Responding to the local business community, Sturdy Memorial Hospital developed an occupational health service. Situated about 35 miles south of Boston, Attleboro has a population of 130,000, with jewelry, chemicals, and light manufacturing as its predominant industries. Featuring plant visits by a medical director with specialty training in occupational and internal medicine, the program provides clinical, ancillary, consultative, educational, and a variety of special services. Clinical services include preplacement examinations and treatment of work-related Injuries. Ancillary services are audiometric testing, pulmonary function testing, and screening for heavy-metal exposures. Among the consultative services are evaluations as to whether a disease is work related; counseling on the reproductive hazards in the workplace; and disability evaluations. Work-site visits are conducted by an occupational health nurse who participates in medical surveillance and health promotion programs. Within two years the service has become affiliated with more than 60 firms on a non-contractual, fee-for-service basis. Economic self-sufficiency was established within 18 months of the institution of clinical services.
(C)1984 The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine