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Spotlight on Research Safety

Photo of Research Safety Department
Left to right: front row: Andres Sinisterra, Steve Jacobs, Patti Wawyniecki, Tiffany Gough, and Liz Pokorski. Back row: Ryan Cawley, Dave Bourret, Rob Speers, Ken Price, Jim Fomenko, Bob Lawson. Back center: Ron Wallace
Fun Facts
  • Lock down ... each year our office verifies that 20,000 UConn Health doors are secured per regulatory requirements.
  • A healthy glow ... we issue and review 14,000 radiation monitoring badges annually to ensure UConn Health staff maintains a safe level of exposure to x-rays and other radioactive materials.
  • Taking out the trash ... our department ensures the proper handling and disposal of 22,000 pounds of chemical hazardous waste and 8,500 pounds of radioactive waste per year.
  • The department that plays together ... one weekend a year our department has an annual two night, 36 hole golf tournament. We have traveled to various locations including New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire.

Meet the Department

  • Kenneth Price, University Director
  • Steve Jacobs, Assistant Director
  • David Bourret, Research Safety Specialist
  • Ryan Cawley, Radiation Safety Technician
  • Jim Fomenko, Assistant Radiation Safety Officer
  • Tiffany Gough, Administrative Program Assistant
  • Robert Lawson, Research Safety Specialist
  • Liz Pokorski, Administrative Program Coordinator
  • Andres Sinisterra, Assistant Radiation Safety Officer
  • Rob Speers, Research Safety Specialist
  • Ron Wallace, Biological Safety Officer
  • Patti Wawzyniecki, Industrial Hygienist

Did You Know?

  • We are a service oriented department that works with the entire UConn Health, including Correctional Managed Health Care (CMHC) and UConn Health Partners, allowing us to understand the needs of a wide range of people. 
  • The oversight, guidance, and training we provide regarding regulatory agencies such as OSHA, EPA, DEP and the Department of Health helps ensure a safe working environment for researchers, clinicians, staff, students, and patients alike.
  • One of the services provided by our department is ergonomic evaluations of work space and tasks, and recommendations for improvement.
  • We provide training and consultation services for the shipping of hazardous materials, as well as import/export items.
  • We have several battery recycling bins, including one outside our offices on the ground floor of Building 20, where you can drop off used batteries from your department to be recycled.

Research Safety in the Community

  • Our department is a key participant in the annual Health Safety and Environment Fair for the UConn Health community, which one of our members co-chairs.
  • We play a major role in the Environment of Care cross-departmental committee to promote and ensure patient safety.

Our People

  • Among our ranks is a marathon runner (including the Boston and NY marathons), a hunter/fisherman, a scuba diver, a power volley ball player, and several golfers. One of our team members has even run with the bulls in Pamplona!
  • Our staff is active in outside charities and organizations, including MACC charities and church service/mission trips to other countries.
  • One of our long time employees not only plays guitar in the UConn Health band Seizure, but is also a watercolor painter.
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