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News Release

US Secretary of Labor announces inaugural meeting of advisory board, new members focused on health of nuclear weapons workers

Panel will provide expert advice to serve industry workers better

WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez has announced the inaugural appointees and the date of the first meeting of the Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health for Part E of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.

The 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 the department to establish the advisory board.

“We look forward to working with advisory board members, each of whom is committed to the well-being of the nation’s nuclear weapons workers,” said Secretary Perez. “The expert advice of the new board members on the technical aspects of the EEOICPA will be invaluable in strengthening and improving this important program.”

The panel will hold its first meeting on April 26-28, 2016, at the department’s national headquarters in the Frances Perkins Building in Washington. The board will meet at least twice per year.

The secretary appointed all 15 members of the advisory board to two-year terms. The new members are:

Five members from the scientific community:

  • John M. Dement, Ph.D., CIH: Professor, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center.
  • Mark Griffon: Board Member, Chemical Safety and Hazards Investigation Board; past board member, Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health at the National Institute of Safety and Health; President, Creative Pollution Solutions, Inc., 1992-2010.
  • Kenneth Z. Silver, D.Sc., S.M.: Associate Professor of Environmental Health, East Tennessee State University.
  • George Friedman-Jimemez, MD, Dr.PH: Assistant Professor of Population Health, Medicine and Environmental Medicine; Director and Attending Physician, Bellevue/NYU Occupational & Environmental Medicine Clinic.
  • Leslie I. Boden, Ph.D.: Professor of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health.

Five members from the medical community:

  • Steven Markowitz, MD, Dr.PH: Professor and Director, Barry Commoner Center for Health and the Environment, Queens College; Professor, CUNY School of Public Health.
  • Laura S. Welch, MD: Medical Director, Building Trades National Medical Screening Program; medical consultant to the Center for Construction Research and Training.
  • Rosemary K. Sokas, MD, MOH, M.Sc.: Professor and Chair, Department of Human Science, Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies.
  • Carrie A. Redlich, MD, MPH: Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary Section & Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program; Director, Yale Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program, Yale School of Medicine.
  • Victoria A. Cassano, MD, MPH: President/CEO, Performance Medicine Consulting (occupational and environmental medicine).

Five members from the claimant community:  

  • Duronda Pope: Emergency Response Coordinator, United Steelworkers; Hazard Reduction Technician, Laboratory Technologist, Chemical Operator, U.S. Department of Energy’s Rocky Flats Plant facility for 25 years.
  • Kirk D. Domina: health advocate, Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council; Reactor Fuels Operator/Nuclear Chemical Operator, DOE’s Hanford Site, since 1983.
  • Garry M. Whitley: Program Coordinator, WHPP/ATLC for Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex; Electrician, DOE’s Y-12 Site, retired after 42 years.
  • James H. Turner: employee, DOE’s Rocky Flats plant, retired after 26 years; truck driver and delivery worker, worked as an air filter technician, electrician at a decontamination of the plant’s Building 776 after a plutonium fire.
  • Faye Vlieger: claimant advocate; Chair, DEEOIC Interim Advisory Board (DIAB)

Dr. Markowitz will serve as the chair of the advisory board.

The board will advise the secretary 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 DOE facilities, and established causal links between those substances and certain occupational illnesses. The board will also provide advice on medical guidance for claims examiners under the Energy program, with respect to the weighing of medical evidence; evidentiary requirements for certain claims related to lung disease; and the work of industrial hygienists, staff physicians and consulting physicians, and their reports, to ensure quality, objectivity and consistency.

For more information on how to participate, read the Federal Register notice.

Email questions about the board to EnergyAdvisoryBoard@dol.gov. More information is available at http://www.dol.gov/owcp/energy/regs/compliance/AdvisoryBoard.htm.

Agency
Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
Date
April 1, 2016
Release Number
16-0478-NAT
Contact: Amanda McClure
Phone Number