History and Archives

Special Interest Section
Section Members: Log In to Access Community Site
History and Archives section leadership
Chair Verba Moore
Secretary Melissa Broadman
Treasurer William Greaves
Vice Chair Judith McKenzie
Who Should Join?

ACOEM members interested in exploring and promoting the history of occupational and environmental medicine.


Function: To explore and promote understanding the history of occupational and environmental medicine and to advise on the management of ACOEM's historical resources.

Responsibility: To explore the history of occupational and environmental medicine with an emphasis on the United States and the historical forces that shaped it, to document the history of ACOEM, its component societies, and the context in which the national and its component regional organizations developed, and to educate College members, colleagues, and the public on the history and traditions of our field.

Organization: The Section will have a chair and a secretary elected by its members. It will charge nominal dues, seek contributions, and work with ACOEM to identify funding sources for special projects.

Mission: The Section on History and Archives will be the memory and the conscience of the College, preserving and communicating knowledge of the past accurately and in context.

Vision: The Section is the intellectual custodian of the College's past, helping the staff who are physical custodians of the College's historical assets. Together with staff and the elected leadership of the College, the Section's activities and programs will preserve, document, and make accessible the history of our field; contribute to understanding the forces that shaped it, and the events that led us to where we are today; identify lessons to be learned from our past; conserve the historical resources of the College; and apply historical knowledge to the College's present, as in special events and exhibits.  The Section plans to record interviews with the leaders, senior scholars, and major historical figures of occupational and environmental medicine to preserve the history of the field and of ACOEM.

Values: The Section on History and Archives is committed to the principle that for occupational and environmental medicine to know where it is going, it must know where it has been. We believe that history shapes the present and provides positive role models for members, and that insight into past problems and issues helps us to avoid future mistakes. 

Highlighted Activities  
  • The Interview Project: Section members will record interviews with the leaders, senior scholars, and major historical figures of occupational and environmental medicine in order to preserve the history of the field and of ACOEM, both as its national representative and as a major shaping force in the organized field of practice.
  • Hold annual in-person meeting at AOHC.                                                                             
ENTER THE CONTEST                                                                                                               
In conjunction with ACOEM's 108th American Occupational Health Conference, the History and Archives Section is sponsoring an essay competition for medical and APP students. 

In keeping with the location of AOHC 2024, the topic is:
"What was the most significant historical advance in protecting workers from heat-related injuries, and what can we learn from its development to help us protect workers from the changing climate in the future?"

This contest is open to medical students, nurse practitioner students, and physician assistant students. The two students who submitted the winning essays will receive a free conference registration (valued at $375) to the annual conference (AOHC 2024) taking place May 19 – 22 at the Loews Royal Pacific Universal Resort in Orlando, Florida. If a winner is unable to travel to Orlando, they will recieve access to the AOHC Encore 2024 which is the conference recordings.
Essays can be entered for one of two awards:
  • In Person. For students willing to travel to Orlando at their own expense.
    • $500 first prize, $250 second prize
 Top essays from both categories will be published in ACOEM Quarterly!
Submit essays via this Google Form. Deadline is Noon, EST on Friday, March 1, 2023.
  • Essays should describe how occupational and environmental medical practice has protected workers from heat-related injuries in the past, and how we can apply lessons from this history to our changing environment today.
  • Deadline is Noon EST on Friday, March 01, 2024.
  • Essays must be the original and unpublished work of the student.
  • Essays should be four (4) to six (6) pages in length, formatted 8.5” x 11” with 1” margins, double-spaced in 12-point type, with page numbers, and written in English.
  • Essays must include a bibliography of cited sources.
Criteria for Judging

The ACOEM History and Archive Section Essay Committee will determine the winning essays.  Criteria will include:

  • Content
  • Demonstrated understanding of the topic
  • Support for the topic and ideas with research and attribution to sources
  • Presentation
  • Quality of writing – style, clarity, vocabulary, and flow
  • Organization – structure, introduction, and conclusion

Awards shall be given to the best essays submitted based on the criteria set forth above. The awards will be determined at the sole discretion of the committee and such awards shall be final.

Essays will become the property of ACOEM’s History and Archives Section once submitted, and ACOEM will have the right to publish any or all portions of the essays on its website or in other print or electronic publications, along with attribution of the author.

Questions?  Contact our contest coordinator, Pam Krahl,MD. Good luck!