We would like to welcome all FDNY members
to the "Connections" newsletter. Our collaborative
efforts have been centered about the health and well being
of our membership. Connections allows us to communicate about
the important health issues that face our Department.
The last year has brought tremendous changes to the FDNY .
Both BHS and CSU recognized that programs needed to be developed
to meet the physical and emotional challenges of the events
of 9/11. We successfully fought to obtain federal funding
for post exposure medicals and for expanded counseling services.
BHS continues to seek additional funding for follow up that
include exposed members who are now retired. CSU has already
secured funding to provide counseling assistance to retired
Health concerns remain important to all of us as we continue
to rebuild. We hope to use this newsletter to keep you informed
of important issues that affect our health. Together, we can
continue our team effort.
In order to keep you better
informed, we will provide a comprehensive list of new programs
and initiatives in future issues of Connections. Listed below
are several key initiatives today.
What's New at BHS - WTC Medical Follow
Collapse Survivor's Group
Communication and Services of CSU
What's New at BHS - WTC MEDICAL FOLLOW UP
BHS completed 10,500 WTC Medicals in 3 months.
All results have been sent to each member. If you have not received
your package of results, please call Ms. Patsy Mason at 718-999-1878.
The FDNY-BHS WTC Medical, done with federal funding from the Centers
for Disease Control, has been the most comprehensive post-exposure
medical performed by any workforce or medical institution. In fact,
our medical has been used as a model for the medical currently offered
at Mt. Sinai to non-FDNY employees.
We provided rapid and more extensive testing than
outside facilities, maintained medical confidentiality and provided
you with diagnostic evaluation and treatment, by providing this
medical through BHS.
WTC Medical Package: You received a letter summarizing
the results of the entire job (using groups’ data without
identifying individuals). This was done to allow all members to
understand our findings post-WTC. As part of your WTC Medical Package,
you received a new report summarizing your current hearing and breathing
tests with comparisons to your prior tests. We will continue this
practice at your future medicals. This upgrade is a major health
The WTC Medical and other related activities were used to
publish results in the most prestigious medical journals,
evidence that FDNY 1st Responders were exposed and affected by WTC.
Again, this was done using group data without identifying individuals.
Only by allowing prestigious medical journals to review and publish
our results can we assure that your issues are
taken seriously and that external funding continues to be available.
To view some of these
articles, please go on-line at www.cdc.gov and www.nejm.org.
Follow-up Post-WTC annual medicals are now being
provided to all members as part of your regularly scheduled annual.
If you did not have your first WTC Medical and would like one, BHS
would be happy to accommodate you at your scheduled Annual Medical
appearance in the next 15 months. Please request a WTC Medical rather
than a WTC follow-up medical when you report to
the Annual Medical Reception Desk.
RETIRED members who were on active duty and exposed
to WTC are eligible for a WTC Medical or WTC-Follow-up Medical.
This can be arranged by appointment anytime over the next 12 months.
Please call 718-999-1938 to schedule an appointment. This is being
funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control.
BHS is continuing with several research projects
involving respiratory and mental health issues through various affiliations
with outside experts and medical institutions. We thank those of
you who have already enrolled in our projects and hope to offer
additional opportunities to you and others in the near future. Enrollment
in a research project sponsored by BHS assures you that Drs. Kelly
and Prezant have screened the project. They have made certain that
it will provide important services / information to you at no risk
or cost; and that it will benefit all FDNY 1 st Responders. You
can also be assured that strict medical confidentiality will be
BHS has developed a mental health questionnaire
to better understand your needs and the services you wish provided
to you and your families with an outside panel of nationally recognized
mental health experts (with vast experience dealing with Oklahoma
and Gulf-War mental health issues). A special research confidentiality
certificate has nearly been completed and we will then be distributing
this survey during regular working hours.
An on-line CD73 Exposure form designed by BHS,
Safety and FDNY’s Computer Information Technology Group will
soon be in your firehouse computer. This was designed with close
cooperation with the UFOA and UFA. A final update is scheduled and
then one form will be automatically entered in every member’s
record. You may then make amendments to this record to reflect your
individual exposure issues. Delays are due to BHS wishing to include
input from the newly elected UFA leadership on this important matter.
After we receive this input, we expect to be on-line within 2 months.
Retirement Disability. BHS is responsible for the
BHS board ( 3 Physician Board / Full Board ). This board brings
together important information concerning your duty status following
an injury or illness. If you wish to be considered for retirement
disability, the next step is to go before the 1B retirement board.
