Who are you? Dr. Richard Harvey, DrPH, ABSNM, CHP, RSO, CMLSO, CLSO
I am a certified health and medical physicist, certified laser safety officer, radiation safety officer and Director of Radiation Safety. Currently, I have appointment as an Assistant Professor at the University of Buffalo in the Departments of Nuclear Medicine and Physiology & Biophysics. I am active in the Western New York Chapter of the Health Physics Society, incoming Chair of the Public Information Committee of the Health Physics Society, and a member of the SSC-3 subcommittee for ANSI Accredited Standards Committee Z136. I am married and excited to have twins on the way. Personally, I am an avid outdoorsman pursuing my passions of hunting, fishing, and hiking.
What is your educational background?
I have a B.S. in Nuclear Medicine Technology and a M.S. in Health Physics from the University of Buffalo. I have a DrPH or doctorate in Radiological Health from the University of Michigan.
Where do you work?
Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) – an NCI accredited cancer facility in Buffalo, NY and the first as well as oldest comprehensive cancer center.
How long have you worked with lasers?
I started working with lasers in 2006 when I discovered that they were my responsibility as radiation safety officer. I have been learning, working with, and providing laser safety expertise for 4 years. I built a laser safety program from the ground up. The experience was challenging but very rewarding.
Becoming an LSO
How did you become the LSO?
I became the LSO when I read my job description a few years after starting as the Director of Radiation Safety. At that point, I realized lasers were my responsibility and I decided to pursue training in laser safety from LIA and RLI. I also realized the value of becoming certified and proving my competence in this exciting field.
Do you like being the LSO?
I really enjoy the challenges of being an LSO at an institution where lasers are used in research, medicine, and education. Being an LSO offers one a career with constantly changing situations where laser use is fluid and dynamic. My position at RPCI provides a variety of activities and duties so my responsibilities never become mundane. One of the things I enjoy most at RPCI is Photodynamic Therapy, which we are an international leader in, and the work to discover new compounds for cancer treatment.
How has becoming certified helped/benefited you in your career?
The advantages of certification are certainly many. Certification demonstrates your competence in the field of laser safety to others. This is certainly valuable when working with other members of management and outside agencies. The knowledge required to become certified made me a better LSO. The personal satisfaction from becoming certified is very rewarding to me as well as the institute where I work. I cannot say enough about the value of being certified and I would strongly encourage others to pursue the endeavor.