Hospital General Castañer Wins EPA Award
Last week, Jose Rodriguez, MD, Medical Director at Hospital General Castañer, attended an awards ceremony in New York City to receive the 2017 United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Champion Award. Given by EPA Region 2, the prestigious award honors those who have demonstrated “outstanding commitment to protecting and enhancing environmental quality and public health,” according to the EPA.
Hospital General Castañer is a Center of Excellence in Environmental and Occupational Health through MCN’s Workers and Health, an EPA-funded program in which MCN provides on-site clinical training, resources, technical assistance, and peer-to-peer networking between frontline providers and occupational and environmental medicine specialists, in order to improve the recognition and management of pesticides poisonings and other occupational and environmental health conditions in primary care. MCN has also worked with Hospital General Castañer through our Worker Safety and Health in Community Health Centers project, which utilizes a train-the-trainer approach to equip outreach staff to train agricultural workers on occupational health concerns including chemical safety, heat stress, and workers’ rights. The project is supported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Susan Harwood Grant program.
“Dr. Rodriguez and his staff at Hospital General Castañer have done outstanding work to integrate and address environmental and occupational health in the primary care setting,” said Amy K. Liebman, MPA, Director of Environmental and Occupational Health at MCN, and a close collaborator with Dr. Rodriguez. “Dr. Rodriguez is a strong advocate of prevention. He works closely with farmers and workers to educate them about ways to protect themselves -- both within and outside of the health center. He takes his message out to the farms themselves, making a great impact and improving the health of people throughout his community.”