City Officials Testify at Appropriations Hearing; Mayor Bloomberg Urges Department of Health and Human Services to Release Funds for WTC Environmental Health Center
March 12, 2008
A subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations recently held a hearing to discuss funding for WTC health programs for rescue and recovery workers and non-responders. David Prezant, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the New York City Fire Department , and Joan Reibman, MD, Medical Director of the WTC Environmental Health Center , testified in support of additional federal funding for 9/11 health treatment. Lorna Thorpe, PhD, MPH, the New York City Health Department's Deputy Commissioner of Epidemiology, also submitted testimony .
In addition, Mayor Bloomberg wrote a letter to Michael Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), urging him to release funds for the WTC Environmental Health Center. Funded by New York City, the Center treats residents, area workers and other non-responders exposed to the WTC collapse. "I am concerned about both the delay in releasing funds to treat non-responders, as well as HHS's recent withdrawal of a proposal to establish a better network of services for those whose health was affected by the 9/11 attacks and who are dispersed throughout the country," wrote Mayor Bloomberg. "Both of these initiatives must move forward now if we are to make good on our obligations to those whose health has been affected by this national tragedy."