Director of Crew and Occupational Health

The Director of Crew and Occupational Health is responsible for ensuring Mercy Ships has medical standards which create a safe living and working environment for Mercy Ships crew. The role covers the areas of Crew Health which sets standards for medical fitness to serve, ensures crew meets these standards and provides primary and urgent healthcare services to crew on board Mercy Ships vessels. This also incorporates management of communicable disease outbreaks amongst the crew and the Director of Crew and Occupational Health is responsible for ensuring that the organization has adequate Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR) plans as part of the Business Continuity Plan (BCP). Additionally, they are responsible for Occupational Health across the organization and work in collaboration with Marine Operations to ensure a safe working environment on board Mercy Ships vessels. Liaise with the Talent Management and relevant operating teams to ensure Crew Clinic teams are staffed with qualified candidates. Centrally manage staffing levels & support workforce on location to build bench strength.

Essential Duties And Responsibilities (Include But Not Limited To)

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.

Crew Health 

  • Responsibility for development and maintenance of policies and procedures related to crew health, including but not limited to:
    • Medical review processes
    • Medical fitness to serve standards
    • Medical evacuation procedures
    • Infectious diseases policies 
  • Ensures policy and procedure is in adherence to IMO and labor convention standards
  • Provides second opinion to medical reviews for the Crew Health Physician in cases of ambiguity or applicant appeal against a denial. 
  • Provides remote health care coverage to in country teams where no vessel is docked. 

Occupational Health 

  • Works in conjunction with Marine Operations Safety Manager to ensure workplace accidents and injuries are reported and followed up
  • Develops and maintains procedures to ensure occupational health risks are assessed for and mitigated 
  • Responsibility for development and maintenance of policies and procedures related to occupational health, including but not limited to:
    • Vaccination and immunization Policy
    • Malaria prophylaxis policy
    • Exposure to secretions
    • Needlestick injuries
    • Exposure to communicable diseases (e.g. tuberculosis, typhoid)
    • Manual Handling
    • Management of workplace accidents and injuries
  • Liaises with Country Engagement Team and utilizes international resources to review policies in accordance with disease prevalence and regulations of host countries.

Communicable Diseases Outbreak Response

  • Responsibility for development and maintenance of policies and procedures related to communicable infectious diseases, including but not limited to:
    • COVID-like illnesses
    • Influenza-like illnesses
    • Gastrointestinal illnesses
  • Provides oversight to vessel Crew Clinic teams in the event of a communicable disease outbreak
  • Co-ordinates with Crisis Management Team to ensure Emergency Preparedness Response and Resilience (EPRR) plans are in place for biohazards and infectious diseases as part of Business Continuity Plan (BCP) 

Resource Management of Crew Clinics

  • Review applications for Crew Clinic positions, including transfers & extensions and any interviews to determine placement, working closely in collaboration with direct manager to understand the workforce needs of each team.
  • Collaborate with the Talent Management team and advocate for the needs of the Crew Clinic team and problem solve when volunteers may not be available – initiate contractor requests or local assistance as necessary.
  • Review and provide input on all PTO & LOA requests for the Crew Clinic teams and work with the Talent Management team to fill any staffing gaps.
  • During the evaluation process be consulted in case of performance improvement plans, in case of growth/development plans for advancement, & informed in case of Do Not Rehire (DNR) recommendations and ensuring the proper process is followed. 
  • Work with stakeholders to determine the needs of upcoming field services and/or maintenance phases to ensure proper workforce coverage for day crew and crew/volunteers.

Crew Clinic Clinical Support

  • Provides supervision for Crew Physicians including but not limited to:
    • Induction to Mercy Ships Crew Clinic (travel to Mercy Ships vessel is preferred)
    • Annual performance reviews
    • Planning and facilitating Continuing Professional Development 
  • Provide support and clinical guidance to Crew Clinics and Crew Physician as needed
  • Assist with difficult cases involving crew by providing external consult and or research
  • Provides short term on board coverage of Crew Clinic to cover Crew Physician PTO or shortage
  • Acts as Medical Designated Person Ashore to coordinate any crew medical evacuations from ship

Crew Health Clinical Governance

  •  Develop and maintain clinical governance systems for Crew Health, Crew Clinic and Crew Dental services
  • Ensures Crew Clinic staff have been enrolled in appropriate indemnity scheme for providing medical care to crew
  •  Oversee quality and safety in clinical practice of the Crew Clinic and Crew Dental Clinic
  •  Develop and maintain clinical incident reporting, investigation and improvement in systems and practice
  •  Develops and reviews protocols and workflows for delivery of excellent care in Crew Clinic and Crew Dental Clinic
  •  Maintains Crew Health manuals
      • Crew Physician
      • Crew Nurse
      • Crew Clinic Administrative Assistant
  •  Ensure safe and effective medical record management systems for Crew Health service
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, And Requirements)

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.


    • Enthusiastic and relational approach to work with volunteers, colleagues, and subordinates within the structure of Mercy Ships
    • Must be a team player and willing to collaborate with others.
    • Ability to embrace, promote, and participate in a well-functioning, productive, and professional team


    • Demonstrates appropriate clinical competencies in primary health care and occupational medicine
    • Demonstrates understanding of tropical medicine to a competency to provide clinical advice to Crew Clinic staff
    • Demonstrates understanding of the complexity of occupational health in the working environment of a hospital ship in low- and middle-income countries.


    • Strong computer skills required with high proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite.
    • Capacity to learn custom systems and applications.
    • Undertakes Crew Clinic EMR user training.


    • Strong written and verbal communication skills.

Personal attributes and leadership skills

    • Must possess strong problem-solving and conflict resolution skills.
    • Must be self-motivated and thorough.
    • Ability to think critically, plan ahead, forecast changes, needs, issues, etc. and address them.
    • Understanding and application of servant leadership.
    • Work with integrity and demonstrate accountability.
    • Support organization’s mission and vision; adhere to Mercy Ships’ Code of Conduct.
  • Supportive of Mercy Ships mission and vision, and committed to its core values.
  • Understand and apply servant leadership, work collaboratively with integrity and demonstrate accountability

Education And Experience

The requirements listed below are representative of the education and / or experience required.

  • M.D. or D.O. with current unrestricted license or recognized medical qualification in country of origin
  • 5 years post-graduate clinical experience required with board/college certification in General Practice, Family Medicine, or Internal Medicine (Emergency Medicine physicians may be considered based on experience and practice pattern).

  • Postgraduate diploma or higher in Occupational Medicine desirable.
  • Mercy Ships experience preferred.

  • Successful completion of Basic Training in accordance with STCW A-VI/1-1 to 1-4 as required per Maritime Law.

  • Successful completion of Mercy Ships Entry Training may be required.