Leading the Way in Occupational Health and Environmental Medicine
Occupational health is a field of study that focuses on identifying and controlling the risks arising from physical, chemical, and other workplace hazards with the goal of establishing and maintaining a safe and healthy working environment. Occupational medicine is a medical specialty that provides a variety of healthcare services and education to organizations and individuals to ensure that high standards of health and safety in the workplace are achieved.
Environmental medicine is the study of the interaction between environmental and workplace hazards and human health and illness. Holistic in nature, environmental medicine concerns individuals' chronic exposure to various stressors that can trigger a wide range of mental, physical and emotional disorders.
Occupational Health and Medicine Services
Specialists at North Shore-LIJ Health System's Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center provide consultation services for a wide spectrum of work-related injuries and exposures.
In the early days of occupational medicine, physicians were simply reactive and primarily treated workers that were already injured or exposed to safety and environmental hazards in the workplace. Today's workplaces are becoming more complex venues. As a result, physicians at the Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center are working in a highly visible role of preventing diseases and promoting wellness among workers. They are highly trained specialists who focus on preventive medicine, clinical care, disability management, research and education of America's workers.
Occupational Health and Medicine Partnerships
The Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center partners with unions, benefit funds and area businesses to enhance the health and safety of workers and lower overall healthcare costs. With over 30 years of specialized experience, our physicians evaluate patients at our Center and, when appropriate, at their worksites. Patients then return to their referring physician for treatment.
Our Center's occupational health and medicine services include a variety of examinations for employees of area businesses such as:
- Independent Medical Exams (IMEs)
- Commercial Driver /DOT exams
- Fitness-for-Duty and Return-to-Work evaluations
- Pre-employment and pre-placement exams
- Drug testing services
Education and Prevention Services
North Shore-LIJ's Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center offers a wide range of prevention, education and treatment programs for businesses and employees, including on-site health fairs, annual flu vaccines, healthy lifestyle campaigns and mental health services.
Environmental Medicine Services
Specialists at North Shore-LIJ Health System's Occupational and Environmental Medicine Center serve as a consultative resource for clinicians and patients facing environmental exposures including:
- Heavy metals (lead, mercury, cobalt, etc.) – These toxins enter the human body through breathing, drinking and skin absorption. Heavy metal toxicity can result in damaged or reduced mental and central nervous function, lower energy levels and damage to blood composition, lungs, kidneys, liver and other vital organs.
- Mold and other indoor air quality concerns – Exposure to mold in the workplace can cause upper respiratory tract symptoms like coughing and wheezing in otherwise healthy people and asthma symptoms in people with asthma.
- Asbestos-related lung diseases – Widely used in many industries in the past, asbestos consists of tiny fibers that can escape into the air. When breathed in, these fibers can stay in your lungs for a long time and lead to diseases such as:
- Pleural plaque (thickening and hardening around the lungs)
- Pleural effusion (excess fluid buildup between the lungs and the chest wall)
- Asbestosis (scarring of the lungs)
- Mesothelioma (cancer of the pleura)
- Chemical exposures to toxins such as pesticides, solvents, pollutants and other hazardous substances
- World Trade Center-related health issues – Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), asthma, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems are all health issues related to 9/11, as reported in The World Trade Center (WTC) Medical Working Group's "2011 Annual Report on 9/11 Health."