Douglas B. Stevenson, Esq., Director of SCI’s Center for Seafarers’ Rights, recently participated in the United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee (MEDMAC) meeting in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
MEDMAC provides advice to the USCG on matters relating to mariners’ medical requirements. The committee looks at such issues as the process for issuing medical certificates to mariners, including medical evaluations, training for evaluators, and occupational health research. MEDMAC is comprised of medical professionals with expertise in occupational medicine and examining seafarers for medical certificates, as well as professional mariners who have first-hand experience of occupational medical requirements.
MEDMAC is a forum for developing expert and scientific recommendations for the USCG. It also undertakes specific assignments such as reviewing Coast Guard regulations and examining mariner nutrition and diet. MEDMAC may conduct studies, inquiries, workshops, and seminars in consultation with private sector organizations as well as state and local government.
The Seamen’s Church Institute has a long history of advocating for seafarers’ well-being, health, and medical care. We encourage and facilitate occupational health research on mariners to enhance mariner health and provide objective, research-based criteria for mariners’ medical certificates. We look forward to working with MEDMAC on occupational health research and other mariner health initiatives.
Continuing this theme, in recent weeks, groups of students from Rutgers School of Nursing have been ship visiting in Port Newark with SCI's Chaplain James Kollin. They have had the opportunity to tour the ships and meet seafarers in their place of work, providing valuable insight into how best to offer occupational health care to this workforce.