About Mary C. Townsend, Dr.P.H.

Dr. Mary Townsend is a Spirometry and Epidemiology Consultant for industrial and research clients and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh.

She is lead author of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) Position Statements on Spirometry in the Occupational Setting and Evaluating Pulmonary Function Change Over Time in the Occupational Setting, and a member of an American Thoracic Society (ATS) committee developing an Official Technology Review of "Spirometry in the Occupational Setting".

She frequently presents workshops and lectures on the interpretation and pitfalls of Spirometry in the Occupational Setting at annual ACOEM meetings, both at the national and regional levels. She also presents Pre-Conference Workshops on "Real-World Spirometry in the Occupational Setting" for the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) at their annual Symposium & Expo.  She presents annual Sunrise Seminars for the American Thoracic Society (ATS) on "Real-World Spirometry: Technique and Equipment Pitfalls That Elevate or Reduce Results."

She presented an illustrated summary of Technique and Equipment Pitfalls in Spirometry at the NIOSH Workshop on Best Practices in Workplace Surveillance in 2001.  She was first author of Is My Lung Function Really That Good? an article on real-world spirometry problems that elevate test results, published in Chest in 2004.  She is a frequent reviewer for Chest and a member of the Chest Editorial Board.

Dr. Townsend is an experienced, enthusiastic teacher of NIOSH-Approved Spirometry and Spirometry Refresher courses.  Her goal is to teach not only what the recommendations and requirements are for conducting tests and interpreting results, but also why the recommendations and requirements were developed.

For more than 25 years, she has taught health professionals how to conduct spirometry tests, designed spirometry quality assurance programs, and provided consulting services for numerous research, industrial, and health care clients.  Her clients include General Motors, Dow Chemical Corporation, Health Partners Health Clinic, Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems, Lubrizol Corporation, Rohm & Haas Corporation, the U.S. Library of Congress, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and numerous other clients.  Before working as an Independent Consultant, she worked as a Visiting Scientist and Research Epidemiologist at NIOSH, and as an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh.