HPS 66th Annual Meeting

Phoenix, Arizona
July 25th-29th 2021

Single Session

[Schedule Grid]

TAM-D - Special Session: Be A Part of the Future

North 226ABC   09:00 - 11:45

TAM-D.1   09:00  Engage! Give Memorable HPS Presentations M Mahathy*, ORAU

Abstract: You completed great research. You have a hot topic to present. Yet without engaging your audience you risk losing them or just giving a presentation soon to be forgotten. As part of our strategic plan the Health Physics Society (HPS) has developed oral presentation guidelines that will help you not only engage your audience but will make your presentations memorable and bring your listeners back to hear your future presentations. HPS has included for the first time in these guidelines options for you to engage your audience using live links and interactive polling. This presentation shows how to develop an engaging presentation and things to avoid. Be memorable. Do more than just give another meeting talk. Engage!

TAM-D.2   09:15  Fighting Risk Communication on a Future Battlefield DA Sowers*, Retired ; DA SOWERS

Abstract: Talking “radiation” with most folks puts the health physicist at uncomfortable odds of defeat when attempting to convey the safe, beneficial (and sometimes life-saving) uses of radiation throughout society. We are well-equipped with lots of factoids and knowledge, yet still battle from the low ground against images of mushroom clouds and cancer; microcephaly and green skin; spider bites and super-human strength. In our attempts as radiation protection professionals to take the hill and successfully communicate risk (or, more commonly, the lack thereof), we often find ourselves undermined by talking science and fact to emotion in the most difficult of situations. Confounding this effort are the very regulations and doctrine – that is, the linear non-threshold model and the ALARA principle – we promote and follow daily in our jobs. This frustrating Catch-22 contests our position because in the simplest sense our regulations based on the LNT model and our adherence to ALARA are contradictory, not complimentary. Why have a federal limit of 50 mSv per year if the true goal is ZERO? This talk is designed to engage the audience in thinking exercises and confront the truth that “the way we’ve always done it” may not be the best way for the future. There are tactics we can use today while LNT and ALARA challenge our efforts; and tactics to use down the road once we untangle ourselves from our Catch-22. We will muster intelligence from an understanding of how the brain operates, strategically position forces to outmaneuver hostile emotions, and peer into what is required to build a fleet of communicators poised to lead our profession to an impending victory.

TAM-D.3   09:30  Radiation Communications: Why I Love My Job JS Wieder*, U.S. EPA

Abstract: It is rare to have the opportunity to explain why you are passionate about your work and, hopefully, spread that passion to those around you. My background as a radiation protection professional is unique. I did not pursue a science education and I do not have an advanced degree. My college degree is in public affairs. Fate landed me in the world of radiation protection. Sixteen years later, I am running a radiation communications team at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and sitting on the Board of Directors for the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement. I hope to show that being in the field of radiation protection means that you are an emergency responder, a public health professional, a risk assessor, a researcher, an economist, a geologist, and even a psychologist. While my background is unique, the aspects of the job that motivate me are themes I have heard repeatedly from those working in radiation protection: the work is interesting; the community is special; and we get to help people.

TAM-D.4   09:45  Be Part of the Future: The Future of Your Professional Society EA Caffrey*, Radian Scientific, LLC

Abstract: The Health Physics Society’s Public Information Committee (PIC) is composed of nine cohesive members, a chair, and a board representative. Don’t let those low n-population numbers deceive you; since our last meeting in Orlando, the PIC has produced and edited fact sheets, aligned the definition of health physics across multiple platforms, produced educational videos, published a trifold recruiting brochure certain to attract new talent, coordinated efforts with the Science Support Committee to develop a speaker’s bureau, and launched a social media campaign. The wildly popular Ask-The-Experts section has garnered questions from across the world—and the answers produced by our experts in the Society do their part to bring health physics into a positive light in the eyes of those who view it. Not bad for an intrinsically motivated cadre of volunteers also working full-time jobs! This interactive talk dips your toes into the water of readily available, freely accessible to all public information and education, quenches your knowledge thirst with herculean efforts on the social media front, and finally plunges you headfirst into a welcoming sea in a call for action: Get involved in YOUR society!

TAM-D.5   10:00  Mentors in Health Physics KE Berry*, Fox Chase Cancer Center

Abstract: What is a Mentor? Do you have one? Do you want one? Are they only for students? What is my role as a mentee? What is my role as a mentor? Have questions? I have answers. The Health Physics Society is actively looking into ways to strengthen our Mentor program. There are many Health Physics Society members that are interested in mentoring other HPS members whether you are new to Health Physics, looking to change career paths, or you are interested in learning what it means to be active and serve in the Health Physics Society. A successful mentoring relationship can potentially influence the trajectory of a career. This presentation will highlight the current mentor program and a look to the future vision of mentorship within the Health Physics Society.

