Today at Berkeley Lab

New Faces, Features at Health Services

— By Keri Troutman


The Lab’s Health Services center has some new faces, new features, and new hours. Pedro Luis (Pete) Estacio, the new Health Services Medical Director, recently joined Berkeley Lab after 15 years at Lawrence Livermore Lab. Estacio’s career interests have been focused on biotechnology research and medical care, specifically point-of-care diagnostics and point-of-event detection.

Estacio’s first major project in his new role is well underway—the rollout of 50 automated external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the Lab, along with AED training courses for qualified employees. AEDs automatically diagnose life-threatening cardiac events and treat patients with debribrillation, an electrical pulse that stops the cardiac irregularity and thus allows the heart to reestablish a normal rhythm. The training started in November for employees who’ve already completed their CPR training courses. The AEDs are planned to be in place by the end of January, strategically placed with the help of division safety officers.

“With an aging population and all the electrical work that goes on at Berkeley Lab, it makes sense to have AEDs available,” says Estacio. “Their reliability has improved immensely as the technology has advanced over the past few years.”

Two other new employees have recently joined Health Services, which will make a new trial of extended open hours that will start in January more doable. Physician Assistant Frederick Curtis recently joined the Lab’s Health Services team after returning from working in Cambodia for four years, where he led HIV-prevention programs. Health Service’s new Medical Assistant Kaitlyn Cox has a background in occupational urgent care.

The new members of the Health Services team join an existing staff of nurses who provide on-site care for work-related injuries and illnesses, as well as specialty checkups and services for employees who must comply with DOE and/or OSHA regulations that require certain regular examinations as a term of employment in jobs that call for machinery operation or high levels of noise exposure.

In addition to longer hours, Estacio hopes that Health Services will be able to provide more wellness services to the Lab community—cholesterol checks, free flu shot clinics, diabetes screenings, and enhanced work-related injury services.

“Health Services has suffered because of budget problems, just like other Lab divisions,” says Estacio. “That’s probably not going to end soon, but we can make the best of what we have and try to do more with limited resources.”

Health Services will start a 6-month trial of extended hours beginning the first Monday after the holiday break, January 5.
Current hours are 7:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Hours will be 7 a.m.–5 p.m. starting January 5.