr. Charles Bragdon  - The Potomac section has established an excellent program to support IH professionals in the Washington, DC area. He will work to maintain the high standards that have been established, and to bring young professionals into the group.  


Ms. Enjoli DeGrasse- Having a local section that is as active as ours provides great benefits to its members through professional development, networking, and community involvement; she has benefited personally from the connections she has made through the Potomac section therefore has an interest in seeing it flourish through continued growth, development, and outreach.  Ms. De Grasse is interested in sharing her input in developing future goals for the local section as well as my ideas for sustained growth.




The Potomac Section supported the National Capital Area Joint Safety Association Young Professionals Netoworking event.  Read about the details of our outreach activity herePOSTED July 21, 2015



Section members who have retired from industrial hygiene practice may be eligible for Retired Member status.  A Retired Member retains all privileges of a Member of the section but will not be assessed local section dues.  

Contact an AIHA Potomac Section Board member to apply for retired status.  POSTED March 25, 2015 




You are invited to join our Workplace Health without Borders-US (WHWB-US) Washington DC meeting on August 16 from 5:00 to 6:30 pm in the 4th floor conferen room (Room 401) at The Milken Institute School of Public Health, 950 New Hampshire Ave NW.  You do not need to be affiliated with GWU to attend our session and please bring your friends when you come (and please make sure to bring a photo ID to check in at the security desk).

WHWB-US is an organization of occupational health and industrial hygiene professionals seeking to encourage focus on improving workplaces in developing countries as well as in migrant workplaces in the U.S.  I am currently WHWB-US’s Vice President as well as being a member of the EOH faculty at GWU. We are actively seeking student participation in order to facilitate their work or placement overseas.  And we hope to be seen as a place for senior investigators to find younger professionals who want to get involved with international industrial research or policy.

The tentative agenda for August 16 is:

1)      Upcoming International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA) meeting September 23-26, 2018 in Washington DC where there will be volunteer opportunities (see https://www.aiha.org/events/IOHA2018/Pages/default.aspx)

2)      Expand the membership by encouraging veterans, especially those with overseas deployment experience, who desire to deepen their connections with international occupational health work

3)      Preview of some of the topics and issues to be discussed at the IOHA meeting.

4)      Discussion of new WHWB-US concern about possible tuberculosis outbreaks in Africa linked with workers suffering from silicosis and among healthcare workers who treat TB patients.

5)      Discussion of Fulbright program opportunities as another means to take your interests overseas.


We welcome all who are interested to join us next Thursday evening.  Snacks will be provided, but you must RSVP here to attend.