Published December 18, 2001
Volume 9, Number 12

Premier COMP Medical Group Opens in January 
New Practice Hopes to Become Medical Provider of Choice for Area Businesses
Premier COMP
Dr. Stephen R. Nord, second from left, is flanked by (left to right) Debbie Rinaldo, director of client services;
Janice Lowery, clinic coordinator; and Darrel Spjut, radiology manager.

By Jay Hipps
Network Editor 

Whether your business is software development or manual labor, workplace health issues are a part of doing business. That's why it's important to have access to a medical provider who is sensitive to the needs of both the patient and their employer. 

"Occupational medicine is an arena where you have two patients: You have the individual who is the employee but the employer is also an extended patient, because all of your findings are going to impact what they do," says Debbie Rinaldo, director of client services for Hacienda's newly-created Premier COMP Medical Group. "Our mission is to enhance productivity for employees and employers and keep everybody safe." 

While the company is new, its medical director, Dr. Stephen R. Nord, is anything but. Board certified in both occupational medicine and internal medicine, Dr. Nord began his medical practice in 1978 and has worked exclusively in occupational medicine for the last ten years. 

The practice of occupational medicine usually comes under two categories. 

"The one that most people are familiar with is workers' compensation, which is if you get hurt or get ill as a result of something that happens in the workplace," she says. "The other side of occupational medicine is what we commonly call corporate medicine, much of which is mandated by federal agencies such as OSHA."

Corporate medicine frequently involves long-term monitoring of the health of employees who work in specific jobs or industries. 

"We will monitor the health of people who are exposed to known toxins -- lead, arsenic, heavy metals, those kinds of things -- and we also do a lot of work in hearing conservation for people who are in industries where there is a lot of noise." 

The clinic, which opens January 2 but is accessible for tours now, will provide on site all the services needed to meet the occupational medicine requirements of its clients, including lab and x-ray. The clinic will also provide first aid treatment, drug and alcohol screening, physicals, and even travel medicine. 

"If people who travel around the world for their jobs get sick while they're overseas, that's a workers' compensation injury," says Rinaldo. "Dr. Nord is also an expert at determining what kind of vaccinations and medications are needed for travel to various parts of the world." 

The clinic, at 5635 West Las Positas, Suite 401, can be reached at (925) 520-0055


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