Mayor Bloomberg and HHC President Aviles Announce Expansion of World Trade Center Environmental Health Center to Two New Sites and Call for Sustained Federal Funding
September 20, 2007
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) President Alan Aviles have announced that the World Trade Center (WTC) Environmental Health Center at Bellevue Hospital, the City-funded program offering free, high quality health services to people experiencing health problems as a result of 9/11, is expanding to two additional locations. The new sites, at Gouverneur Health Services in Lower Manhattan and Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, will allow the WTC Environmental Health Center to treat up to 20,000 patients over the next five years.
“The City is stepping up to the plate to make sure that everyone gets the health care they need - despite this clearly being a national responsibility,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “There is much about World Trade Center health effects that we still don't know, but one thing we do know is that 9/11 was an act of war against our entire country and the federal government must take responsibility for everyone whose health was harmed and pass the James Zadroga Act I met with Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week on the eve of the sixth anniversary of the attacks, and she stated her support for addressing these urgent and unmet health needs.”
“We've come to understand that while the passage of time does heal wounds, it also reveals them,” said HHC President Aviles. “The City's commitment of nearly $50 million will allow us to expand the WTC Environmental Health Center at Bellevue Hospital Center, to Gouverneur Healthcare Services in Lower Manhattan, and Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens. The Center's three sites will allow us to bring comprehensive assessment and specialty treatment to the people with symptoms from WTC exposures have not yet accessed care.”
The Mayor and President Aviles were joined at the announcement by Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and HHC Medical Director of WTC Services Dr. Joan Reibman.
> Read the mayoral press release