An upcoming change in regulations by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding who can perform Department of Transportation (DOT) medical exams for commercial truck drivers means that only a few local providers are credentialed to provide this service. Hannah Sutrick, Nurse Practitioner at Ministry Door County Medical Center is one of them. “When we evaluate a driver’s health, we’re looking carefully at different factors including sleep quality, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels – all of which can affect a driver’s safety on the road,” says Sutrick.
In the interest of protecting drivers and others on the road, the DOT is changing requirements on how commercial licenses are granted. Providers are now required to take a course and pass an exam before being able to perform DOT physicals, and are held accountable for the safety outcomes of their patients. “Our goal here at Ministry is to create a healthier community,” says Sutrick, “and keeping drivers and the public safe on our roads is an important piece of that.”
Sutrick is the lead health care provider at Ministry’s Occupational Health and Wellness Clinic, located across the street from Door County Medical Center’s Sturgeon Bay campus. The clinic offers a wide range of services to local businesses and their employees, including caring for work injuries, performing pre-placement physicals, and providing immunizations. “The bottom line is to help employees lead healthier lives, so our goal is to not only treat, but also to prevent illness and injury.” That takes time, says Sutrick. “One of the things I love about working at Ministry is that I can take the time to answer my patients’ questions and really work with them.”
Sutrick emphasizes that drivers with existing two-year licenses do not need to have another exam until their license expires. “But when the time comes to renew your license, be sure to make an appointment with a properly certified provider,” she says. The Ministry Occupational Health Clinic, 133 S. 16th Pl., is open Monday through Friday from 8-4:30. For an appointment, call (920) 746-0726.