Meritorious Achievement Award

2021 Meritorious Achievement Awardee

The Meritorious Achievement Award is given to members of ACGIH® who have made outstanding, long-term contributions to the field of occupational health and environmental hygiene. The recipient of this year’s Meritorious Achievement Award is Mary V. O’Reilly, PhD, CIH, CPE.

Dr. Mary O’Reilly received doctorate in Human Anatomy and Cell Biology from the University of Michigan. Her post-doctoral work was in chemical viral co-carcinogenicity at Upstate Medical University. In the mid-eighties she transitioned to applied science as an environmental toxicologist at Syracuse Research Corporation, and later as an industrial hygienist, ergonomist and environmental specialist working for New York State for 23 years. As a New York State employee, she had the opportunity in the nineties to join the School of Public Health in the University at Albany where she taught Environmental Physiology, Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Ergonomics, and, recently, a survey course From Cholera to Cancer. She is currently developing a workplace health course for 2022. After leaving state service she worked for a local concrete company, developed and taught Principles of Environmental Sustainability at Empire State College and was one of the founding members of Workplace Health Without Borders (WHWB) and is its current president. She continues to consult through ARLS Consultants where she is president.

Her many publications and presentations cover a range of subjects including human health risk assessment, back injuries in nursing personnel, water quality issues associated with highways and hydrofracking and life cycle analysis. An overarching focus of her work explores how human perception and cognition affect decision making and managing risk, how transferred risk affects human health, how building occupational health capacity can improve worker health and how consumers in developed countries have the power to affect worker wellbeing throughout the supply chain. Her first book, Teen Health From Head to Toe: Exploring the Issues and Risks, was published in 2020.

Mary is a Certified Industrial Hygienist, a Certified Professional Ergonomist and a fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association. She is a long-standing member of ACGIH and is particularly proud of serving on the Board of Directors when Dr. Beverly Cohen was Chair. She is grateful for the incredible amount she learned from the Biological Exposure Indices (BEI) Committee under the leadership of Dr. Larry Lowry and Dr. Glenn Talaska when she served as board liaison. Another of her many wonderful memories while serving on the board is getting acquainted with the Bloomfield Award winner, Dr. Lauralynn Taylor McKernan.

Previous Award Recipients

  • 1957 — Members of the Industrial Ventilation Committee (past and present)
  • 1958 — Members of the Committee on Threshold Limits (past and present)
  • 1959 — Lester M. Petrie, MD
  • 1960 — Thomas F. Mancuso, MD
  • 1961 — Hervey B. Elkins, PhD, CIH
  • 1962 — No award presented
  • 1963 — George Hama
  • 1964 — Victoria Trasko
  • 1965 — Herbert E. Stokinger, PhD
  • 1966 — John C. Soet
  • 1967 — Andrew D. Hosey, CIH
  • 1968 — William G. Fredrick, ScD
  • 1969 — John J. Bloomfield
  • 1970 — Catherine Chambers, RN
  • 1971 — E. Lynn Schall
  • 1972 — Marcus M. Key, MD
  • 1973 — Warren A. Cook
  • 1974 — U.S. Army Environmental Hygiene Agency
  • 1975 — Edward Baier, CIH
  • 1976 — Henry N. Doyle, CIH
  • 1977 — Members of the Threshold Limit Values for Physical Agents (TLV-PA) Committee (past and present)
  • 1978 — James C. Barrett
  • 1979 — Charles D. “Pete” Yaffe, CIH
  • 1980 — Duncan A. Holaday, CIH
  • 1981 — Christine Einert, MD
  • 1982 — Dohrman H. Byers, CIH
  • 1983 — Mary Louise Brown
  • 1984 — Irving H. Davis, CIH
  • 1985 — Harry J. Ettinger, CIH
  • 1986 — Herbert H. Jones, CIH
  • 1987 — William D. Wagner
  • 1988 — William D. Kelley
  • 1989 — Vera Fiserova-Bergerova Thomas, PhD
  • 1990 — Vernon E. Rose, DrPH, CIH
  • 1991 — Robert L. Harris, PhD
  • 1992 — Charles E. Adkins, CIH
  • 1993 — Jeffrey S. Lee, PhD, CIH
  • 1994 — R. Jerry Sherwood, SM, CIH, CEng (UK)
  • 1995 — Howard E. Ayer, CIH
  • 1996 — John Doull, PhD, MD
  • 1997 — William D. Wagner
  • 1998 — Sidney Case Soderholm, PhD, and James H. Vincent, PhD, DSc
  • 1999 — Dave K. Verma, PhD, CIH, ROH
  • 2000 — William Burgess
  • 2001 — Morton Corn, Ph.D., CSP
  • 2002 — Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances (TLV-CS) Committee (past and present members) and the Industrial Hygiene Section of the Hazard Evaluations and Technical Assistance Branch (HETAB) of NIOSH (past and present members)
  • 2003 — Scott E. Merkle, CIH
  • 2004 — Morton Lippmann, PhD, CIH
  • 2005 — Robert T. Hughes, MSME, PE
  • 2006 — Patrick N. Breysse, PhD, CIH
  • 2007 — Lisa M. Brosseau, ScD, CIH
  • 2008 — Michael S. Morgan, ScD, CIH
  • 2009 — Gyan S. Rajhans, ROH, CIH, PE
  • 2010 — Patricia Stewart, PhD, CIH
  • 2011 — Jimmy L. Perkins, PhD, CIH
  • 2012 — John M. Dement, PhD, CIH
  • 2013 — Carol Rice, PhD, CIH
  • 2014 — Beverly S. Cohen, PhD
  • 2015 — D. Jeff Burton, MS, PE
  • 2016 — Stephen J. Reynolds, PhD, CIH, FAIHA
  • 2017 — J. Torey Nalbone, PhD, CIH, FAIHA
  • 2018 — Robert F. Herrick, ScD, CIH
  • 2019 — Lynn C. O’Donnell, CIH
  • 2020 — Thomas J. Armstrong, PhD, CIH