Clark County at Work: Columbia River Occupational Health
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Business name: Columbia River Occupational Health.
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Owner and medical director: Dr. Craig Thompson.
Clinic manager and marketing: Charise Brenes.
Address: 2621 N.E. 134th St., Suite 310, Vancouver.
What the business does: Columbia River Occupational Health serves regional employers in preventing illness and injury in the workplace. It also treats injured patients and helps those patients return to work. The company conducts fitness-for-duty evaluations to help workers return to work in a time-appropriate manner. Columbia River Occupational also provides training to address potential workplace hazards, reducing a company’s risk.
Some of the tests the occupational health firm offers include preplacement examinations, surveillance examinations, travel medicine, drug and alcohol testing, respirator certifications and audiograms. Thompson is one of a few senior aerospace medical examiners in the area qualified to perform airline first-, second- and third-class airmen exams.
Steps to build the business as the economy recovers: Clinic Manager Charise Brenes said the company offers a lot of support to its clients at no additional charge. It helps by determining what services clients need and by making an effort to be fair so it can retain clients. Brenes said she has increased marketing in the local business community to build the company’s customer base.
Greatest challenge: Keeping clients up to date with the changes in state and federal regulations, and addressing the diversity of each client’s needs are the company’s biggest challenges, Brenes said. Each client has a different set of regulations under which it must operate. The clinic strives to keep each client’s information organized, and to make sure services are provided in a quick and correct manner.
What’s ahead: The clinic is reaching out to businesses that have Department of Transportation drivers to alert them of new rules in the next year. It also aims to start an event called Dinner with the Doc for business owners. The event will focus on a topics of interest for human resources or safety officers. The first topic would be DOT exam requirements, expectations and new rules. It is also adding one employee.
What is your favorite part of your job: Brenes said she enjoys the challenge of learning about new businesses every day. She also likes visiting businesses in the community, she said.
Year established in Clark County: April 2005.
Employees: Six full time.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.