Summer 2023 – Issue 1 Vol 2

Quick Navigation

President’s Insights
Around the States
OEM Images of the Month
OEM Clinical Practice Highlights
Article: Migrant & Seasonal Farmworkers in the Midwest
RECAP: 2023 CSOEMA Spring Seminar
2023 CSOEMA Fall Seminar
Member Spotlight: New ACOEM Fellows
Upcoming Events
Future Conferences Member Survey
In Memoriam: Emily Bannister, MD, MPH, CPH
Resident’s Corner
T-Shirts & Other SWAG
Seeking Volunteers
Support the CSOEMA Foundation
Job Postings

President’s Insight

By Laura E. Breeher, MD, MPH, MS, FACOEM


This year marks the 100th anniversary of CSOEMA, which spans IA, IL, IN, MN, MO, ND, and WI. I’m so thankful to be a part of CSOEMA, which has helped us stay connected and serve workers and industries across our states. I feel especially fortunate to be president this year as we celebrate this milestone for our professional organization!

Thank you to Dr. Will Wong, Editor of the CSOEMA Connection Newsletter, Dr. Anitha Nimmagadda, and Dr. Claudia Corwin for all their work putting together the CSOEMA Connection newsletter. This edition includes articles highlighting many topics relevant to our work, including impacts of climate change on workers, chemical exposures and “forever chemical” contamination of tap water, and increased use of marijuana and the effects of legalization in many states, just to name a few. This week I’m headed “up north” to spend several days in a cabin on the shore of Lake Superior with my husband, father, and three children (15, 11, and 7 years old). I am excited to relax and spend time out in an Adirondack chair reading the many great articles in the CSOEMA Connection with a cup of good coffee 😊.

One of my goals for this year is to help support the current Occupational Medicine residents, the recent grads who are finding their way, and the two residency training programs in our region through CSOEMA. I realize as I’m writing this that I’m officially “mid-career” as I’ve passed the 10th anniversary of graduating residency – yikes, time flies! The Occupational Medicine residency training program I graduated from (at the University of IA) has since sunsetted, but the program’s faculty impacted my career and who I am as a person in so many ways. Dr. Fred Gerr, my former residency director, is still my friend, my mentor, and a shining example of the brilliant & inquisitive doctors who find their way to OccMed. He taught me so many things, from how to truly elicit reflexes on physical exams to how to feel confident advocating for myself early in my career.

I encourage you to read about the remaining two residency programs we have in the CSOEMA states, in IL and MN, which are highlighted in the Residents Corner of the newsletter. This year, for the 100th anniversary of CSOEMA, our conferences will be in those states (MN in the Fall/IL in the Spring), and I hope that every one of the active residents will be able to attend at least one of the conferences and engage with members of CSOEMA.  I want to say a special thank you to the residency directors of these programs, Dr. Kim Hargis (UIC) and Dr. Zeke McKinney (UMN).

In this edition of the CSOEMA Newsletter, you’ll find topics to celebrate and important articles that ground us and remind us that each day we have is a reason to be thankful. I feel fortunate to have been able to attend the memorial for Dr. Emily Bannister, who sadly passed away in March. I encourage you to read In Memoriam, highlighting Emily’s life, and consider donating to support her family’s recovery.

I look forward to connecting with CSOEMA members at the CSOEMA and AOHC conferences this year. If you haven’t yet registered for the Fall CSOEMA Conference in Minneapolis, please take a minute and do that now. It is shaping up to be a great conference.

Grab a popsicle, a cold drink, or a nice cup of coffee, and enjoy the newsletter below!



