Unicoi County Memorial Offers Full-Time Occupational Health Program

For more than 25 years, Cedric Fernando, MD, has held the position of assistant clinical professor of family medicine at East Tennessee State University. Cedric Fernando, MD, also serves as the medical director of the occupational health program at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital in Erwin.

Employers throughout the Erwin area are invited to participate in Unicoi County Memorial Hospital’s full-time occupational health program. The program is designed to minimize employer costs and maximize workplace productivity while providing the care that injured employees need.

The program’s pre-employment screening services include physicals, laboratory tests, x-rays, stress testing, hearing evaluations, and pulmonary function testing, among other available evaluations. The comprehensive drug testing program consists of pre-employment screening services as well as ongoing random and targeted testing according to each company’s policies. All laboratory results are reviewed by a certified medical review officer to ensure accuracy.

In addition to treating work-related injuries, the hospital’s occupational health staff offers physical therapy, employee compliance monitoring with modified duty instructions, and vaccines.


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Common Types of Repetitive Stress Injuries

At Unicoi County Memorial Hospital, many patients seek treatment from Cedric Fernando, MD, for on-the-job repetitive stress injuries. Over the course of his career in occupational medicine, Cedric Fernando, MD, has handled numerous workers’ compensation claims.

Repetitive stress injuries often occur in the workplace when employees must make repeated motions or stay in a fixed position while working. Also called cumulative trauma, these types of injuries often can be prevented with an ergonomically correct work setup and enforcement of OSHA guidelines. Common repetitive stress injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and cervical radiculopathy.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which the median nerve in the forearm experiences compression. This in turn causes pain, tingling, or numbness in the hands and arms.

Tendinitis occurs when tendons, which are the thick cords that affix muscles to the bones, experience pain and inflammation. Any tendon may be affected, but tendinitis most commonly is seen in the elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.

Cervical radiculopathy is caused by spinal nerve damage that happens when vertebrae in the neck are compressed. The resulting pain can extend from the neck to the arms, chest, and upper back.

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An Overview of the AAFP’s Focus on Family Medicine

Focusing on occupational health and medicine, Cedric Fernando, MD, is the medical director in the Occupational Health Department at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital. After earning his degree at East Tennessee University Quillen College of Medicine, he complemented his hands-on experience and education with a number of certifications. In particular, Cedric Fernando, MD, is a certified medical review officer (MOR) and a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

As one of the world’s largest medical organizations, AAFP advocates over 110,600 family physicians, residents, and students. The main goal of the organization is to help family physicians better treat their patients by increasing the value of AAFP membership. Members gain access to exclusive programs, educational seminars, and other perks that they can use to advance their knowledge of family-oriented medicine.

Following World War II, many physicians branched out into specialized areas of medicine, leaving those in need of general services without local doctors to call their own. Family medicine emerged as a subset of the medical field in 1969. Physicians who practice the discipline pledge to provide care for all individuals regardless of their socioeconomic standing. Their focus on the family allows them to treat patients of all ages, beginning at infancy and extending through senior years.

AAFP is proud to represent family physicians, who devote their time and energy to treating a broad range of conditions as well as offering generalized services such as checkups and physicals.

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Avoiding Job-related Accidents by Eliminating Workplace Hazards

Cedric Fernando, MD, has provided medical care to patients in the Tennessee area for over two decades. A board-certified family physician, he currently serves as the medical director for the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital Occupational Health Department. Dr. Cedric Fernando earned his MD from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in the British West Indies and fulfilled his residency through East Tennessee State University.

In many situations, workplace hazards result in avoidable accidents, such as slips and falls, muscle sprains, chemical exposure, burns, and others. Job-related accidents can lead to missed days from work, medical costs, and long-term rehabilitation expenses.

To avoid accidents, both employers and employees can work to eliminate hazardous conditions around the workplace. Employees can clean up their work areas, make sure to read and follow all safety guidelines and regulations, and take additional safety precautions if sick or fatigued. Employers are responsible for providing safety training and following up with employees to ensure that they are complying with the established rules and practices. Employers should also ensure work areas are well lit and free of clutter and that all equipment and furniture is functioning properly. A proactive approach to safety can prevent accidents and injuries, increase productivity, and save time and money.

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Cedric Fernando, MD: Duties of an Occupational Health Medical Director

Recognized as an expert in the field of occupational medicine, Cedric Fernando, MD, has been managing and treating workplace injuries for nearly 20 years. Cedric Fernando, MD, currently serves as the medical director of Unicoi County Memorial Hospital’s occupational health program.

The responsibilities of a medical director in the field of occupational safety are many. Here are a few of the main duties of the position:

Ensure compliance with safety policies and procedures – The medical director develops safety policies and procedures for the company and arranges for any necessary employee training on workplace safety issues.

Conduct appropriate screenings – It is the medical director’s job to coordinate all appropriate employee testing, including complete physicals, substance abuse screenings, EKG and stress tests, and hearing tests.

Provide guidance to employers – In addition to working employees, the medical director advises employers on the proper safety policies and procedures that need to be instituted in the workplace.

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Detecting Dangerous Indoor Air Pollution

Cedric Fernando, MD, is an experienced medical practitioner in the field of occupational health and safety. As medical director of the occupational health department at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital, Dr. Fernando prevents, treats, and manages workplace-related injuries, diseases, and substance abuse issues in Unicoi County, Tennessee.
Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) can affect the health and well-being of those exposed to it. Despite its lack of recognition as a public health threat, indoor air pollution is listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as the fourth-largest environmental danger in the United States. Annually, more lives are lost to illnesses related to poor IAQ than are lost in alcohol-related car accidents.

The instruments and techniques used in indoor air pollution detection are advanced and varied. Wireless detection monitors have improved air safety in buildings by allowing IAQ experts to remotely monitor for gas or radiation, collect data, and generate reports in a timely fashion. IAQ monitoring devices are able to detect all of the most common air pollutants, which include carbon monoxide, radon, formaldehyde, and microbial contaminants such as mold.

Measuring levels of carbon dioxide can give an early indication of air quality in a building. Though not considered a pollutant in low amounts, elevated levels of carbon dioxide can indicate the presence of other pollutants.

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Cedric Fernando, MD: Eating Healthy At the Office

Cedric Fernando, MD, attended the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he now serves as an assistant clinical professor. In addition, Dr. Fernando oversees the occupational health department at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital.

Many people follow a healthy eating plan in an attempt to lose weight, or just to feel better. However, without some preparation in advance, spending most of the day at the office can make healthy eating difficult.

The American Council on Exercise provides several tips for staying on track with healthy eating at work. The first is to plan for your meals and snacks during the day. Decide what you will have for each meal and snack, and bring healthy foods if you don’t have the option to purchase them at work.

If needed, prepare your meals and snacks at home to avoid the temptation of eating processed foods high in fat, sugar, or calories that may be available in an office vending machine. An additional way to avoid the junk food is to stock up on healthy snacks to keep at your desk.

It is important to eat a balanced, filling breakfast before heading to the office in order to stave off afternoon crashes or food cravings. Breakfast should include a combination of whole grains, protein, fruits, and vegetables.

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