Congratulations to our 2024 AAOHN Awardees

AAOHN Fellows



Lori Burke is an expert in occupational health and safety, specializing in case management and wellness programs for diverse workforces. She has significantly improved employee well-being through her extensive experience and dedication.

Lori has lectured across Massachusetts on effective case management for injury claims, addressing both standard workers and first responders like police and fire employees. Her expertise in workers’ compensation laws makes her a sought-after consultant.

At Tufts University, Lori instituted a wellness program inspired by the U.S. Surgeon General’s Framework for Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being, enhancing the mental health of staff and students.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lori authored educational materials for mariners, covering vessel hygiene, hand hygiene, COVID-19 information, and vaccination importance. Her efforts ensured mariner safety during this challenging time.

Lori Burke's multifaceted approach and commitment to occupational health and wellness highlight her exceptional contributions to the field.

Shanna S. Dunbar, BSN, RN, COHN-S, FAAOHN

Shanna Dunbar is an accomplished leader in occupational health, known for her expertise in implementing the Total Worker Health® (TWH®) methodology. She serves on the Events Committee for the Society of Total Worker Health, ensuring that educational offerings are tailored to employers.

As Treasurer of the Northeast Ohio Association of Occupational Health Nurses (NOAOHN) since the late 1990s, Shanna has shown long-term dedication to advancing occupational health nursing. She is also the founder of Workplace Health Inc., which focuses on Ohio BWC grant programs, substance abuse prevention, and transitional work programs.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Shanna directed a team of ten nurses, managing the health of 17,000 essential workers. Her leadership and innovative health programs continue to significantly impact worker well-being in Northeast Ohio and beyond.

Jean Eichenberger, MS, RN, COHN-S/CM, FAAOHN  

Jean Eichenberger is the Associate Director of Occupational Health Outreach at the University of Illinois. She provides direction and oversight for the Occupational Health and Workers’ Compensation program for the University of Illinois Hospital and the entire UIC campus.

Jean manages UIC’s Zero Harm program, which focuses on reducing major types of injuries to healthcare workers, including sharps injuries, slips, trips, falls, and patient handling incidents. She also oversees efforts to address emerging workplace violence issues.

Additionally, Jean led an initiative for the University of Illinois Hospital's Patient Safety Committee, performing a Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) to identify strategies for reducing sharps injuries in the operating room. Her leadership has significantly enhanced the safety and well-being of healthcare workers at UIC.

Margaret Finucane, RN, COHN-S/CM, FAAOHN

Margaret Finucane is a leading nursing educator and occupational health expert. In 2023, as Nursing Educator for the Rochester Regional Work Ready program, she developed key certification courses such as "Reasonable Suspicion Training," "Drug Testing for Hair," "Breath Alcohol Testing," and "DOT/NON-DOT Urine Collection" for staff, supervisors, and external clients.

Margaret also created educational materials on patient rights and the roles of occupational health nursing students and medical faculty, enhancing the knowledge and advocacy skills of healthcare providers.

In 2022, she was a Keynote Speaker at the South America Conference of Medical Staff in Brasilia, Brazil, where she discussed disaster preparedness with doctors, nurses, US Marines, first responders, and embassy staff. Her expertise has significantly impacted emergency readiness and occupational health training.

Carolyn R. Smith, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAOHN

Carolyn Smith is a prominent figure in occupational health, specializing in the development of educational programs and advocacy for worker well-being. She played a key role in creating a new Total Worker Health® (TWH®) course for students in Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing (OEHN) and related programs, enhancing the curriculum to better prepare future professionals.

Carolyn received funding from NIOSH to develop a comprehensive strategy aimed at improving the mental health and well-being of employees in long-term care organizations. This multi-component approach addresses the unique challenges faced by this sector, promoting a healthier work environment.

As a member of the NIOSH Healthcare and Social Assistance Sector Council, Carolyn advocates for policies addressing workplace violence, worker mental health, and the needs of low-wage workers. Her efforts have significantly contributed to advancing occupational health standards and worker protection.

Stewardship Award

Colleen Hruska, RN, COHN-S

Colleen Hruska is a highly accomplished professional in occupational health and safety. She developed criteria for Apogee Enterprise's onsite post-offer physicals, resulting in cost savings of over $40,000 in one year. Colleen also initiated onsite classes for associates to become Industrial First Responders, training more than 60 associates every two years. Additionally, she serves on the Board of Directors of the Marathon County Council of Safety, contributing to community safety initiatives and policies.

Business Recognition Award

CPS Energy

CPS Energy is a leader in workplace safety, integrating the Total Worker Health® (TWH®) approach company-wide. The occupational health team is deeply involved in strategic planning and the development of policies and procedures, ensuring safety is prioritized at every level.

The company allocates an annual budget of over $800,000 for medical surveillance testing, equipment updates, medical supplies, and other essential tools for the occupational health department. This investment underscores CPS Energy's commitment to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.

Additionally, CPS Energy has revamped its safety processes to foster greater employee interaction with the occupational health team. This change enhances engagement opportunities, demonstrating the organization's dedication to safety and highlighting the critical role of the occupational health team in its safety vision.

Chapter Education Award: Best Short Activity

Northeast Ohio Association of Occupational Health Nurses

The Northeast Ohio Association of Healthcare Nurses (NOAOHN) is dedicated to advancing healthcare excellence in the region. In a recent in-person meeting, NOAOHN hosted an enlightening session titled "Peace Management," presented by author Gina Marie McKee, MSN, RN. Attendees earned 1.0 contact hour while delving into the pathophysiology of stress and its direct impacts on the body. McKee elucidated the disparities between stress management and Peace Management, offering techniques to mitigate stress responses and foster tranquility. NOAOHN continues to champion professional development and well-being within the healthcare community.

Chapter Education Award: Best-Multi-Day Activity

North Carolina Association of Occupational Health Nurses

The North Carolina Association of Occupational Health Nurses (NCAOHN) is committed to advancing workplace safety and health through education and collaboration. In its Spring Conference held from April 19 - 21, 2023, at the Crowne Plaza in Asheville, NC, NCAOHN focused on the theme "Providing a Safe Workplace: Dealing with Aggressive Behaviors and Substance Use."

The conference covered a wide range of occupational health topics, including updates on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, strategies for preventing aggressive situations in the workplace, and addressing the opioid epidemic. Attendees also gained insights into pain management for acute and chronic pain, addiction treatment recommendations, drug screening protocols, medical marijuana policies, and the methamphetamine epidemic.

With a comprehensive agenda totaling 12.0 contact hours for attendees who participated in all sessions, NCAOHN continues to be a leading platform for professionals dedicated to promoting safety and well-being in the workplace.

Golden Pen Award: Research

Workplace Health and Safety Journal article: Healthcare Workers' Adherence and Attitudes Toward the Adherence to COVID-19 Precautionary Guidelines Post-Vaccination: A Cross-Sectional Pilot Study

Authors: Dania M. Abu-Alhaija, PhD, RN, and Gordon Lee Gillespie, PhD, DNP, RN, FAAN



Golden Pen Award: Professional Practice

Workplace Health and Safety Journal article: Peer Support Programs to Reduce Organizational Stress and Trauma for Public Safety Workers: A Scoping Review

Authors: Pamela Fallon, Lisa A. Jaegers, Yuan Zhang, Alicia G. Dugan, Martin Cherniack, Mazen El Ghaziri