Aruna VadgamaIn recognition of her commitment to professional excellence, and dedication to the safety profession, the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recently named member Aruna Vadgama, RN, MPA, CPHQ, COHN-S, BCSP, BCPE, CHRM, SRN of Carlsbad, CA, the 2012 Council on Practices and Standards (CoPS) Safety Professional of the Year (SPY). Vadgama received the award on June 5th, during ASSE’s annual Professional Development Conference (PDC) and Exposition – Safety 2012, in Denver, CO. 

The CoPS SPY is the highest honor granted by the ASSE Practice Specialty groups and is awarded in recognition of outstanding service and contributions to the practice specialties and to the safety, health and environmental (SH&E) community.

A member of ASSE’s Healthcare Practice Specialty, Vadgama is an International Healthcare Surveyor for Joint Commission International, located in Chicago, IL, and travels the world to survey hospitals, seeking accreditation by the Commission.

Vadgama has also has been an active professional emeritus member of ASSE and has played a key role in many of the Society’s functions and business. She currently serves as the Healthcare Practice Specialty’s representative for ASSE’s Body of Knowledge (BoK). Previously, she served for six years as the Healthcare Practice Specialty administrator. Under her leadership the group expanded its membership to over 700, due in part to the quality of the HealthBeat publication, in which she authored 14 articles; including “Avian Flu: Planning for Pandemic Surge Population”, “MRSA: Infection Control Challenges: Has No Boundaries” and a series on the Avian flu. In addition Vadgama has authored two articles for
ASSE’s Professional Safety magazine.

Over the years, Vadgama has been a frequent presenter at ASSE’s PDC, with presentations including: “Emerging Issues in the Healthcare Industry” in 2008, “Managing Health & Safety – Latex Products” in 2007, and “Competence of Temporary Workforce in the Healthcare Industry” in 2003.

“We believe Aruna is worthy of this recognition because of her numerous contributions to our safety profession as well as her dedicated service to ASSE and the Healthcare Practice Specialty,” said Joe
Klancher, CSP, current volunteer administrator of ASSE’s Healthcare Practice Specialty.

The ASSE CoPS SPY is awarded annually to an individual who is an active member of one of ASSE’s 17 practice specialty groups for outstanding commitment to the profession and contributions to the group. For more information about ASSE’s practice specialties, branches and common interest groups, please visit