You are here

About Us

Patricia R. Worthington - Director, Office of Health and Safety

Patricia R. Worthington

Patricia Worthington is the Director of the Office of Health and Safety, within the Office of Environment, Health, Safety and Security (AU) where she reports directly to the Acting Associate Undersecretary for Environment, Health, Safety and Security and supports him in establishing worker safety and health requirements and expectations related to a diverse set of potential hazard exposures, such as chemical, industrial, biological, and radiological hazards.  Currently, her office is conducting a number of health studies, including:  (1) studies to determine worker and public health effects from exposure to hazardous materials associated with U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) operations; (2) international health studies and programs in Japan, Spain, and the Russian Federation; (3) medical screening and environmental monitoring in the Marshall Islands; and (4) medical surveillance and screening programs for current and former workers.  Her office also plays a critical role for the Department in ensuring that DOE makes available worker and facility records and data to support the Department of Labor in the implementation of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.

Her office also plays a critical role for the Department in ensuring that DOE makes available worker and facility records and data to support the Department of Labor in the implementation of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.

A critical aspect of the AU function is assistance.  Dr. Worthington's office provides technical assistance to Headquarters and field elements in the implementation of policy and resolving worker safety and health issues. Her office supports to the DOE Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site, which provides professional training and medical countermeasures to occupational and non-occupational exposures to ionizing radiation and in Federal Agency matters concerning bioterrorism.

Dr. Worthington has 40 years of Federal experience, the majority of which has been devoted to promoting and advocating the safety and health of DOE Federal and contractor workers, members of the public living in the vicinity of DOE sites, and advancing the Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS). Dr. Worthington currently serves as the Department's ISM Co-Champion. In this capacity, she works closely with the DOE program offices, at both Headquarters and Field, to continually enhance the safe execution of the DOE mission. Her office has responsibility for the DOE Voluntary Protection Program, which encourages and recognizes excellence in occupational safety and health protection and further builds on the continuous improvement component of ISM. She was recently designated by the Deputy Secretary of Energy as the Responsible Manager for DOE's commitments in response to the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board on implementation of activity-level work planning and control.

Previously, Dr. Worthington served as the Director of the Office of Environment, Safety and Health Evaluations where she worked to improve current management practices for environment, safety, and health programs across the DOE complex and investigated historical operations. As such, she has indepth and firsthand knowledge of DOE sites, site-specific activities, and operational issues.  Prior to joining DOE, Dr. Worthington gained invaluable, extensive experience at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission where she was responsible for managing the Severe Accident International Research Program, which involved working with over 10 countries to share technical knowledge of nuclear safety. She holds a PhD in Chemistry from Howard University.