The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program, a government program that provides medical evaluation and treatment to eligible 9/11 responders and survivors, recently celebrated its 1-year anniversary. NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D., offered his comments surrounding the occasion.
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act went into effect July 1, 2011. This act officially launched the WTC Health Program, which is administered by NIOSH.
“After opening our doors one year ago, we have made a lot of progress in our ability to respond to the needs of our members,” Howard said. “We wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the past year and how the Program has grown and what we will be focusing on in the coming months.”
NIOSH posted a list of the program’s achievements, highlights and goals, including:
- The program has helped over 60,000 people receive benefits, including those who were previously enrolled in the medical monitoring and treatment program and more than 1,200 new enrollees.
- In May, Stony Brook Medical Center opened a new clinic in Brooklyn to serve 9/11 responders, providing another place to get care that is closer to home and/or work.
- The funding announcement for outreach and education cooperative agreements has gone out and NIOSH looks forward to reviewing the proposals. The awards are meant to recruit eligible responders and survivors and help them enroll in the program to receive the care they need.
- NIOSH pledged to continue to work to improve the program, including establishing eligibility criteria for Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa., responders.
- NIOSH intends to expand the program so both responders and survivors who live outside the New York City metropolitan area can receive monitoring and treatment benefits through the nationwide network of providers.
To read the anniversary message and achievements in full, visit http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/wtc/zadroga_1year.html.