California El Camino Real Association of Occupational Health Nurses

CECRAOHN President's Message-September 1, 2015—Reflections on transitions, our summer achievements, and meaningful work. Barbara Burgel

Posted over 3 years ago by Barbara Burgel

Hello all CECRAOHN members:

I trust and hope everyone has had a wonderful summer.  Kids back at school, older children leaving for is often a time of many transitions.  And, as we know, transitions require lots of social support and self-care strategies. As occupational health nurses (OHNs) we are working with transitions all the time, including, for example, employees returning to work after an injury or a  personal illness, employees going home after a hospitalization, employees preparing for retirement, and/or employees changing roles within the organization. The management of transitions, and how we, as OHNs, support workers and their families (and supervisors!) in navigating these transitions, is what we do best. I salute you!

I want to acknowledge and thank the hard work of your Board of Directors and your Nominations Committee—what a wonderful group! Summer updates include:

1)      A new Government Affairs and Resources section on our CECRAOHN website—please look at all the wonderful updates.  I want to shout out a big thanks to Denise Souza, our Board Director for Government Affairs, in shepherding our CECRAOHN and CSAOHN responses to new legislation/regulatory changes.  This work takes more than one person....we need you!  If you can attend a Cal-OSHA committee, we would love to hear from you.

2)      We also now have an updated CECRAOHN brochure with our new logo, posted on our website. You can download and give this brochure to your colleagues to encourage membership. A big thanks to Salena Quan (Communications Director), Nonie Devens (President-Elect), Maynard Lamusao (Program Director) and Denise Souza for their work on the new logo and brochure.  Elaine Icenhour is our Membership Director--please be in contact with Elaine if you have ideas on how best to recruit and retain new members.  Our overall membership is down about 8-10 OHNs from last year....please invest in our professional association.  Information is power, and being a member connects you to the national, regional and local news in a way that is far worth the annual dues.

3)      This past summer also included an update of our Bylaws, which passed by 23/23 members voting (26.4% of eligible members (n=87) participated in the vote). These votes were verified by two independent tellers. We are awaiting AAOHN review and approval before posting the final Bylaws. Thank you to Nonie Devens, the Board of Directors, and to those members who participated in the Town Hall this past April.

4)      We have had two great summer CE programs, and I wish to acknowledge both Maynard Lamusao and Wendy Corr, our two Board Directors for Programs. Photos of these two programs are posted in the Photos section of the CECRAONN website. The first CE program was in early June and included a SF Labor History Tour with Catherine Powell of the SFSU Labor Archives with a discussion with Sean Farley, the ILWU Local 34 President. It was a fun morning, and the weather and Bay views were spectacular! In August, we met at Acclarent, a J&J company, where Wendy Corr, their OHN, planned a very informative morning. We learned about new sinus entry medical devices, their medical surveillance, and we were able to tour their anatomy lab.  What fun! We have two upcoming events: A Saturday health and safety discussion and tour of the Golden Gate Bridge (watch our website for details) arranged by Karen Sternstein, our CECRAOHN Treasurer, and our annual public service event, also on a Saturday: providing flu vaccines to the farmworkers and their families at Monterey Mushrooms in Morgan Hill, which includes a farm tour. Both of these events are scheduled in October, with space limited. Signups for the flu vaccine public service event is now open on our website; GG Bridge tour will soon be open.

5)      A big thanks to the Nominations Committee (Susan Hazy, Soo Jeong Lee and Marie Mullenbach), whom you may have heard from this summer! We need your talents on the Board. Please consider putting your name on the ballot for our open positions. Not only do you learn a lot about nonprofit member organizations, there is great networking and we have a lot of fun!

6)      And, a big thanks to Bev Nuchols, Secretary and Karen Sternstein, Treasurer, who, along with Nonie Devens, our President-Elect and myself, are your Executive Committee guiding the work of the Board. Minutes of our past Board meetings are posted by Bev on the CECRAOHN website (you need to log-in, and only members have access), and we will be posting a year-end budget/balance on the CECRAOHN website (again, log-in is required). Our books were recently audited by a third party in Spring 2015, and our books are in order and our taxes are paid.  Thank you Karen!

7)      The remaining summer event includes the planning for the upcoming CSAOHN Conference!  A huge thanks to Nonie Devens, who has co-chaired this committee, and Denise Souza, who arranged a lot of the great speakers. A big thanks to Catherine Ayers, who negotiated the contract with the Embassy Suites. Thank you to CECRAOHN members who have solicited exhibitors—there is still time! We need more exhibitors!! If you have an exhibitor suggestion, please email me at and we will follow up. Great speakers are scheduled, including two of our members:  Dana Drew Nord will be speaking about her evaluation of VO2 max during firefighting, and Mary Foley, former ANA President and an expert on safe needle devices, will be keynoting the conference on Thursday morning to talk about OHN sustainability. We are having our CECRAOHN annual business meeting at the conference, on Friday evening, November 13, 2015, for $45.00—to include a buffet dinner, and 2-hour CE program to include an update on the patient-centered medical home (speaker pending), an update from Mary Gene Ryan, and I will provide highlights from CECRAOHN. Please recall there is a scholarship fund to offset some of your costs of attending, available through CECRAOHN—see our website for entry information. Plan now to register for the CSAOHN Conference in Sacramento:

A final discussion on an editorial which was published in the New York Times on August 28, 2015: Barry Schwartz wrote on "Rethinking Work."  I encourage everyone to read this—very informative, discussing the need for meaningful work and a decent wage.

I wrote a letter to the editor about the need for equal attention to health and safety.  What are your thoughts on this editorial?  It would be wonderful to have a flood of letters by OHNs sent to the New York Times: (limit of 150 words; have to include your name, address, day/evening phone numbers if you want your letter to for possible publication; no attachments can be sent).  Please share your thoughts on the comment section on our CECRAOHN website.

Thank you again for your support of CECRAOHN.  It is an honor to serve as your President--and although this role does not include a decent wage, it is indeed incredibly meaningful work!!



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