- Published on Tuesday, 17 November 2009 16:56
Kerry Souza, a BUSPH alumna who earned her MPH in environmental health in 1998, has been awarded the 2009 Lorin Kerr Award for Activism by the Occupational Health and Safety Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA).
Souza, ScD, is an expert in occupational health disparities and work-related medical conditions among minority and immigrant workers. She previously worked in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Occupational Disease Surveillance Program. She is now an epidemiologist with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies.
"Dr. Souza has devoted her energy and passion for occupational health to APHA's Occupational Health and Safety Section for the last several years," the APHA said in announcing the award. "Her spirit of participation, inclusive nature, and passion for improving workplace conditions for the most vulnerable, reflect the history of the OHS Section."
As a member of the OHS Section, Souza has served in a number of capacities, including secretary, counselor and program committee chair. She co-founded and organized the Occupational Health Disparities Institute (OHDI), a special offering at the annual meeting that constitutes a vital part of the OHS Section's Scientific Program, offering presentations regarding disparities in occupational health and safety.
During her tenure at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Souza conducted an innovative program working with community health centers to enhance their ability to recognize and treat work-related injuries and illnesses among low-income, minority and immigrant workers.
The Lorin Kerr Award honors the long-time director of health and safety for the United Mine Workers, who exemplified professional competence in advocating for prevention of occupational diseases such as black lung disease in coal miners. The award recognizes a younger activist for his or her sustained and outstanding efforts and dedication to improve the lives of workers.
The OHS Section of the APHA is one of the organization's oldest "? established in 1914 "? and is comprised of individuals working to protect and advance workers' rights to healthy and safe workplaces.
Submitted by Lisa Chedekel