IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Nuclear Care Partners opened its doors today. It's the Department of Labor approved provider for in-home nursing services to former Department of Energy workers who became ill as a result of working in the atomic weapons industry.
"Our population is a little specific because they were former Department of Energy workers whereas other agencies would just be open to the public," said Denise Peterson, the nurse care manager at Nuclear Care Partners.
Peterson, who has been a nurse for 18 years, said there is an appeal to the Idaho Falls location because of the services they can provide to former Idaho National Laboratory employees.
"We see a lot of illnesses. We see respiratory illnesses, pulmonary illnesses, asbestosis, silicosis," said Peterson.
Bill Slusser is one of those patients. The 68-year-old former INL employee suffers from silicosis, a respiratory disease, as a result from working at the site. He worked at the INL for 24 years.
Nuclear Care Providers picked Slusser as its Adopt-a-Family recipient. The company decided to donate several items to make Slusser's life easier.
Simple gifts like a vacuum cleaner, a new walker, clothes and shoes to make life a little more comfortable for a deserving person is what the company said it's all about.
"There's a special relationship you form with these patients when you come into their home and you meet them and their families and you really bond with these patient. I'm very privileged and honored to take care of these people and they're very grateful of the services we can provide them," said Peterson.
Nuclear care providers said their services are free but the screening process for patients can be challenging.
Proving the correlation of illness to working at Department of Energy sites can be difficult. More information can be found at www.nuclearcarepartners.com