Around the States







North Dakota


OEM Images of the Month

Canadian wildfire smoke covers midwest cities: Chicago had the world’s worst air quality when fine particulate matter levels reached 254 PM2.5 elevating the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Air Quality Index to “Very Unhealthy”, USA Today, June 27, 2023.  Creator: Grace Hauck. USA Today
Haze envelopes the Minneapolis skyline from smoke drifted over from the wildfires in Canada, Wednesday, June 14, 2023, in Minneapolis. Air quality alerts were issued for parts of Minnesota. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
Tracking Air Quality and Smoke From Wildfires: July 17, 2023. Smoke and haze linger over sections of North America, as polluted air continues to spread from hundreds of wildfires burning throughout Canada. New York Times, accessed July 17, 2023. See the interactive Smoke Maps here. Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Notes: Data is as of 8 a.m. Eastern on July 17. Forecast is based on models and may underestimate smoke because of cloud cover or other obstructions. Contours show estimates of wildfire smoke near the surface.
The average global air temperature was 17.18C (62.9F) on July 4, 2023, according to data collated by the US National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), surpassing the record 17.01C reached on July 3, 2023.
Data charts are found at the Climate Reanalyzer, Climate Change Institute, University of Maine
While all health service industries had sharp drops in employment at the beginning of the pandemic, most had seen an upturn in jobs by the summer of 2020 – an upward trajectory that has largely continued to the present. By June 2023, physicians’ offices, outpatient care centers, home health services, and hospitals employed more people than they had in February 2020. However, employment in these industries is still below expected levels, given pre-pandemic trends. The number of workers employed at skilled nursing care and elder care facilities remains significantly below pre-pandemic levels. Employment in community and assisted living elder care facilities reached a low of 870,000 in January of 2022 and has grown slightly since. However, these facilities had 976,500 employees nationwide in February 2020 but only 946,000 in June 2023 – a 3.1% decrease. Nursing care facilities have seen an 11.1% drop in employment since February 2020. (Note that Current Employment Statistics data from the most recent two months is preliminary and subject to change). Accessed July 25, 2023. Source: KFF Health System Tracker.

This USGS research marks the first time anyone has tested for and compared PFAS in tap water from both private and government-regulated public water supplies on a broad scale throughout the country. Those data were used to model and estimate PFAS contamination nationwide.

OEM Clinical Practice Highlights

Article: Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in the Midwest

By Claudia Corwin, MD, MPH, COM and Kimberly Dukes, PhD, COM

Migrant, and seasonal farmworkers (MSFW) are essential for the national and midwest farm economy. Their hard labor keeps our farms in operation and food on our tables. Heavy media coverage about the high risk of COVID-19 infections among farmworker communities made more people aware of how dependent we are on farmworkers across the country. Nonetheless, most of us know very little about these workers.

The National Center for Farmworker Health estimates there are 2.5-3 million agricultural workers in the United States. Within this group, 19% identify as migrant workers, while 81% are seasonal workers. In Iowa, the majority of these workers are members of Spanish-speaking communities from Mexico and Texas. This year, Iowa Workforce Development anticipates the arrival of approximately 5,000 H-2A visa guest workers during this agricultural season, nearly all of whom will be Spanish-speaking Latino/a/x workers. Many will travel several days on buses and vans to their employment destinations, then immediately begin long days of physical labor in the heat. ey may experience a multitude of occupational exposures and hazards, including dehydration, pesticide exposure, and musculoskeletal injuries. Many workers will be at higher risk for illness due to poorly treated or untreated medical conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

While in the Midwest, workers often live in crowded congregate housing that includes shared bathrooms and communal meal settings. Transportation to and from the fields is often provided with large, poorly ventilated buses. Crowding contributes to an increased risk of transmissible disease.

Resources for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers

Proteus is a Human Resources and Services Administration-funded, primarily mobile, federally qualified community health center that has developed long-standing trusted relationships with farmworkers and farm employers across the state. For over 40 years, Proteus has provided bilingual primary care to migrant and seasonal farmworkers in Iowa.

In addition to providing affordable health care, the Proteus model is centered on support related to multiple social determinants of health. This includes job training, safety training, education development, and food assistance over a larger tri-state region that includes Iowa, Nebraska, and Indiana.

While addressing the day-to-day needs of a critical sector of the Iowa agricultural workforce, Proteus has been a valued partner on several University of Iowa College of Public Health and Carver College of Medicine MSFW research and intervention-based projects.

The University of Iowa and Proteus staff plan to continue working together on behalf of farmworkers in Iowa and adjoining states.  These community-engaged collaborations will continue to collect data, inform policy, and advocate for migrant and seasonal farmworkers who help sustain Iowa’s agricultural economy.

