FMCSA appoints new Medical Review Board members

| 12/6/2010

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has picked three new members for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s medical advisory panel.

Dr. Brian Morris, Dr. Albert Osbahr and Dr. Gina Pervall have each been appointed to two-year terms on the FMCSA Medical Review Board.

“Healthy commercial drivers are safer drivers,” Secretary LaHood said in a statement. “The Review Board plays a critical role in ensuring that drivers of large commercial trucks and buses are medically qualified to operate on our roads.”  

Morris is associate medical director at All One Health Resources, and is former surgeon general for the Massachusetts State Police. He holds board certifications in occupational and legal medicine, as well as degrees in medicine, law, business and public health. Morris is a diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners according to an FMCSA news release.

Osbahr has board certifications in family, occupational and preventive medicine and is a certified medical review officer. He is president of the North Carolina Medical Society and the North Carolina State Occupational Society. Osbahr also is chairman-elect for the American Medical Association Council on science and public health.

Pervall has board certifications in occupational and internal medicine and is an associate physician for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. She is a certified medical review officer and a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

“These medical professionals bring extraordinary achievement and dedication to the Medical Review Board,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro, according to a statement. “We are grateful they have agreed to serve on the Medical Review Board and work on the important health issues impacting commercial truck and bus drivers.”

Board members Benjamin Hoffman and Carl Soderstrom are already serving on the MRB, and round out the five-member panel.

Hoffman is an M.D., M.P.H. and adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health and chief medical officer of Waste Management Inc.

Soderstrom is professor of surgery at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine.

The MRB was authorized by Congress in 2005 by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).

The Medical Review board didn’t formally meet in 2010, but the panel has stirred up controversy in the past. Among the most controversial recommendations, it has proposed a “matrix” of medical and psychological disqualifications that would ban many drivers from the road, as well as suggesting a federal requirement that truckers with a body mass index of 30 or greater undergo mandatory overnight sleep exams.