A Message From Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
On September 11th, 2001, our city's rescue workers inspired the nation. And that heroism was followed by a wave of residents, workers, and volunteers from all over the country who helped lift our city – and our nation – back onto its feet. We have a clear responsibility to each and every one of these participants in the City’s recovery, some of whom are now suffering from 9/11-related health problems.
That's why I appointed a panel in 2006 to conduct a comprehensive investigation of these health issues, and to determine what more can be done to help those who are sick or may become sick. In February 2007, the panel completed its report to and suggested the three strategies below, which were adopted in their entirety, to ensure a coordinated, citywide approach:
1. Ensure that all who are ill get the best possible medical care.
Our three Centers of Excellence in New York City (World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Programs at the Fire Department of New York and at Mount Sinai, and the World Trade Center Environmental Health Center) run high-quality programs to evaluate and treat 9/11-related conditions. With enactment of the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2011, the federal government authorized funding for these programs through 2015, with New York City paying ten percent of the cost. In addition, the New York Police Department continues to closely monitor its members who responded to the collapse.
2. Use the latest medical research to enhance care.
Researchers and doctors are continually making important new discoveries about the health effects of 9/11. That's why I appointed a group of scientists and medical experts who will stay on top of the science and make sure it's communicated throughout our city's public and private health systems. I also appointed a World Trade Center Health Coordinator to operate a clearinghouse of information for residents, workers, and first responders - which is posted throughout this web site.
3. Resolve the issue of fair compensation.
In November 2010, more than 95% of the rescue, recovery and clean-up workers who filed claims against the city and its contractors after 9/11 accepted the settlement negotiated by their attorneys and the WTC Captive Insurance Company. Worth at least $625 million in compensation, this settlement ends a long legal battle that distracted New York City from our primary mission of giving real help to those in need.
In addition, the Zadroga Act reopens the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which will provide up to $2.775 billion in financial assistance for people who suffered 9/11-related physical harm or death after the first VCF closed in 2003. The reopening of the VCF is an important step in healing the rifts that have surfaced since the disaster.
New York has always taken care of its own - and we owe a special commitment to the rescue workers and others who heroically served our city during its darkest hour on September 11, 2001, and to all those who experience World Trade Center-related health problems. They deserve first-class care without exception – and we are continuing our work to ensure they get it a decade after the 2001 terrorist attacks on our nation.