Sparking Connections Through Catalyst


As an IH/OEHS professional, your days move pretty fast. Where do you turn when you’re doing research or have a question about a non-critical issue? What if you had an online community that you could tap into at any time to ask questions or brainstorm ideas?

Enter Catalyst! Launched this past January, Catalyst is AIHA’s online community where members can connect, ask questions, share knowledge, and network. “Think Reddit but for industrial hygiene and occupational & environmental health services professionals,” says Liz Kincheloe, Catalyst’s community manager. Liz has an impressive background in nonprofit advertising and launching websites. To be an even better community manager for our Catalyst members, Liz attended the Higher Logic Super Forum as the site came together. 

Liz also helped create a strategy for the launch and set up a beta test group that ran for six weeks prior. This select group of 75 members helped shape Catalyst into the invaluable resource it is today.

“We created a community for them to ask questions and have discussions. This ended up being a great way to anticipate what to include in our FAQs, and to also identify a handful of members who would be a great resource as we continue to make navigation adjustments and more to the site,” shares Liz.

Although Catalyst is an online venue for AIHA members to engage, share, knowledge, and ask questions, volunteers who are non-members can also create content relevant to their working groups or task forces. The community is already robust with discussions. Liz tells us that discussions range “topic specific questions/brainstorming on things like fentanyl, noise, Safety Matters, mold, asbestos, and chloroform (to name a few), to students and young professionals seeking help from more experienced IH/OEHS professionals.”

You can also use the Library Entries, which is where the documents that have been uploaded to the site live. The library is a resource for locating information related to specific topics that members have been discussing, and also documents prepared as training references for Catalyst users.

How can you make the most of Catalyst?

“First, log in! A third of our membership has logged in, which is fantastic! We want everyone else in, too. So, log in and look around. Start with the Open Forum Community and take a look at the discussions posted. Use the search function if there is specific top of interest to find past discussions.”

Learn more about Catalyst at AIHce EXP in Philadelphia!

Catalyst will have a designated section of the AIHA booth at the conference. We will have computers set up for demos, and we will be there to answer any questions. I want to encourage attendees to come by and have their picture taken and I can help them get it uploaded to their profile.” 

Liz will also be presenting a brief tutorial in the Hub Tuesday, 5/22 from 2:30-2:55 pm:

How to Be a Cata​lyst in 20 Minutes!

See what everyone is talking about! Take a quick dive into Catalyst, AIHA’s newest member benefit. You will walk away equipped to navigate THE online community for IH/OEHS professionals where you can explore hot topics, ask questions, and share your knowledge. The last 5 minutes will be dedicated to answering your questions.

So, what are you waiting for? Log into Catalyst to engage with your fellow IH/OEHS colleagues and be sure to stop by to see Liz’s presentation at the AIHce EXP.

Berrak Sarikaya is a content strategist and brand amplifier based in Seattle, Washington.

AIHce EXP 2018, held in Philadelphia, PA May 21-23, is the EXPerience of the year for IH and OEHS professionals across the country. You’ll be exposed to the latest trends, needs, and research impacting worker health with experiential education sessions, networking opportunities with like-minded professionals, and the tools you need to solve your workplace challenges. This highly-rated event also offers a robust virtual experience for those that want to reap the benefits of conference without the travel. Register today.