NYC Health + Hospitals' WTC Environmental Health Center Reaches Over 13,000 Patients as of July 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the city's public health system's three WTC clinics continued to provide critical care to members, including mental health outreach and ongoing appointments via telemedicine
Sep 10, 2020
NYC Health + Hospitals’ WTC Environmental Health Center today announced it has more than 13,000 patients assigned to its three clinics as of July 2020. This is an increase from 10,944 members in July 2019. NYC Health + Hospitals’ WTC Environmental Health Center provides services at no out-of- pocket costs to residents, students, workers, or passersby eligible for care under the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. A wide range of NYC Health + Hospitals clinical providers, such as physicians, therapists, psychiatrists, cancer care managers, and social workers who specialize in many of the common health conditions related to 9/11, serve the WTC Environmental Health Center members. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the city’s public health system’s three WTC clinics continued to provide critical care to members, maintaining clinic visits through telemedicine and increasing mental health outreach with over 1,800 telemedicine visits completed in April 2020 alone. Enrollment for the WTC Environmental Health Center, part of the federal World Trade Center Health Program, remains open and eligible New Yorkers are encouraged to seek membership and obtain the necessary care to ensure a healthy life.
“As we near the 20-year anniversary of the horrific terror attacks, we continue to see the health and mental impacts this day had on those nearest ground zero,” said NYC Health + Hospitals President and CEO Mitchell Katz, MD. “Now adding the compounded effect brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to provide quality care to these survivors and monitor their health to avoid additional damage.”
“We continue to peel back the long-lasting health impacts of this terrible day in our City’s memory as patients continue to enroll in the WTC Environmental Health Center, part of the federal WTC Health Program.” said Joan Reibman, MD, NYC Health + Hospitals WTC Environmental Health Center Medical Director. “We remain committed to our members and welcome those who are eligible to seek the ongoing healthcare necessary to treat the ailments – mental and physical – that still persist among those in the community who were impacted by the attacks.”
During this past spring as NYC was hard-hit by COVID-19, NYC Health + Hospitals’ WTC Environmental Health Center rapidly began to provide services via telehealth to ensure ongoing access to necessary healthcare, including mental health services and critical preventative and specialized care. Between April and June 2020, the public health system’s three WTC clinics completed over 5,400 telephonic appointments, a 63 percent increase compared to the same time period in 2019.
“Almost 20 years after 9/11, NYC Health + Hospitals’ WTC Environmental Health Centers is a model of service to patients affected by the attacks,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried. “It brings together health care, mental health, and social work services tailored to the needs of these New Yorkers. The new enrollment data shows just how important the program continues to be to so many people, especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“As we commemorate the anniversary of 9/11, we must remember that it’s our duty to care for those who are still with us. The WTC Environmental Health Center has provided invaluable treatment and support to survivors, especially those who are vulnerable to COVID-19. As Chair of the Committee on Hospitals, I’m committed to ensuring that all survivors have access to this life-saving care, and I want to thank NYC Health + Hospitals for their efforts on this anniversary,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Hospitals.
NYC Health + Hospitals WTC Environmental Health Center operates out of three locations:
Most common conditions treated through the WTC Environmental Health Center continue to be:
- Obstructive Airway Disease (OAD)
- Upper Respiratory Disease (URD)
- Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)
- Cancer Treatment
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Who Qualifies for 9/11 health services:
- People who 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, between September 11, 2001, and July 31, 2002
- Anyone who was exposed to the dust cloud on 9/11, or to dust or smoke in the disaster area after 9/11
- People who worked as a cleanup worker or performed maintenance work in the disaster area between September 11, 2001, and January 10, 2002
For eligibility and enrollment of people new to the program, call toll free 1-888-982-4748 or visit www.cdc.gov/wtc. To contact the NYC Health + Hospitals WTC Environmental Health Center clinics, call 877- 982-0107 or visit the WTC Environmental Health Center webpage.