Energy Department contracts hospital to save workers’ records

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By Roger Snodgrass

Former employees of Los Alamos National Laboratory with claims against the federal government for work-related illnesses won a longstanding grievance last week.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. reported that the Los Alamos Medical Center has been awarded a $999,999 contract by the Department of Energy to help salvage thousands of old medical and exposure records in the hospital basement and a nearby warehouse.                

“Cleanup and storage of these medical records is key to advancing the cases of former Los Alamos Lab employees who have filed compensation claims with the EEOICPA program,” Bingaman said in the announcement.

EEOICPA, the Energy Employee Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act, was passed in 2000 to compensate workers involved in the production and testing of nuclear weapons who developed diseases because of exposures on the job. Bingaman visited the hospital and spoke to hospital officials in August.

A spokesperson for the hospital said Monday they had not received notification of the contract and declined to comment until then.

The contract will assist with the cleanup and indexing of medical records of former laboratory employees and contractor employees according to the announcement.

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