FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2013
Contact: HHC press office 212-788-3386
WTC Environmental Health Center Continues to Provide Healthcare to Residents, Students, Workers, Volunteers Who May still be sick from 9/11
New York, NY - In recognition of the 12th Anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) reminds New Yorkers of the medical and mental health services that continue to be available to adults, children and adolescents who may still be suffering from 9/11-related health conditions.
The HHC World Trade Center Environmental Health Center is one of seven WTC Centers of Excellence in the New York City metropolitan area, and the only one dedicated to treating members of the community rather than first responders, including children. The patients are residents, students, workers, passersby and those who helped in the cleanup. The center has locations at Bellevue Hospital on the East Side of Manhattan, Elmhurst Hospital in Queens and Gouverneur Health Services in Lower Manhattan; and works in partnership with community and labor organizations and residents affected by 9/11.
You may be eligible for treatment if any of these apply:
- You lived, worked, or went to school or day care in the area of Manhattan that is south of Houston Street or in northwest areas of Brooklyn, which are considered the disaster area.
- You were exposed to the dust cloud on 9/11, or to dust or smoke in the disaster area after 9/11.
- You worked as a cleanup worker or performed maintenance work in the disaster area between September 11, 2001 and January 10, 2002.
Common 9/11 symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath, cough, wheezing
- Chest tightness
- Nasal and sinus congestion
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder
In addition, the federal government added more than 20 categories of cancer to the list of 9/11-related conditions, expanding the healthcare available to many first responders, workers, volunteers, students, visitors, and residents of Lower Manhattan who may be suffering from the disease.
“Twelve years after 9/11, we continue to offer care to community members who were impacted by the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers,” said Dr. Joan Reibman, Medical Director of the HHC health center. “There is still a clear and growing need for the high level of care and expertise we provide.”
“Our program continues to evolve as with the addition of cancer coverage this past year,” said Terry Miles, Executive Director of the WTC health center.
Since HHC opened the WTC center in 2005, more than 6,660 patients have received treatment for physical and mental health conditions related to 9/11. Forty-seven percent of patients are female, 53 percent are male, and their average age is 54, noted Miles.
The WTC Environmental Health Center is funded under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, effective July 1, 2011. Patients can get treatment regardless of their insurance status, immigration status or ability to pay. The WTC health center is also funded for research projects to investigate causes of continued lower respiratory symptoms in adults, to study potential health effects in adolescents who had childhood WTC exposure, and to continue its collaboration with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for a respiratory study over time of people in the WTC Registry.
To determine eligibility and to enroll in the program, call 1-888-WTC-HP4U (1-888-982-4748) or visit www.cdc.gov/wtc.
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is a $6.7 billion integrated healthcare delivery system with its own 420,000 member health plan, MetroPlus, and is the largest municipal healthcare organization in the country. HHC serves 1.4 million New Yorkers every year and more than 475,000 are uninsured. HHC provides medical, mental health and substance abuse services through its 11 acute care hospitals, four skilled nursing facilities, six large diagnostic and treatment centers and more than 70 community based clinics. HHC Health and Home Care also provides in-home services for New Yorkers. HHC was the 2008 recipient of the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission's John M. Eisenberg Award for Innovation in Patient Safety and Quality. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hhc or find us on facebook.com/nycHHC or twitter.com/HHCnyc.