U Occupational Environmental Health Director Appointed to Chair National Practice Guidelines Committee

U Occupational Environmental Health Director Appointed to Chair National Practice Guidelines Committee

Nov 14, 2005 5:00 PM

Kurt T. Hegmann, M.D., M.P.H., director of the University of Utahs Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, has been appointed to head the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicines (ACOEM) Practice Guidelines Committee.

The ACOEM Practice Guides, established in 1997, are peer-reviewed guidelines for the treatment of common musculoskeletal conditions, such as back pain or shoulder tendinitis. The Guidelines current edition (2nd) has been accepted in California as presumptively correct on the issue of extent and scope of medical treatment of Workers Compensation cases. Adoption of the Guidelines has been largely credited for a 35 percent reduction in workers compensation costs in California.

Hegmann, associate professor of family and preventive medicine at the U of U medical school, said the Practice Guidelines are the premier authoritative source for information on the treatment of common conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, knee sprains, back pain or pinched nerves. Other states are examining formally adopting the Guides.

Founded in 1977, the RMCOEH center is staffed by U researchers in the Departments of Family and Preventive Medicine and Mechanical Engineering and has trained more than 330 graduate students since inception, including 2,600 continuing education students annually.

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