McAdams Award Honoree - 1992

Presented to LESTER A. SLABACK, JR. by the American Board of Health Physics at the 37th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society, Columbus, Ohio, June 21-25, 1992
Lester A. Slaback, Jr.

Shortly after its organization, the Health Physics Society established a committee to study the need for certification of health physicists and to develop plans for certification, if this appeared to be desirable. The Certification Committee membership included an energetic and farsighted young man by the name of William A. McAdams. After an intensive study, the Committee recommended that an American Board of Health Physics (ABHP) be established to develop standards and procedures, to examine candidates, and to issue written proof of certification to individuals who satisfied the requirements established by the ABHP. The Board of Directors of the Society decided that these recommendations had merit and appointed a temporary ABHP on November 8, 1958. The Chairman of the temporary ABHP was none other than William McAdams.

The temporary ABHP developed a set of minimum requirements for certification. At the Annual Meeting of the Society in June 1959, these matters were discussed in an open meeting and there was general support for the plan. The Board of Directors of the Society formally established the ABHP by approving an amendment to the By-Laws of the Society in October 1959 and appointed William McAdams as Chairman. Under his leadership, the ABHP worked diligently to become incorporated in the state of New York in December 1960, allowing the ABHP to achieve its independent identity.

Three years ago, on the 30th anniversary of the ABHP, we recognized two of the pioneers who contributed substantially to our formation and early development - William McAdams, as the first Chairman of the ABHP, and Jack Healy, as the inaugural winner of the William A. McAdams Outstanding Service Award to annual recognize those individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of professionalism and the health physics certification. This award is named for the person who exercised strong and dedicated efforts to identify the need, define the concept, organize the body, obtain the charter, and implement the initial certification program.

The second recipient of the award was H. Wade Patterson, an emeritus CHP who was involved with the certification process for over a decade. Last year we recognized Richard R. Bowers for his numerous contributions to the activities of ABHP, active involvement in the certification process for nearly two decades, and the elevation of professionalism, especially in the power reactor health physics community.

This year we announce with pleasure the fourth recipient of the William A. McAdams Outstanding Service Award, Lester A. Slaback, Jr. Les has been involved in the certification process and has made many contributions to the professional advancement of the field of health physics. In the early 1970s, he helped continue the development of the Baltimore-Washington Chapter Exam Preparation Course, probably the oldest and one of the best (if not the best) of its kind. He has served as a lecturer for this and other preparational courses and was instrumental in the successful conduct of a number of topical seminars in the field of health physics. Les has worked continuously to make the Chapter's basic radiological health course successful, especially in reaching professionals in other scientific fields and policy analysts. HE was also a driving force in the formation of the Health Physics Society's Professional Enrichment Program in 1983.

Les served as Chairman of the ABHP Continuing Education Panel from 1976-1980, during the Panel's formative years. In 1982, Les was appointed to the ABHP , where he served as Vice Chair in 1983 and 1984, and as the Chair in 1985. Les was a member of the initial ABHP Part I Panel and is still serving on that group. He is also currently serving as a Director on the American Academy of Health Physics Executive Committee.

A true professional health physicist, Les has made many contributions to the field during his career. He served as a consultant to the Defense Nuclear Agency on the cleanup of Enewetak. HE was also a supervisory health physicist at the National Bureau of Standards, now National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in Accelerators and Laboratory Health Physics, and is currently serving at the NIST Research Reactor. Les has served on the NCRP workgroup for Accelerator Radiation Protection and is currently a member of the Committee on Interagency Radiation Research and Policy Coordination (CIRRPC) Occupational Radiation Protection Research Subpanel.

Through the years, Les has been a steady contributor to the Certification programs, providing a veritable stream of ideas, proposals, analyses and constructive criticisms. Only one example is the recent submission of 47 sample Part I questions worthy of Panel review. He also participated in the analysis of ten years of Part II test data. In addition, Les has maintained the highest standards of professionalism, a continued enthusiasm and a clever sense of humor.

There can be but few persons within the field who have been more consistent and more productive in their devotion to advancement of the profession or more dedicated to the certification process. Hence, it is with great pride and appreciation that we recognize Les Slaback, Jr., as this year's recipient of the William McAdams Outstanding Service Award.

Ruth E. McBurney, Chair ABHP Awards Committee, Vice Chairman ABHP 
Carl H. Distenfeld, Chairman ABHP 
John A. Auxier, Past President AAHP