10:15  BREAK

TAM-D.6   10:45  Introducing the Subject Matter Expert (SME) Resource for HPS Members TD Taulbee*, HPS Board of Directors

Abstract: The Subject Matter Expert (SME) Resource is a new tool for all Health Physics Society (HPS) Members through the Members Only section of our website. The goal of this resource is to improve communications and scientific exchange amongst members. The resource enables current HPS members to self-identify as subject matter experts on a particular radiation topic by updating their HPS member profile. A key feature is that members indicate the degree or level they are willing to participate in the resource. For example, is the SME willing to serve and answer questions on the radiation topic posed by other HPS members? If so, this facilitates a networking component in which other members learn about other SMEs. Is the SME also willing to answer questions from members of the public? If so, this will help build and supply the pipeline or future resource for Ask the Experts (ATE). Is the SME willing to answer media questions or Assist Web Operations inquiries? Finally, is the SME willing to give oral presentations at HPS Chapters on the particular subject or topic. If so, this will help HPS Chapter support and/or populate a Speaker’s Bureau. The SME resource is a searchable database that will limit the results to only those members who agree to be contacted on a particular topic and at a particular level. The resource was initially populated using the specialty categories defined by the Membership Committee but is expected to be expanded as the resource develops over the next few years. Again, a major feature of this resource is that individual members can opt into and out of the SME resource at any time by simply updating their HPS member profile. As a result, the resource should be current at all times with very low maintenance. To keep the resource current, members will be asked each year when they renew their dues if they want to continue to be part of the resource and encouraged to update their profile. This presentation will include a short Question and Answer (Q&A) component to address members questions about this resource.

TAM-D.7   11:00  Should we encourage students to join our field? Case studies from recent HP graduates across the country CA Wilson*, University of Missouri ; RP Nichols, University of Missouri

Abstract: When asked for career advice from a student, supporting the growth of the health physics field is often an automatic instinct. But is this good advice? Since 2002, the Health Physics Society has been trying to address a downward trend of student and graduate membership within the society. With efforts such as the creation of a student support committee, student membership has increased. However, there is a decline in membership immediately after finishing school. Because membership cost was anticipated to be the likely culprit of this decline in graduate membership, a gradual increase system was implemented. Unfortunately, graduate membership remains a weak point for the society. Despite the Where are the Radiation Professionals (WARP) initiative anticipating a need of 6700 professionals in radiation safety, job scarcity is sometimes assumed to be another cause of this membership drop. When early career professionals are asked about their job-hunting experience, jokes are common about typical “entry-level” advertisements that require a decade of experience. To determine whether job scarcity is a casual factor of the decline in graduate membership, a survey was sent to several recent graduates from health physics programs in the United States. This presentation covers the students’ experiences entering the radiation safety work force and includes an introduction to HPS’ newest section, the early-career professionals.

TAM-D.8   11:15  COVID-19: A Paradigm Change? JM Mahathy*, ORAU

Abstract: In spring 2020 Health Physics Society (HPS) had prepared both a technical program and continuing education for the planned annual meeting to be held at National Harbor. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic and an enormous risk to public health. Most states and cities imposed safe-at-home orders while many companies and federal agencies suspended travel. HPS leadership was faced with an immediate and immense dilemma. Should the annual meeting be canceled? Should the annual meeting be proposed? Should the Society conduct some form of virtual workshop or training? In May Leadership ran a poll where a majority of you chose to conduct a series of sessions as a virtual meeting and virtual training. Over the course of about two months the Program and Continuing Education Committees, starting from scratch, put together the first complete virtual HPS meeting complete with professional enrichment courses. Prior to the situation wrought by a pandemic this author and others had planted seeds for some virtual interactions. From a survey conducted in 2016 some members indicated some virtual component at HPS meetings would be useful for members that could not travel. In 2018 one HPS strategic goal was focused on maximizing benefit to users. One of the recommendations that followed called for piloting a live-streamed session. In fact one of the sessions is as this very one, originally scheduled for the 2020 annual meeting. Face it though, change is slow. The Society tends to use the paradigms that worked in the past; we are planted by our successes. Yet, due to COVID-19 our Society took a giant leap into the future. Where do we go from here? Do we return to the meeting and training models of yesterday; models that work but may not maximize benefit to you? Let’s not turn around. This presentation recommends options for future meetings and training for consideration of future leadership. Your input will be valuable as well. Welcome to the future.

TAM-D.9   11:30  HPS Strategic Plan Goals - How Do We Get There From Here? MA Lewandowski*, HPS Strategic Planning Advisor

Abstract: HPS needs to transform to meet the needs of tomorrow's stakeholders. The Board of Directors has articulated the aspirational endpoint as "HPS will be the home for radiation safety specialists and the trusted source of radiation safety information that enables the safe use of radiation to improve people’s lives." The Board has established a series of Short Term Goals to guide us on our journey and created Annual Priorities to focus our efforts for the operational year (Annual Meeting to Annual Meeting). This presentation will review the goals and annual priorities for the current operational year and discuss the goals and annual priorities for the coming year with particular emphasis on the Board's intent behind the coming year's strategic plans.

[back to schedule]