DOL Appoints 12 to Nuclear Workers Health Panel

The 12 members were appointed for two-year terms; eight are returning members who served on the initial advisory board appointed in 2016 and four are new to the board. The advisory board will meet at least twice annually.

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced 12 appointees to the Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health for the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act. The 12 members were appointed for two-year terms; eight are returning members who served on the initial board appointed in 2016 and four are new to the board. The advisory board will meet at least twice annually.

The board advises the secretary of Labor on certain technical aspects of the EEOICPA, including the department's site exposure matrices database, which includes information about toxic substances present at EEOICPA-covered facilities, and established causal links between those substances and certain occupational illnesses. EEOICPA provides compensation and medical benefits to nuclear weapons workers diagnosed with medical conditions caused by their exposure to toxic substances at covered nuclear facilities. Executive Order 13699 directed DOL to establish the advisory board in 2015.

The board also provides advice on medical guidance for claims examiners under the Department of Energy program, with respect to the weighing of medical evidence provided by claimants; evidentiary requirements for claims under subtitle B related to lung disease; and the work of industrial hygienists, staff physicians, and consulting physicians and their reports to ensure quality, objectivity, and consistency.

The appointees are:

Four members from the scientific community:

  • John M. Dement, Ph.D., CIH, a professor in the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center
  • Dr. George Friedman-Jimenez, M.D., DrPH, an assistant professor of Population Health, Medicine and Environmental Medicine and director and attending physician for Bellevue/NYU Occupational & Environmental Medicine Clinic
  • Dr. Marek Mikulski, M.D., MPH, Ph.D., an adjunct assistant professor, assistant research scientist, and co-principal investigator for the Burlington Atomic Energy Commission Plant and Ames Lab Former DOE Worker Medical Screening Programs, in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, College of Public Health, University of Iowa (he is new to the board)
  • Kenneth Z. Silver, D.Sc., S.M., an associate professor of Environmental Health at East Tennessee State University

Four members from the medical community:

  • Dr. Manijeh Berenji, M.D., MPH, an occupational medicine physician at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Boston Medical Center (he is new to the board)
  • Dr. Victoria A. Cassano, M.D., MPH, president and CEO of Performance Medicine Consulting, which specializes in occupational and environmental medicine
  • Dr. Steven Markowitz, M.D., DrPH, a professor and director of the Barry Commoner Center for Health and the Environment at Queens College and a professor at the City University of New York School of Public Health
  • Dr. Carrie A. Redlich, M.D., MPH, a professor of Medicine at the Pulmonary Section & Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program and the director of the Yale Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program at Yale School of Medicine

Four members from the claimant community:

  • Kirk D. Domina, a Health Advocate for the Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council, and worked as a Reactor Fuels Operator/Nuclear Chemical Operator at the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site since 1983
  • Ron Mahs, director of Training and Safety and Health for the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, Local Union 46, Knoxville, Tenn., who worked at the Oak Ridge facilities from 1976 to 2005 (he is new to the board)
  • Duronda Pope, an emergency response coordinator for United Steelworkers who worked as a Hazard Reduction Technician, Laboratory Technologist, and Chemical Operator for the DOE Rocky Flats Plant facility for 25 years
  • Calin Tebay, a BBeryllium Health Advocate/Sitewide Beryllium Health Advocate for Mission Support Alliance at the Hanford Beryllium Program who has worked at the Hanford site since 1995 (he is new to the board)

Markowitz will continue to serve as the chair of the advisory board.

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