This article was originally published in the Heartland Center for Occupational Health & Safety Quarterly Newsletter Summer 2022


CSOEMA held a successful gathering earlier this year at the 99th Annual 2023 CSOEMA Spring Seminar in Lisle, IL, March 9-11, 2023. The Spring Seminar, held as a hybrid (in-person & online) event, kicked off with a day-long Thursday seminar on Climate Change, where we heard powerful presentations on the science and response to the ongoing climate crisis. We also heard stories of advocacy and hope that inspired us to take action in our communities. The Spring Seminar continued on Friday and Saturday with state-of-the-art presentations on occupational and environmental medicine. The Spring Seminar was an outstanding OEM event, and we look forward to the Fall conference in September and next year’s Spring event in 2024.

From left: William Wong, MD MPH (CSOEMA Immediate Past President), Doug Martin, MD, FACOEM, FAADEP, FAAFP, (Spring Seminar Speaker and ACOEM President 2022-2023), Ismail Nabeel MD, MPH, MS, FACOEM (Spring Seminar Speaker and Associate Professor, Dept of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai).
The Spring Seminar introduced interactive polling to stimulate learning and discussion and to facilitate audience member engagement throughout the event.
Congratulations to Dr. Tom Kibby, recipient of the Dedicated Service Award, and to Dr. Dan Samo, recipient of the National Leadership Award. Both awards were presented at the 99th Annual CSOEMA Spring Seminar in Lisle, IL, in March 2023.
Laura E. Breeher, MD, MPH, MS, FACOEM (CSOEMA President) receives the CSOEMA presidential gavel from William Wong, MD, MPH, FACP, FACOEM (Immediate Past President), during the Presidential installation ceremony at the 99th Annual Spring Seminar.


Registration for the 2023 CSOEMA Fall Seminar is now open. The Fall Seminar will be held September 22-23, 2023, in Minneapolis, MN, at the Rand Tower Hotel. Attend the event for professional enrichment, continuing medical education credits, and fellowship. An Environmental Justice Tour is scheduled for Saturday, 9/23/23, immediately after the last CSOEMA talk. We encourage you to sign up for this unique experience! You can also register guests who may be coming to the conference with you and are interested in going on the tour.  Visit the CSOEMA website to register for this event. Get the special group rate on your hotel reservation by using the group code when making your lodging reservation.

Member Spotlight

We are pleased to announce the following CSOEMA members became ACOEM Fellows at AOHC 2023 in Philadelphia, PA:

Congratulations!  Demonstrate your dedication and leadership in occupational medicine by becoming a Fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (FACOEM). The FACOEM designation is ACOEM’s highest acknowledgment that recognizes years of dedication to exceptional education, leadership, and commitment to the specialty.  Applications for the Class of 2024 are now being accepted! Completed applications and all required documents must be submitted to [email protected] by November 1, 2023. For more information about ACOEM Fellowship, click here.

Zeke Mckinney, MD, MHI, MPH, wrote the article, Health Care Utilization: Finding the right balance, published in the May 2023 edition of Minnesota Physician. Zeke McKinney, MD, MHI, MPH, is the program director of the HealthPartners occupational and environmental medicine residency and an affiliate assistant professor with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in the division of environmental health sciences.

Upcoming Events

CSOEMA 2023 Fall Seminar
(Register here)
Minneapolis, MN
Hyatt Centric
September 22-23, 2023
Medical Review Officer Fast Track Course (13.75 CME)ACOEM OEM Learning CenterOctober 28-29, 2023
CSOEMA 2024 Spring SeminarLisle, ILMarch 7-9, 2024
AOHC 2024Orlando, FloridaMay 19-22, 2024

We are looking for your input to help plan future CSOEMA Seminars. 

We are considering consolidating CSOEMA Seminars into one large conference in the Spring. 

  • Should it be a virtual, in-person, or hybrid event?
  • How many days should it last?
  • Where should conferences take place?

Help us plan for future CSOEMA conferences by taking the survey by clicking here, or go to; or scan the QR code and enter Session ID: 152-356-924. The survey will remain active until March 2024.

In Memoriam: Emily Bannister, MD, MPH, CPH

On March 14, 2023, our friend, fellow CSOEMA Board of Governor, and Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Medical Consultant, Dr. Emily Bannister passed away after a swift and courageous battle with cancer. Dr. Bannister was a brilliant Occupational Medicine physician, a passionate advocate for workers’ mental and physical health, and our very good friend. Emily leaves behind her mother, Barbara, her husband, David, 7-year-old daughter Lucy, and 5-year-old twins, Abby and David Jr.

Emily’s occupational medicine family, alongside her husband and mother, held a memorial gathering on April 24, 2023, at the private clinic Emily and her husband began shortly before her diagnosis. Those who were unable to attend are invited to send cards or donations to the address below for the Workers Clinic to support Emily’s family. Please contact Dr. Liz Medina Alm for more information at 612-590-2001 or [email protected]

Read her full obituary here.

Residents Corner

Congratulations to the 2023 graduates of the Central States Region Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency Programs in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (Health Partners) and in Chicago (UIC).

The seven states represented by the Central States Occupational and Environmental Medicine Association are home to two Occupational and Environmental Medicine residency programs. The HealthPartners Occupational Medicine Residency Program is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the University of Illinois at Chicago Occupational Medicine Residency Program is located in Chicago, Illinois. These programs aim to develop and train preventive medicine physicians in the field of Public Health and Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Please contact the respective residency program directors for more information, or visit the websites listed below.

Kim Hargis, MD, MPH
Program Director, Occupational Medicine Residency Program
University of Illinois at Chicago
835 S. Wolcott, MC 684
Chicago, Illinois 60612
Phone 312-355-3554
fax 312-413-8485
Zeke J. McKinney, MD, MHI, MPH, FACOEM
Program Director, HealthPartners Occupational Medicine Residency Program
HealthPartners West End Clinic
1665 Utica Ave. S., Ste. 100
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
[email protected]
Phone: 952-541-2607 | Fax: 952-541-2626

CSOEMA T-Shirts & Other SWAG

Order your CSOEMA T-shirts and other SWAG! (SWAG = Souvenirs, Wearables, and Gifts) Here’s your chance to own a wearable, functional, and collectible piece of CSOEMA SWAG!  The CSOEMA Store is open!  CSOEMA-branded items are available conveniently online to everyone. The CSOEMA Store offers clothing, drinkware, tote bags, and more. Items are available for purchase and shipping directly to your door. New designs and items will be added regularly.  Shop the online CSOEMA Store today! To access the online store, visit:

Seeking Volunteers

As our regional component professional organization, CSOEMA operates through the support of members who contribute their time and leadership to make the organization successful. We always seek members to serve as Conference Co-Chairs, Board of Governors, and other committee members. Your participation lends your voice to the organization and gives back to the field of Occupational Medicine. Interested?  Let us know by sending an email to [email protected]

Support the CSOEMA Foundation

Don’t forget to support the CSOEMA Foundation by making a charitable donation. Donations made are tax-deductible and support the ongoing work of CSOEMA.
We wanted to inform members that the AmazonSmile program has ended as of February 20, 2023. Read all about the announcement by Amazon and the community reaction here. We are sad to see the program go, as it was a great way to support the Foundation at no extra cost to you through the purchases you made. We wish to sincerely thank everyone who designated the CSOEM Foundation as your charity of choice through AmazonSmile throughout the years.  We thank you for your continued support. 

Job Postings

Northwestern Medicine – Occupational Medicine (Chicagoland)

Physician – Occupational Health. Northwestern Medicine is currently seeking Physicians board certified in Family Medicine, Occupational Medicine, or Emergency Medicine to join our existing Occupational Health clinics. This physician will oversee the patient’s diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of occupational illnesses and/or injuries. This physician will also perform the following tasks: Assess patient’s ability to perform essential functions of their jobs, prepare patients for return to work after illness or injury or may act as a consultant to identify workplace health hazards, examine patients to determine the appropriate course of treatment including and recommended tests and imaging.  Clinical duties include general clinical time, onsite physicals, telehealth evaluations, post-offer physicals, fitness for duty evaluation, and Independent Medical Examinations.

This position should have at least five (5) years of clinical practice in a primary care setting (e.g., family practice, occupational medicine, emergency medicine, etc.) and a minimum of two (2) years of experience in occupational medicine or an employee health clinic setting. Preferred qualifications include MRO and DOT certifications (MRO certification will be required within six months of hire). At least two years experience in public safety medicine, expertise in NFPA and LEO assessments, and Independent Medical Examinations. This position will rotate across our clinics in the Chicagoland area, including downtown, west region, and south region. Additional details and a link to the application site is here.