Although BHS can help you with several of these issues, specific
questions concerning the 1B board should be discussed with your
Union trustee or with the 1B board directly.
FDNY Tobacco Free. BHS has received support from
the Chest Foundation and Pharmacia to offer a free tobacco cessation
program. All FDNY members and their spouses are eligible. This program
has an extremely high success rate. We have already treated nearly
500 members with outstanding feedback. For an appointment call 999-1942.
Flu shots are being administered at the Annual
Medical appearance and at every BHS clinic appearance. Members with
a cold are asked not to accept a flu shot. BHS will be sending a
Mobile Medical unit to each Division in the coming weeks to accommodate
those members who report to the Annual Medical later than the flu
season immunization window. Remember that you cannot get the flu
from the flu shot, but it can prevent illness this winter season.
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COLLAPSE SURVIVOR’S GROUP
BHS/CSU is pleased to announce that it is forming a new group
for Collapse Survivors. All are welcome. Beginning Thursday, October
31, 2002 - Continuing for 10 weeks
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM 251 Lafayette Street, New
If interested, please contact Amy or Ashley at 212-570-1693 for
a pre-group appointment.
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COMMUNICATION AND SERVICES OF CSU
The clinical and administrative staff of CSU has reached out to
members of the Department and their families since 9/11. These outreaches
have included visits to the workplace, direct treatment for members
and families, educational opportunities and treatment with mental
health professionals in private practice.
- 3,850 members have received professional counseling services
at one of eight CSU locations.These sites were developed after
9/11 to supplement our preexisting unit at Lafayette St.
- Our veteran staff of professionals has been augmented with additional
staff hired through Project Liberty. These dedicated professionals
continue to offer both group and individual counseling.
- Members can access services and remain on full duty. Family
members, spouses and children are eligible for services. Retirees
are encouraged to continue with services.
- 180 plus members of bereaved families have received professional
- Members can see clinicians in their private offices. CSU will
be happy to make referrals.
- 21,500 plus visits have been made to the workplace by 30 plus
peer counselors. Initially IAFF peer counselors supplemented our
ranks, but over the last year additional peers have been trained
with funding through the NFFF. The need for continued training
of additional peers remains. We have sent letters to all recent
retirees requesting their involvement.
- 10,166 members have participated in an educational program at
the WTC medical.
- 5,400 members have participated in a counseling education program
at the Division of Training.
- 180 plus spouses and significant others have participated in
interactive programs conducted by staff of The Other Side of the
- 172 people have participated in Couple Connection programs provided
- 80 families of the Family Liaisons have participated in two
weekends geared at helping these families reconnect through interactive
groups and recreation.
- Firehouse clinicians have been assigned to specific FDNY work
locations so that these clinicians can educate members, establish
trust with the members and facilitate professional mental health
- 13 specialized bereavement and specialized groups have been
been established including Brothers of Brothers and WTC survivor
- 3 childhood treatment programs are available to provide assessments,
guidance and treatment to active families and children of bereaved
families. These are:
- Columbia’s Family Assessment and Guidance Program
Dr. Grace Christ at 212 854 0698
- NY Hospital Weil Cornell Medical Center
Dr. Cynthia Pfeiffer at 914 997 5849
- NYU ‘S Child Study Center
Dr. Robin Goodman at 212 263
8401 or visit www. AboutOurKids.org.
Funding has been provided by the FDNY, Project Liberty, IAFF,
NFFF, Morgan Stanley, United Way, The NY Times Foundation,
The Ittlesan Foundation, SAMHSA.
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FDNY Counseling Service Unit (CSU) provides services to personnel
and to family members of deceased and active Fire Fighters, EMTs
Appointments for individual, couples, family, and phone counseling
are available Monday-Friday 8am – 6pm and Saturday 10am-4pm.
The CSU also provides referrals to other areas.
251 Lafayette St., 3rd Floor
New York, NY
(212) 570 – 1693
1688 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY
(718) 352 – 2140
Brentwood, Suffolk County
NY Fire Department
Center Cottage-Suffolk County
Crooked Hill Road
Brentwood NY 11717
2279 Goshen Turnpike
Putnam, Rockland County
FDNY Bureau of Health Services
9 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201
251 Lafayette Street, NY
For information on groups or upcoming events
please call (212) 570-1693.
Dr. Kerry Kelly
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. David Prezant
Deputy Chief Medical Officer
Director, FDNY CSU
Mary T. McLaughlin
Director, FDNY BHS
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