In addition to providing strategic direction to the organization, members of the CWP Advisory Committee are subject-matter experts who help provide timely information about the complexities of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program and the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. Committee members also answer member questions and conduct outreach to former nuclear-industry workers and uranium miners to ensure Cold War Patriots robust and active membership.
Meet the Committee Members:
Richard Anderson, a native of Maryville, Tennessee, is a retired engineer. He served over 20 years at the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Plant in Oak Ridge. His late wife, Janine Anderson, was a nationally known advocate for sick nuclear workers. She and Richard were founding members of Cold War Patriots, as well as active advocates for nuclear workers in Washington, D.C. Janine was selected as one of the original nine members of the CWP Advisory Committee. Just a few days after kicking off the national campaign for the National Day of Remembrance, Janine passed away and Richard was selected to fill her position on the CWP Advisory Committee. In his spare time, Richard, a descendant of Cades Cove families, serves as assistant director of the Cades Cove Museum of Maryville, TN.
Christopher H. Hayes
Christopher H. Hayes is a Tennessee attorney practicing in the Oak Ridge/Knoxville area since 1986. He is a former Department of Energy contractor employed at the K-25 site and the Y-12 national security complex. His primary areas of practice include workers compensation, personal injury, products liability, toxic torts and wrongful-death claims. Hayes has appellate experience before the Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Tennessee Court of Appeals and the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Lawrence Martinez Sr.
Lawrence Martinez Sr. of Shiprock, N.M., is a member of the Navajo tribe and works for the Office of Navajo Uranium Workers. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division in the U.S. Army, he then worked as an electrician for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority (NTUA), as director of Navajo Housing Services, for the Navajo Nation Police Department and the Office of Navajo Uranium Workers. His primary work has been in electrical contracting. Martinez’s grandfather and two uncles, who helped supply uranium for the U.S. government, died from radiation exposure. He deals with personal tragedies daily in his position.
Sandie A. Medina
Sandie Medina has spent over forty years committed to the workers of the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS, formerly the Nevada Test Site). Since 1996, Sandie has been playing an integral part in the Former Worker Program (FWP), now operated by the Worker Health Protection Program at Queens College, City of University New York, where she works as a Program Specialist. In this role, Sandie recruits former workers and ensures they are aware of the FWP and EEOICPA services.
Prior to working on the medical screening program, Sandie had a twenty-five year career at the NNSS, where she provided clerical and administrative support for underground nuclear testing. In this role, Sandie was able to work with large segments of the NNSA workforce and developed many close ties with the workers who carried out these crucial tests of the United States’ nuclear arsenal.
“My favorite part of working on the medical screening program is being able to interact with my former co-workers. Many of us were put in harm’s way and I feel I am truly lucky to help workers get screened for the early detection of occupational illness, or in other cases, assist the workers who are already ill and are trying to get compensation.”
Sandie has been an active member of Laborers’ Union Local #872 since 1998 and been the Administrative Secretary for the Laborers’ Retiree’s Council since 2006.
Dr. Maureen Merritt
Maureen Merritt, MD, an occupational healthcare consultant to industry and Native American tribes, is a former nurse from Iowa. After returning to college and medical school, she obtained her medical degree from UOMHS Des Moines, Iowa. As a board-certified family practitioner, she became a private-practice physician and occupational medical director for Garlock Inc., where she was instrumental in advancing occupational safety and health programs. Merritt joined the U.S. Public Health Service and worked with various tribes as chief medical officer until her retirement. She created and lobbied for a first-in-the-nation State Office of Advocacy and Technical Assistance for Nuclear Workers in New Mexico and created the New Mexico Alliance of Nuclear Worker Advocates. Merritt assists claimants with EEOICPA claims adjudication and lobbies for EEOICPA reform.
Paul Mullens, a second-generation nuclear worker with 28 years of service at the Portsmouth, STATE Gaseous Diffusion Plant, is local coordinator for the Worker Health Protection Program. It provides free medical screenings to former and current plant workers. Mullens helps them with claims for the EEOICPA of 2000 and with Ohio Workers Compensation. He’s been on the executive board of Local 1-689 of the United Steel Workers for the past 14 years and serves as chair of the Election Committee, the By-Laws Committee, and acts as the alternate benefits representative for the local union.
Faye Vlieger, raised in southern California, worked at the Department of Energy’s Hanford, Wash., nuclear plant for three years and was disabled by chemical vapor exposure. She got involved with injured Hanford workers and is active in the struggle to get complete and accurate records of exposures, injuries and accidents. Vlieger also helps workers get consideration of EEIOCPA claims. She served in the Kansas Air National Guard from 1981to 1994 as a technical sergeant. Vlieger has an extensive educational background, and a bachelor’s degree in management from Linfield College.
In addition to volunteering as an Advisory Committee Member at CWP, Faye also serves on the Department of Labor’s Advisory Board on Toxic Substances and Worker Health for Part E of the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) program.