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Due to a significant increase in the number of applicants seeking to enroll in the WTC Health Program, an additional clinic to provide survivor evaluations is being opened in Lower Manhattan. The WTC Health Program provides medical monitoring and treatment for the September 11th terrorist attack responders and survivors, which include individuals who were in Lower Manhattan during and after 9/11. This new facility will be located at 156 William Street and operated by Logistics Health Incorporated (LHI). Appointments for survivor evaluations will begin being scheduled starting in late August 2018.

This is a comforting announcement for WTC Health Program applicants who have been suffering from delays in scheduling evaluations for appointments. As we explained in our prior post, and as detailed in Pitta & Baione’s 2017: Year in Review Infographic, the WTC Health Program enrollment numbers skyrocketed after July 2017 , when the 9/11 VCF required that claimants have their conditions certified by the WTC Health Program (with few exceptions). Enrollment numbers doubled from June to July of 2017, and whereas new enrollment increased 15% in 2016, it increased 111% in 2017.

Before the announcement of this new clinic, there were three WTC Health Program for survivors in New York City: Gouverneur Medical Center in Lower Manhattan, Bellevue Hospital Center in Midtown Manhattan, and Elmurst Hospital in Queens. The WTC Health Program defines a survivor as follows:

  • A person who was present in the New York City disaster area in the dust or dust cloud on September 11, 2001;
  • A person who worked, lived, or attended school, child care, or adult day care in the New York City disaster area for at least 4 days during the 4-month period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on Jan. 10, 2002, or at least 30 days during the 11 months beginning September 11, 2001 and ending on July 31, 2002;
  • Any person who worked as a cleanup worker or performed maintenance work in the New York City disaster area during the 4 months starting September 11, 2001, and ending on Jan. 10, 2002;
  • A person who was eligible to receive a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Residential Grant Program, who had a lease for a residence or bought a residence in the New York City disaster area, and who lived in that residence during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on May 31, 2003;
  • A person whose place of employment:
    • At any time during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on May 31, 2003, was in the New York City disaster area ; and
    • Was eligible to receive a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation WTC Small Firms Attraction and Retention Act program or other government incentive program designed to revitalize the lower Manhattan economy after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The WTC Health Program defines a responder as follows:

  • A member of the Fire Department of New York City (fire or emergency personnel, active or retired) who participated at least one day in the rescue and recovery effort at any of the former World Trade Center sites (including Ground Zero, Staten Island Landfill, and the New York City Chief Medical Examiner’s Office), or;
  • A surviving immediate family member of a member of the Fire Department of New York City (whether fire or emergency personnel, active or retired) who was killed at the World Trade site on September 11, 2001, if the family member received any treatment for a WTC-related mental health condition on or before September 1, 2008.
  • An individual, including current and former Federal employees, who worked or volunteered onsite in rescue, recovery, demolition, debris cleanup or related support services in lower Manhattan (south of Canal St), the Staten Island Landfill, or the barge loading piers;
  • A member of the Police Department of New York City (active or retired) or a member of the Port Authority Police of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (active or retired) who participated onsite in rescue, recovery, debris cleanup, or related services in lower Manhattan (south of Canal St), including Ground Zero, the Staten Island Landfill, or the barge loading piers;
  • An employee of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City involved in the examination and handling of human remains from the World Trade Center attacks, or other morgue worker who performed similar post-September 11 functions for such Office staff;
  • A worker in the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation Tunnel;
  • A vehicle-maintenance worker who was exposed to debris from the former World Trade Center while retrieving, driving, cleaning, repairing, and maintaining vehicles contaminated by airborne toxins from the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

WTC Health Program Responder members have access to the following clinics:

  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    Selikoff Centers for Occupational Health
    Mount Sinai Medical Center
    Telephone: (888)702-0630

