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Periodic Occupational and Environmental Monitoring Summary (POEMS)

The environmental surveillance data and the summaries of the associated health risks contained in the POEMS are population based assessments. OEH surveillance data do not reflect individual exposures and the resultant risk assessments are not predictive of any future health outcomes for an individual within the population at the site. Rather, the POEMS is a tool to assist clinicians in addressing patient concerns and in developing differential diagnoses and/or diagnostic procedures for observed health outcomes that they believe may be related to environmental exposure(s).


Occupational and environmetal health (OEH) surveillance samples are collected to evaluate the health risk associated with environmental stressors at base camps, airbases, seaports, forward operating bases, forwad operating locations, etc., where preventive medicine assets and infrastructure exists to support sample collection. After sample analysis, the health risk associated with potential exposures is summarized in the POEMS.

We built the skill set and analytical processes to evaluate environmental data collected from site assessments, environmental sampling conducted as part of routine OEH surveillance, health care encounters, etc., and describe/define the acute (short-term) and long-term (post-deployment) health risks of being deployed to specific overseas US military operating bases.


The POEMS are the DOD approved multi-Service documents for summarizing the medical interpretation of the OEH surveillance information for deployment sites where Service members may be exposed to environmental stressors. POEMS describe the potential health threats at a site , summarize data/information collected, and then provide an assessment of the significance of any known or potential acute (short-term) and long term (post-deployment) health risks to the population deployed at that location.

POEMS are the responsibility of the Combatant Commander but are typically produced by specialized technical support from the Service surveillance centers (i.e., USACHPPM, NMCPHC, and USAFSAM) that are capable of describing the long-term health risks and the assessment of laboratory data. This requires a level of technical expertise and resources typically not available in the field.


The primary audience of the POEMS is military public health personnel and healthcare providers (military, VA, as well as private sector). The intent of the POEMS is to assess the population health risks associated with potential deployment related exposures and make this information available to healthcare providers to assist them in addressing Service personnel’s concerns about OEH exposure related exposures. Service members will also have access to POEMS to help them understand any health risks from potential occupational and environmental exposures they may list on their pre- and post-deployment screening questionnaires.

Army Public Health Center - Periodic Occupational and Environmental Monitoring Summary (POEMS) Library

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