Advocate Health – Occupational Medicine (Milwaukee)

Milwaukee Occupational Health has an excellent opportunity for an Occupational Medicine physician to join our collegial team.  Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53215

About Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest city: With a county-wide population of nearly a million, Milwaukee offers the best of everything you’d expect to find in a major city while retaining a hometown feel in its many diverse neighborhoods. Culturally, Milwaukee has many options, ranging from performing arts centers, theaters, and museums – including an internationally designed lakefront art museum – to one of the nation’s top 10 zoos. Sophisticated, scenic, affordable, and event-filled, Milwaukee has an impressive array of public and private schools, including UW-Milwaukee and Marquette University, award-winning restaurants, world-class shopping, and one of the most convenient and “user-friendly” international airports in the world.

About Advocate Health: Advocate Health is the 5th largest nonprofit healthcare system in the United States. We are a national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience, and value-based care. Advocate Health has a combined footprint across six states – Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. In Illinois and Wisconsin, we serve nearly 3 million patients annually across over 500 care sites in 27 hospitals. We are a leading employer in the Midwest with a diverse team of over 77,000, including 3,700+ employed physicians and more than 2,000 Advanced Practice Clinicians in our clinician-led medical group.

We are committed to diversity and inclusion every single day and in everything we do. By cultivating an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion, we create a welcoming environment where our patients can heal, our teammates can thrive, and our business can grow. As a teammate, working in a diverse setting allows you the chance to grow in ways that will broaden your perspective to deliver the best possible patient care.

Contact: Jim Brown [email protected]


Advocate Health – Occupational Medicine (Sheboygan)

Sheboygan Occupational Health has an excellent opportunity for an Occupational Medicine physician to join our collegial team. Location: Sheboygan, Wisconsin 53081

About Sheboygan, WI: The spirit on the lake: The city of Sheboygan is located between Lake Michigan and the northern unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest and offers abundant outdoor activities for you and your family. Sheboygan County has world-renowned golf courses, a legendary race track, beautiful marinas, and the state’s only AAA Five Diamond resort. The Sheboygan area provides residents with a family-centered Midwestern lifestyle with award-winning school systems, low crime rates, and an easy commute.

About Advocate Health: Advocate Health is the 5th largest nonprofit healthcare system in the United States. We are a national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience, and value-based care. Advocate Health has a combined footprint across six states – Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. In Illinois and Wisconsin, we serve nearly 3 million patients annually across over 500 care sites in 27 hospitals. We are a leading employer in the Midwest with a diverse team of over 77,000, including 3,700+ employed physicians and more than 2,000 Advanced Practice Clinicians in our clinician-led medical group.

We are committed to diversity and inclusion every single day and in everything we do. By cultivating an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion, we create a welcoming environment where our patients can heal, our teammates can thrive, and our business can grow. As a teammate, working in a diverse setting allows you the chance to grow in ways that will broaden your perspective to deliver the best possible patient care.

Contact: Jim Brown: [email protected]


Are you interested in posting a job listing with CSOEMA?

Job postings will be listed on both the CSOEMA website and the CSOEMA Connection Newsletter and distributed once via email to the CSOEMA membership. Please send an email to: [email protected]

For members or sponsors:

For unaffiliated individuals/organizations:

CSOEMA Executive Committee
Laura Breeher, MD, MPH, MS, FACOEM, President
Francine Katz, DO, MPH, FACOEM, President-Elect
Isabel Pereira, DO, MPH, MSA, Vice President
Malgorzata B. Hasek, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACOEM, Secretary-Treasurer
William Wong, MD, MPH, FACP, FACOEM, Immediate Past President

CSOEMA Connection Editorial Staff
William Wong, MD, MPH, FACP, FACOEM, Editor
Claudia Corwin, MD, MPH, FACOEM, Associate Editor
Anitha Nimmagadda, MD, MPH, Associate Editor

The CSOEMA Connection newsletter is the collaborative effort of CSOEMA members. It is a way for us to celebrate our members’ work, discuss important issues, and share information to support our mission. Allow your voice to be heard by contributing to this newsletter. If you have ideas for themes of future newsletter issues, have a tip for us about something (or someone) to feature, or just to let us know how we are doing, please reach out. Please send any contributions, questions, or comments to [email protected], or contact Susan Rittenhouse, CSOEMA Executive Director, at [email protected]