In 1993, the U.S. Congress enacted Public Law 102-484, Section 3162 directing the U.S. Department of Energy to initiate a program to evaluate the health of former DOE workers who may have been exposed to hazardous substances at work. DOE, through its Office of Health, has sponsored beryllium screening for former workers from many sites; a surveillance program for Rocky Flats radiation workers; and several former worker, site-specific, health screening programs.
The newest initiative is called the National Supplemental Screening Program (NSSP). It is operated by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) and its partners—National Jewish Health (NJH), Comprehensive Health Services Incorporated (CHS), Axion Health and the University of Colorado Denver. These organizations are highly respected for their expertise and capabilities in occupational medicine.
Podcast: Protecting the health of energy workers—ORAU and the NSSP program
The National Supplemental Screening Program (NSSP) provides free medical screenings to Department of Energy workers who may have been exposed to hazards in the workplace. The NSSP collects data to help identify if these former workers have developed any health conditions related to workplace exposures, as well as any health conditions that arise as these workers age. In this conversation, we talk to Zac Hubbell, Ph.D., a research associate for the program, and Dr. Lee Newman, director of the Center for Health, Work, and Environment at the Colorado School of Public Health. The CHWE recently named ORAU its 2020 Partner of the Year for the work our organizations do together for the NSSP.
Former Worker Medical Screening Program Report now available
The 2020 Former Worker Medical Screening Program Report presents an overview of the purpose, structure, accomplishments, and findings of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Former Worker Medical Screening Program or Former Worker Program (FWP) for FY 2020; and cumulative program results from FY 1997-2020. The report also discusses the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the FWP and the efforts of DOE and its service providers to manage the program during this global event.
The FWP directly benefits former DOE workers by providing medical screening exams designed to identify signs or symptoms of work-related health conditions at an early stage when they are more treatable; and by improving former workers’ understanding of health risks they may have faced due to possible exposures during their employment with DOE.