Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced in his weekly radio address the launch of a new World Trade Center health website, the creation of which was a key recommendation of the Mayor’s Addressing the Health Impacts of 9/11 report. The comprehensive website, accessible at www.nyc.gov, offers one-stop shopping for 9/11 health-related issues. It consolidates the latest information about scientific research and services, including where those affected can go for free treatment and medicine. The website also includes easily accessible research findings and treatment options for the different groups of affected people: rescue and recovery workers, residents, children, city employees and others. The new site provides, for the first time, a single source for information about the health effects of 9/11. In February, the Mayor adopted all of the 15 recommendations in Addressing the Health Impacts of 9/11. The report’s authors, led by Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs and Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler, represented all of the City agencies dealing with the health impacts of the attacks on the World Trade Center. They were charged with identifying the steps needed to serve those with 9/11-related conditions.
“On Tuesday, New Yorkers, and all Americans, will mark the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “It will be a solemn occasion for remembrance and renewal, a day for us to reflect on those we lost and to recommit ourselves—as a city and as a nation—to all those whose health has been affected by 9/11. Today, I’m pleased to announce that we’re completing another key initiative of my 9/11 health panel with the launch of a new website that consolidates the latest information about 9/11-related health issues—including where to go for free treatment and medication. We want people to know more about the potential health effects of 9/11 so that they can reach out for assessment and services.”
“There is much we still don’t know about World Trade Center health effects,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, New York City Health Commissioner. “But we do know that some rescue and recovery workers, City employees, and residents have experienced health problems. Some have experienced respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, or mental health issues such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The new website is a great way for people to get timely, reliable information about health effects and learn where they can get help.”
The site’s key features include:
- Health information targeted to each affected group (workers, residents, etc.)
- Detailed information on where to get evaluation and treatment, including the three WTC Centers of Excellence
- A compilation of all scientific literature and information about ongoing research
- Links to financial assistance providers, social-service and environmental groups, and other groups working on issues related to 9/11
- Resources for health care professionals
In addition to the new website, the City has completed other core recommendations of Addressing the Health Impacts of 9/11. The Mayor has also appointed the WTC Medical Working Group, a group of scientists and medical experts who review the latest science and its applicability to different populations. The Mayor also appointed the World Trade Center Health Coordinator to organize this information and help convey it to the public. The City’s financial commitment to 9/11 health through the year 2011 exceeds $100 million.
The largest and most comprehensive tracking effort—the World Trade Center Health Registry—continues to monitor the long-term health of people who were exposed to the World Trade Center disaster. They now reside in all 50 states. Two weeks ago, the Registry released critical findings about rescue and recovery workers, some of whom were suffering from asthma and post-traumatic disorder as a result of the disaster. The Health Department is now re-surveying all 71,000 registrants to learn more about their current health status. So far, nearly 60% of registrants have responded. This survey will help answer critical questions about the health consequences of 9/11. The latest information from the Registry will be made available on the new website.