News Stories

USACE stands up first National Occupational Health Center in Mobile

USACE, Mobile District
Published April 19, 2024
Man sitting at a table with a man and woman behind him.

Stephen Pierce, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Occupational Health Center Program Manager, seated, Shawn Mallory, NOHC industrial hygienist, and Heather Limerick, NOHC Health Technical Manager, pose for a leadership photo in Pierce’s office at the new NOHC, Mobile, Alabama, April 17, 2024. The new NOHC which started on January 15, will provide occupational and health services to all USACE employees across the nation and will provide assistance and guidance to district nurses and ROHCs throughout USACE

By Chuck Walker

MOBILE, Ala. – It is said that success breeds success. Whatever your business or endeavor, if you create something innovative and set yourself apart from others, the opportunities for further success usually come.

That happened with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District Regional Occupational Health Center, when it set the standard for occupational health in the South Atlantic Division.

After years of success and setting the standard for Occupational Health in USACE, the Corps decided to take Occupational Health national and assigned Mobile and its team the task of creating the first-ever National Occupational Health Center program, which began on January 15.

“The NOHC is the only one of its kind,” said Stephen Pierce, NOHC Program Manager. “The NOHC stands as a unique entity within USACE. This center will help districts across the enterprise deliver essential occupational health services tailored specifically for the USACE workforce. By consolidating expertise and resources, the NOHC ensures that employees receive comprehensive care and support in matters about their occupational health and well-being.”

The NOHC leadership team consists of Pierce, Heather Limerick, Health Technical Manager, and Shawn Mallory, NOHC lead industrial hygienist. They have been dual-hatted since 2019, creating the NOHC while also maintaining the high standards set by the ROHC.

The transformation from the ROHC to the NOHC began against a backdrop of significant shifts with USACE. With the expiration of enterprise-wide contracting vehicles in 2019, a critical opportunity arose to reassess and enhance the delivery of occupational health services.

The ROHC leadership team was then tasked with looking to expand what they were doing regionally with SAD to a national scale.

“The Mobile District and the ROHC have been distinguished as exemplars of excellence,” Pierce said. “The ROHC has been identified as leading the way in delivering occupational health programs. We were chosen to take what we were doing on a regional scale with occupational health and take it national for the entire USACE workforce.”

Limerick said her role has expanded significantly since moving from ROHC to the NOHC. She is tasked with leading a team that is in charge of the national oversight and standardization of occupational health services across USACE. They are also tasked with supporting and guiding occupational health nurses at the District level, providing them with procedural policy guidance, resources, and centrally managed contracts for medical services.

“I am deeply passionate about this role because it allows me to contribute to a vision that extends beyond routine medical checks,” Limerick said. “Together with the NOHC management team and Headquarters Safety and Occupational Health, we are committed to enhancing occupational health delivery.”

While the NOHC is in place, many of the essential services the center will provide to the enterprise will take full effect when the medical services contract is awarded later this year.

Pierce said standing up such an ambitious initiative was only possible with his team's dedication and hard work.

“Throughout the process, Heather and Shawn have exhibited exceptional competence and professionalism,” Pierce said. “Their expertise and insights have been instrumental in shaping the structure and operations of the NOHC. Furthermore, it is worth noting the personal sacrifices that Heather and Shawn have made in their commitment to the NOHC’s success. I am grateful to call them colleagues and blessed to call them friends.”