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ORAU’s Toohey Becomes President of Health Physics Society

Aug. 28, 2008

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Dr. Dick Toohey, director of ORAU’s Dose Reconstruction Programs, recently became the new president of the Health Physics Society (HPS) during the society’s annual meeting held this summer. Dr. Toohey’s term runs until next July.

HPS is a scientific and professional organization of occupational and environmental radiation safety specialists. The society supports its members in the practice of their profession and promotes public information preparation and dissemination, education and training opportunities. It also conducts a program to accredit radiation instrumentation calibration laboratories.

Dr. Toohey’s health physics background is primarily in internal dosimetry, which is the estimation of radiation doses people receive from intakes of radioactive materials. He began his career in 1973 at Argonne National Laboratory studying the radiation intakes of workers from the 1920s as well as others exposed to radiation while performing their jobs. In 1987, he moved from research to operations, accepting a position as health physics manager at Argonne. He joined ORAU in 1994 as director of the Radiation Internal Dose Information Center, which focused on dose calculations for radiopharmaceuticals. He became director of the dose reconstruction project in 2002 for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and then handed off the day-to-day management of that project to become director of ORAU’s Dose Reconstruction Programs.

Enhancing education efforts will be Dr. Toohey’s priority as HPS president. “My plans and goals are to improve the effectiveness of our public information efforts, because our major concern has to be education,” he said. “First responders, health care providers and the general public are all concerned about issues such as dirty bombs, radioactive waste disposal, nuclear power plants, medical exposures, indoor radon and radioactive consumer products. A special outreach is to science teachers, helping them to introduce their students to radiation concepts, measurements, uses and safety.”

As HPS president, Dr. Toohey will also serve as Chair of the organization’s Board of Directors, and represent the HPS to other professional societies, government officials, educational institutions, industry and stakeholder groups, and the public. 

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Richard E. Toohey

Dr. Toohey assumed his duties as President of HPS at the society's 53rd annual meeting held this summer.
High-resolution version of photo

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