    • Annenberg Building
      1468 Madison Ave, 3rd Floor
      New York, NY 10029
      Telephone: (212) 241-1554
    • Mount Sinai – Staten Island WTC Clinical Center
      2052 Richmond Road
      Staten Island, NY 10306
      Telephone: (212) 241-1554
  • New York University School of Medicine
    WTC Health Program Clinical Center of Excellence
    650 First Avenue, 7th Floor, WTC Suite
    New York, NY 10016
    Telephone: (212) 263-7335
    Fax: (646) 754-9806
    (Exams also conducted in Spanish)
  • Northwell Health
    Telephone: (718) 267-2420
    97-77 Queens Blvd, 9th Floor
    Rego Park, NY 11374
    (Exams also conducted in Spanish)
  • State University of New York, Stony Brook 
    Telephone: (631) 855-1200

    • Suffolk County (Main Clinic)
      500 Commack Road, Suite 204
      Commack, NY 11725
    • Mineola (Contact Main Clinic First)
      173 Mineola Blvd Suite 302
      Mineola, NY 11501
  • Downstate Medical Center, Kings County (Contact Main Clinic First)
    This location is no longer available. Please call (631) 855-1200 if you have questions.
  • Rutgers University  (New Jersey)
    Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
    Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Institute
    Telephone: (848) 445-0123 press #3 for the WTC-HP or #0 for operator assistance
    170 Frelinghuysen Road
    Piscataway, NJ 08854

FDNY Responder members of the WTC Health Program have access to the following clinics:

  • FDNY Headquarters
    9 Metro Tech Center
    Brooklyn, NY
  • Brentwood, Long Island (Mental Health Services Only)
    1001 Crooked Hill Road
    Brentwood, NY 11717
  • Commack (Physical Health Services Only)
    66 Commack Rd Suite 200
    Commack, NY 11725
  • Fort Totten, Queens
    Fort Totten, Building 413B
    Bayside, NY 11359
  • Manhattan (Mental Health Services Only)
    251 Lafayette St.
    New York, NY 10012
  • Middletown, Orange County
    2279 Goshen Turnpike
    Middletown, NY 10941
  • Staten Island
    1688 Victory Boulevard, Suite 101A
    Staten Island, NY 10314

WTC Health Program members who live outside of the NYC Metro Area have access to clinics nationwide through the “Nationwide Provider Network,” which is administered by Logistics Health Incorporated – the same organization which will oversee the new survivor clinic in Lower Manhattan.

This new clinic will add capacity for “initial health evaluations, requests for health condition certification, [and] benefits counseling” for survivors. For those survivors who receive certification (approval) for a WTC-related health condition, they will treatment referrals and care coordination. In 2017, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund began requiring individuals seeking compensation for serious health conditions related to 9/11 exposure to enroll with the WTC Health Program for evaluation. This new requirement may have caused the current clinic to exceed its existing capacity to evaluate applicants in a timely manner, leading to a clear need for and the formation of an additional clinic location dedicated to the health evaluations of 9/11 survivors. When asked about the additional clinic, chair of the Survivors Steering Committee of the WTC Health Program, Kimberly Flynn, stated “This is serious progress.” She added, “Survivors’ needs are getting addressed — people looking to get certifications to support their Victim Compensation Fund claims are going to get them, and people who want the specialized care that only the WTC Health Program provides are going to get it.”

Ben Chevat, executive director of the 9/11 Health Watch echoed Flynn when he said, “while it is sad and tragic that there are so many responders and survivors who were exposed to toxins at Ground Zero and are now sick, the good news is that there is a WTC Health Program, that it is going to be there for them.”

The new clinic is currently slated to operate for two years in order to mitigate the wait time for appointments and initial evaluations. The WTC Health Program plans to assess its continuing need. Dr. John Howard, WTC Health Program Administrator, commented “We are very pleased to be opening this new clinic for survivors enrolled in the WTC Health Program in the New York City area, and look forward to expanding capacity to serve these members.”

Contact the 9/11 Attorneys at Pitta & Baione LLP at 844-WTC-COMP or info@pittabaione.com for more information regarding 9/11 health and compensation benefits for 9/11 related illnesses..

 

This blog post was co-authored by Benjamin Ackert.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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