McAdams Award Honoree - 1989

Presented to JOHN W. HEALY by the American Board of Health Physics, June 1989


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 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 ABHP. The Board of Directors of the Society decided that these recommendations had merit and appointed a temporary ABHP on November 8, 1959. The Chairman of the temporary ABHP was none other than William McAdams.

The temporary ABHP developed a set of minimum requirements for certification. After carefully reviewing the professional background of 100 selected individuals believed to be representative of those recognized as competent health physicists, these names were submitted to the membership of the Society for comment. Included on that list was another mover and shaker in the certification movement by the name of John W. (Jack) Healy.

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. William McAdams was appointed Chairman and Jack Healy became Secretary-Treasurer of the inaugural ABHP. The ABHP, under McAdams' leadership, worked diligently to become incorporated in the State of New York in December, 1960. This incorporation allowed the ABHP to achieve its independent identity. We were told that this was the first time New York had ever incorporated a certification body.

This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of the ABHP. What better time to recognize two of the pioneers who contributed so substantially to our formation and early development. Consequently I am pleased to announce the inauguration of the William McAdams Outstanding Service Award to annually recognize those individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of professionalism and health physics certification. This award is named for the man 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 person to be honored today is the first recipient of the William McAdams Outstanding Service Award. This pioneer kept the certification program on track when Elda Anderson, the second Chairman of the ABHP, fell ill only a few months into her term of office. Jack took over the Chairmanship to finish her term and then served an additional year as Chairman. During this critical time, he also developed the Code of Ethics which constitutes the backbone of the CHP's ethical standards to this day. Jack is known to many as a witty, un-pretentious and versatile health physicist, and as the epitome of an applied Certified Health Physicist. It is most fitting that today we should recognize Jack Healy as the first recipient of the William McAdams Outstanding Service Award.

Granted June 1989

Howard Dickson, Chair Awards Committee, Vice Chairman ABHP
Frazier Bronson, Chairman ABHP
John Horan, Past President AAHP