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January 12, 2014

New clinic opens at Merrimack Valley Hospital

HAVERHILL — If you’re preparing to travel to country where diseases such as malaria are present, need an pilot’s physical examination or a medical certificate to operate heavy equipment, look to Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill.

This month the hospital is opening an Occupational Health and International Travelers’ Clinic offering a range of services under one roof.

The clinic will offer Department of Transportation exams, pre-employment and municipal exams, fitness-for-duty and return-to-work physical exams and physical exams for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Merrimack Valley Hospital will be one of four sites in northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire offering FAA Class 1 commercial airline pilot exams, hospital officials said.

For employers, the clinic will offer injury prevention services, treatment regimens and health management benefits designed to keep employees healthy and safe in the workplace.

The clinic will also offer international travel medicine for people who travel for business or pleasure internationally.

The clinic will be overseen by Dr. Robert Voight who is also medical director of the Occupational Health and International Travelers’ Clinic at Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer.

Voight is board certified in Internal Medicine and Occupational Medicine and has been awarded the Certificate of Knowledge in Travel Medicine by the International Society of Traveler Medicine.

Commercial truck drivers, bus drivers, and heavy equipment operators require a DOT card in order to operate their equipment. The card is a medical certificate confirming that the driver meets the medical standards of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Agency. As of this May, all such exams must be performed by a medical examiner certified by the FMCSA.

Voight said he is one of only five physicians in Essex County offering these services today.

“In the past, medical exams certifying that commercial drivers meet medical standards were handled by primary care physicians, but given the educational, testing and reporting requirements, many primary care physicians are no longer offering these services to their patients,” said Voight, a certified FMCSA medical examiner who has been performing these exams for 25 years.

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