The 7th annual Valley Fever Walk
saw many members of ASSP’s Women in Safety Excellence Common Interest Group from the Bakersfield Chapter
working to promote awareness of Valley Fever.
members including Marianne Hockett and Lisa Marriott-Smith participated in the event by handing out water for walkers and working at a heat illness awareness booth where they answered questions and passed out informational hand fans to participants. Chris Vochoska, a professional member of the Bakersfield Chapter, delivered a heat awareness toolbox talk at the beginning of the event to make walkers aware of potential heat hazards.
The walk, hosted by Valley Fever Americas Foundation
, sought to raise funds to support academic and medical research on the fungus that causes Valley Fever
, a fungal infection that saw more than 11,000 cases in the U.S. in 2016 alone. According to CDC, more than 3,000 Valley Fever-associated deaths in the U.S. from 1990 to 2008 with an average of fewer than 200 deaths per year. The Bakersfield WISE Chapter has participated in this event since 2015 and hopes to continue aiding Valley Fever Americas Foundation by working on the annual walk’s planning committee, sourcing water and healthy snack donations, and providing toolbox talks and heat illness awareness information to participants.
From left to right: Marianne Hockett, Xochitl Tejeda de Rodarte, Lisa Marriott-Smith, Lynn Bishop, Sharon Mejia and Chris Vochoska. Photo by Lisa Marriott-Smith.