HPS Meetings

63rd HPS Annual Meeting

The 63rd Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting will be held 15–18 July 2018 at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland in Cleveland, Ohio.

Registration is now open on the HPS website!

For more information, including important meeting links, see the 63rd Annual Meeting page on the HPS website.

Explore what to do in Cleveland on the This Is Cleveland website.


Special Session Highlight: Measurement of Actinium-227 in the Workplace

There has been growing interest in the medical use of 223Ra in the emerging targeted alpha therapy (TAT) market. For example, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of 223Ra dichloride to help improve survival for patients in the later stages of prostate cancer that has spread to the bones. Since 223Ra is a short-lived (11.4-day half-life) nuclide in the 235U decay series, it is difficult to produce in the necessary quantities and purity for research or potential medical uses. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers have determined that reactor production of 227Ac has the best potential to fill the growing demand for 223Ra. A low-energy beta emitter (21.8-year half-life), 227Ac decays into 227Th (18.7-day half-life), which decays into 223Ra. The radiological decay attributes that make 223Ra beneficial for TAT are also why the dose consequences of an unintended 227Ac uptake can be quite significant to the researcher or worker.

There are several unique radiological protection challenges associated with 227Ac and limited operating experience in the health physics community. ORNL Nuclear and Radiological Protection staff have been working with researchers to develop a set of conservative engineering and administrative controls to ensure that personnel exposure potential is highly unlikely. However, several unforeseen operational challenges were highlighted when an 227Ac contamination incident occurred on 17 March 2017. A researcher and radiological control technician (RCT) opened a storage container of 227Ac in which the inner packaging had deteriorated. The spread of radioactive material in the lab resulted in hair, skin, and clothing contamination to the RCT. The continuous air monitor (CAM) in the lab, designed to compensate for naturally occurring radon/thoron interference with transuranic alpha energies, displayed a large negative derived air concentration value and did not alarm.

The potential for internal dose to the affected employees needed to be assessed and the RCT's contamination levels needed to be compared with occurrence reporting criteria. Plans for reentering the lab to begin characterization for recovery operations were further complicated since the data from the CAM was unusable. Alternative air-sampling methods to monitor airborne radioactivity levels in the lab during reentry and recovery operations were developed. Analytical screening methods were used for personnel air-sample filters to indicate whether the potential for internal dose needed to be assessed.

This discussion provides an overview of the successive technical challenges that unfolded after the March 2017 contamination incident and provides context for the next four presentations in the session: radon compensation for continuous air monitoring in the presence of 227Ac, an analytical process for assessing potential exposures using personal air samplers, radiobioassay monitoring for purified 227Ac, and recovery operations and lessons learned. ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle, LLC, for the U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-AC05-00OR-22725.

Information about other special sessions can be found on the 63rd Annual Meeting page on the HPS website.


Register for the 5th Annual HPS Quiz Bowl

Thuquynh Dinh, Student Support Committee Chair

Don't miss the 5th Annual Health Physics Society (HPS) Quiz Bowl—an exciting competition with questions on all things health physics. This year's HPS Quiz Bowl will be held on Sunday, 15 July 2018, 4 p.m., at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the HPS in Cleveland, Ohio. Gather your classmates and register your team now! To register and for more information, see the 5th Annual Quiz Bowl Facebook page or contact Thuquynh Dinh.


Night Out at the Hofbräuhaus Bier Hall

Andy Miller, Local Arrangements Committee Chair

Can you say Prost !!!

The night out for the 2018 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting will be held at the Hofbräuhaus Cleveland, Tuesday, 17 July, 6:30 p.m.

Singing, dancing, laughing, and eating are all common sights in the Cleveland Hofbräuhaus Bier Hall. Modeled after the authentic 400-year-old Bier Hall at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich, Germany, the Bier Hall brings a piece of Bavaria to you. Featuring the magnificent signature Hofbräuhaus chandeliers, long wooden tables and benches, live music every day, and seats for 440 of your closest friends, the Bier Hall is the perfect place to relax on a lunch break or celebrate the beginning of the weekend with friends, old and new!

For the HPS night out, we have selected a buffet menu featuring popular German fare. The freshly brewed beer follows the "Reinheitsgebot" or "Bavarian Beer Purity Law" originating in 1516. Discover one of the four year-round varieties or seasonal brews.

Join us for a wonderful night out in Cleveland!! Sign up for the night out on the annual meeting registration form.

Photo courtesy of Andy Miller


Reminder: Health Physics Garage Sale at the Annual Meeting

Kenneth Krieger, CHP

This is a reminder that the Health Physics Society (HPS) will try an experiment at the 2018 HPS Annual Meeting in Cleveland to help you get your old items out of your house and raise money for the HPS. Do you have any old, historical, interesting items at your home that you no longer need or want? Do you think that other HPS members would be interested in them? Bring them to the HPS garage sale at the annual meeting. You will receive a tax deduction for your donation. HPS will auction the item and the money received will be used for scholarships, fellowships, student travel grants, and other benevolent Society activities.

The logistics are straightforward. You bring the item to the meeting and deliver it to the Secretariat, who will place it in a silent or live auction. The time of the auctions will be listed in the meeting program. Meeting attendees will be able to view those items in the exhibit hall before the auction. At the end of the auction, winners will pay for the items and pick them up or arrange for shipment. If the winner of a silent-auction item is not present, the second-place bid will win unless previous arrangements have been made. If the item cannot be taken with the winner, then arrangements must be made by the winner to remove the item(s)—HPS will not take possession of any items. If no one bids on an item, the original owner must take that item back and maybe try again the following year.

Items that are too large to bring to the meeting can also be entered in the auction. Pictures and descriptions of items can be brought to the meeting and then arrangements for shipping items can be made between owner and bid winner.

If the auctions are successful, we will do this again at the 2019 HPS Annual Meeting. Please help make this event an interesting, fun, and profitable event for HPS. Bring your old or interesting items to be auctioned off at the annual meeting. See you there!


Health Physics Society Professional Development School 
Hands-On Medical Health Physics: Emerging Technologies and Challenges
18–20 July 2018

Ron Leuenberger, CHP, PDS Administrative Dean

PDS Think Tank

Medical Physics Enterprise: Quality and Safety in the Cloud

The 2018 Professional Development School (PDS) agenda includes a panel discussion on Thursday evening, 19 July, at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) with a dinner provided by PDS sponsors. The discussion is an open format on emergent technologies and challenges relevant to the 21st century.

A panel consisting of technology experts, medical physicists, and radiation safety officers (RSOs) will present a conceptual model on the future role of the medical health physicist within a health care enterprise. The format allows ample time for PDS attendees to participate with questions and answers. The intention is to incubate ideas and stimulating thinking outside the box relating to medical physics, quality, and safety in the cloud.

The enterprise model entails automated software using applied technology with the medical health physicist as an integral partner working with health care providers, scientists, computer programmers, and administrators to develop the virtual reality to be stored in the cloud. The science of applied information technology utilizing cloud/metadata/automated systems applied to medical physics within a health care system is in its infancy. This forum allows participants to learn and plan with experts regarding how our profession will grow and remain relevant into the 21st century.

Employing the enterprise model allows the RSO or medical health physicist to manage radiation safety and medical physics throughout a network of hospitals and outpatient clinics. For many of us, it is a paradigm shift to apply automated dose-tracking systems, real-time dosimetry (patients and workers), picture archiving and communication systems (PACS), and radiology information systems (RIS) within the virtual space of a cloud. Gone are the days of manually calibrating a sodium iodide detector for performing iodine uptake bioassays. Now analyzers and imaging equipment use software to self-calibrate and store quality control and report out-of-range results.

The panel discussion offers a unique experience of participating in a think-tank environment to interchange ideas with the PDS faculty. PDS participants are invited to join us in the discussion on how to best utilize emergent technologies and remain relevant into the 21st century.

Visit the HPS PDS page and see the PDS program flyer to learn more about PDS faculty, sponsors, lectures, breakout sessions, and how to register.


University Circle shuttle bus for PDS hands-on breakout sessons. Photo courtesy of Ronald Leuenberger

A New Approach to Scheduling and Design of the 2018 PDS

This year's professional development school (PDS) will begin Wednesday, 18 July, during the 2018 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio. This approach allows HPS members the opportunity to participate in both the annual meeting and PDS without having to choose between them due to time away from work concerns or associated costs. Another unique addition to this year's PDS includes offering the Wednesday afternoon PDS keynote lectures as a Professional Education Program (PEP) two-hour lecture and a one-hour continuing education lecture (CEL) for HPS attendees at the HPS annual meeting location. This PDS will also offer four-hour hands-on breakout sessions in the afternoons to supplement the didactic sessions.

The Cleveland annual meeting location allows the PDS to leverage several world-class medical facilities within a short distance. Morning lectures will be held at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU), and afternoon breakout activities will be in clinical locations at local institutions in University Circle (CWRU, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and Northeast Ohio VA Healthcare System). Attendees may stay at the conference hotel or they can relocate to the Courtyard Marriot on the campus of CWRU. In either case, transportation will be provided to the daily locations.

Thursday and Friday afternoon breakout sessions are hosted by PDS sponsors Mirion Technologies, Ludlum Instruments, and LACO. These sponsors are providing state-of-the-art equipment for use in the breakout sessions and will be hosting lunches for the attendees. Hands-on activities will include medical physics testing of x-ray equipment, instrumentation and quality control in a nuclear medicine hot laboratory, nuclear instrumentation calibration and repair, and deep learning of the strengths and pitfalls of automated radiation dose tracking and how to get the most from your software. All of this is made possible by the gracious support from sponsoring institutions.

We will try our best to accommodate each student's top two choices for the hands-on activities, given clinical environment limitations. To achieve this, students will be asked on the registration form to identify their top three choices for hand-on activities. Students will be assigned their top choice for either Thursday or Friday afternoon and their number two choice on the other day. In the event a session is selected by an overwhelming number of students as their top choice, we will try our best to offer multiple concurrent sessions as facility/instructor limitations permit.

PDS faculty members invite you to share in a unique learning experience made possible by the sponsoring institutions comprising Cleveland's University Circle and support from our PDS sponsors. Visit the HPS PDS page to learn more about PDS faculty, sponsors, lectures, breakout sessions, and how to register. We hope to see you there!


Applicability of Radiation-Response Models to Low-Dose Protection Standards

"Applicability of Radiation Response-Models to Low-Dose Protection Standards," cosponsored by the American Nuclear Society and the HPS, will be held 30 September–3 October 2018, in Pasco, Washington. This meeting will provide an international forum for the discussion of current regulations and standards regarding low-dose protection. More inforamtion can be found on the meeting's website.


From the Archives

Many social events at the meetings of the Health Physics Society (HPS) involve food. In this picture from the 2010 HPS Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, Rich Vetter (left) and Terry Yoshizumi enjoy plates of yummy morsels.

The History Committee has collected thousands of photographs from the annual meetings and midyear meetings. A selection of over 1,500 pictures has been posted for all to see at the HPS website. Stop by and take a look sometime.