11th Annual ADAO International Asbestos Awareness Conference

Where Knowledge and Action Unite
April 17 – 19, 2015
Washington, D.C.

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Posted on March 9, 2015

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) is proud to present a new weekly series” Meet the Speakers, Honorees, and Leadership,” highlighting one or several attendees at our highly-anticipated 11th Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference!  The ADAO Conference, which will take place on April 17-19, 2015 in Washington, DC, combines over 30 expert opinions, victims’ stories, and new technological advancements from more than 10 countries into one united voice raised for asbestos awareness.  ADAO is the only U.S. nonprofit that organizes annual conferences dedicated solely to preventing exposure and eliminating asbestos-caused diseases.  Register today!  This week, we are featuring our Session III Moderator: Dr. Brad Black and Speakers: Mark Catlin, Geoff Fary, Celeste Monforton, DrPH, Patrick Morrison, and Domani Tripam 


bradDr. Brad Black has been the Medical Director and CEO for the Center for Asbestos and Related Disease in Libby, Montana since 2000. He has been a physician in the Libby medical community since 1977 and became the Lincoln County Health Officer in 1984. Beginning in 1999, he worked closely with Dr. Alan Whitehouse, a Spokane, WA pulmonologist, for 9 years. Since 2000, Dr. Black has had the opportunity to care for thousands of patients and this longitudinal observation of progressive pleural fibrosis has led to a clear characterization of Libby amphibole asbestos disease. CARD continues to provide asbestos health screening and care to a population with significant Libby Amphibole exposure and related diseases. In 2008 he presented at the National Institute of Health/National Cancer Institute about the progressive pleural fibrosis and mesothelioma identified in those exposed to Libby amphibole asbestos. He was instrumental in initiating research on Libby amphibole asbestos health effects. His work has expanded into research leading to an association with pulmonologists and occupational medicine specialists from multiple academic centers around the U.S. In 2010, Dr. Black became an adjunct professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. He has collaborated on a number of professional journal publications, and most recently he participated in a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences working group that developed a publication on the non- neoplastic, pleural endpoints. Today, Dr. Black continues his dedicated efforts to providing excellent healthcare, outreach, and research for asbestos related diseases.

Mark Catlin, Service Employees International Union, is the Occupational Health and Safety Director for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), representing two million healthcare, service and public workers in the United States and Canada.  As an industrial hygienist and health and safety activist, beginning in 1981, he has been involved with asbestos issues over his entire career, from investigating asbestos problems at worksites, schools and homes; to conducting EPA and OSHA asbestos training for thousands of workers and managers; to assisting unions with bargaining for asbestos protections for their members and working for strong public policies to eliminate asbestos use and exposure. From 1987-89, he served on the Alaska Department of Labor’s  Asbestos Standard Advisory Committee tasked with drafting a worker asbestos standard for Alaska more protective than the then existing OSHA standard.  In the early 1990s, he worked at the Harborview Occupational Medicine Clinic at the University of Washington and conducted many occupational histories for workers with asbestos-related disease.   In 2006, he created a YouTube Channel of Workplace and Environmental Health and Safety Film Clips as a resource for educators and trainers ( http://www.youtube.com/markdcatlin?feature=mhum ).  This channel contains more than 1,000 films and films clips of primarily public domain material from 1912 to 2000, on a wide range of workplace and environmental health and safety topics, including more than 100 dealing with asbestos.

Geoff Fary has an unusual combination of background and experiences. From 2010 to 2012, he was the independent Chairman of the Australian Asbestos Management Review. Elected Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Assistant Secretary in 2007, and re-elected in 2009, he previously had responsibility for the national peak council’s policy on OH&S – including asbestos. He had earlier worked as a farm labourer, sheep shearer, administrator, Victorian Director of the Australian Trade Union Training Agency (TUTA), Chief of Staff to a Federal Cabinet Minister, Human Resources Director and company director with George Weston Foods Limited, CEO of Industrial Relations Victoria, Employee Relations Manager at Nestle Australia and Executive Director of the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia (APESMA). Geoff is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and serves on the Board of the Australian Institute of Management.

Dr. Celeste Monfortan

Celeste Monforton, DrPH, MPH is a professorial lecturer in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services.  Her research includes assessment of worker health and safety laws and policies, and their effectiveness in protecting workers from illnesses, disability and death.  She has published articles on strategies used by economic interests to manipulate scientific evidence to create uncertainty about health risks in order to delay protective regulatory action.  Prior to her academic appointment, Dr. Monforton was a federal employee at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA, 1991-1995) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA, 1996-2001). Dr. Monforton served on the special panels appointed by the West Virginia Governor to investigate the January 2006 Sago coal mine disaster that took the lives of 12 workers, and the April 2010 disaster at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 workers.  Dr. Monforton is an active member of the American Public Health Association, and she has served in a leadership position with the organization’s Occupational Health and Safety Section.

Patrick Morrison_editedPatrick Morrison is the Assistant to the General President for Occupational Health, Safety and Medicine at the IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters).  Mr. Morrison’s expertise is in the design and implementation of health, safety and wellness programs to improve overall physical and mental health, address our members medical needs and increase their survivability.  In his previous positions with IAFF, he was responsible for all aspects of the union’s education, training and human relations programs throughout the US and Canada, as well as fire service occupational health and safety standards, such as protective clothing and infectious diseases. Prior to joining the IAFF, Mr. Morrison was a career fire fighter for 21 years with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in Fairfax, Virginia.

DomaniDomani M. Tripam became involved with ADAO after her “SuperDad” was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2011. She is passionate about educating others about their risks of asbestos exposure and ways to protect themselves and their families as well as supporting ADAO in their efforts to create change for all who have been affected by asbestos. Her family formed Mesothelioma Heroes Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness of asbestos and funds for mesothelioma research, of which she is a member of the Board of Directors as well as the Executive Director. Domani and her family are currently planning their Second Annual I Know A Superhero Family Fun Festival in support of University of Chicago Medicine’s Mesothelioma Program and ADAO. Domani is an administrative and marketing services professional with over 25 years of senior level administrative experience in various industries including analytics, consulting, market research, event fundraising, legal, financial and professional services, executive recruiting, consumer products and corporate real estate.


Check back next week for the seventh “Meet the Speakers, Honorees, and ADAO Leadership” blog featuring to our amazing Session IV speakers: Moderator: Celeste Monforton, DrPH and Speakers: Syed Mezab Ahmed, The Brazilian Labour Public Ministry, Barry Castleman ScD, Fernanda Giannasi, Dr. Philippe Gomes Jardim, Barry Robson, Cameron Von St James, and Yvonne Waterman, PhD

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The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO),  a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, does not make legal referrals.