Last week’s LaborPress Blue Collar Buzz radio show with hosts Neal Tepel and Bill Hohfeld on AM970 featured Dr. Jacqueline Moline, VP Chair of Occupational Medicine for the World Trade Center Health Program, and Patrick Hewes, administrative coordinator for the World Trade Center Health Program Queens Clinical Center of Excellence. The LaborPress website featured an article about the show as well.
Dr. Jacqueline Moline, who testified extensively before the United States House of Representatives in support of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, explained that the World Trade Center Health Program exists to provide monitoring and treatment for those exposed to 9/11 dust and debris. She explained that the program integrates physical and mental health issues to provide unified, holistic treatment to patients.
Dr. Modine explained that the the World Trade Center Health Program not only treats individual patients, but also utilizes the combined statistics from Clinical Centers of Excellence to monitor emerging trends and identify new conditions for coverage. She explained that the World Trade Center Health Program is constantly looking for new diseases that might emerge among the population exposed to dust and debris on and after 9/11.
Finally, Dr. Modine stressed that it is critical for those exposed to 9/11 dust and debris to visit the World Trade Center Health Program for at least an annual visit because the key to 9/11 related health issues is to identify them as early as possible in order to begin treatment that may prevent a permanent condition.
Patrick Hewes, Administrative Coordinator of the Queens World Trade Center Clinical Center of Excellence at Northwell Health (formerly Northshore-LIJ), spoke with Blue Collar Buzz about outreach efforts being done to raise awareness about the benefits of the World Trade Center Health Program and the application process.
Mr. Hewes explained that since there is no advertising budget, the World Trade Center Health Program is relying on word of mouth and connections to the workforce, labor movement, and law enforcement to raise awareness. Mr. Hewes said that he also tries to appear at any and all events where survivors and responders, or their families, might be present.
With regard to the application process, Mr. Hewes, explained that prospective patients must first submit an application, which then must be reviewed by the federal government. If their application is approved, then the patient will be enrolled into the World Trade Center Health Program and directed to a clinic.
Echoing Dr. Modine, Mr. Hewes stressed the importance of annual visits for early identification of health issues. He explained that enrolled members should be ideally coming in for check-ups at least once a year and can call the World Trade Center Health Program at any time. Mr. Hewes also said that the the World Trade Center Health Program stays in touch with patients to update contact information, etc.
Call Pitta Giblin & Baione LLP at 844-WTC-COMP to speak with an attorney about whether you may be eligible for benefits under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.