Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services
QUEENS COLLEGE RECEIVES $1.1 MILLION TO TREAT WORKERS
MADE ILL BY CLEAN-UP OF WORLD TRADE CENTER
FLUSHING, NY, November 10, 2006 – The Center for the Biology of Natural Systems (CBNS) at Queens College, CUNY, announces a major expansion of its medical monitoring program for emergency responders and recovery workers at the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster site.
The program, the Queens World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program, will now offer diagnostic evaluation and treatment of World Trade Center-related health conditions at its clinical facility at 163-03 Horace Harding Expressway in Flushing, Queens. It has already provided health monitoring examinations for over 1,000 former WTC workers since 2004.
The college’s expanded program is made possible by a $1.1 million award from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) of the Department of Health and Human Services--one of a series of NIOSH grants totaling $40 million for this purpose. Other recipients include the Fire Department of New York, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and other medical institutions in the New York/New Jersey area.
“This new grant allows us to move beyond simply documenting WTC-related illnesses to offering concrete medical assistance to people in need,” says Steven Markowitz, MD, Director of CBNS at Queens College. “We are proud to have an expert team of occupational health clinicians to provide appropriate and timely support to the responders who were affected by World Trade Center exposures following the attacks. Continued monitoring will also promote a much-needed scientific understanding of the nature of WTC health effects.”
The new diagnostic evaluation and treatment services will include occupational health evaluation; references for pulmonary, gastro-intestinal, and other specialty care; medical tests, medications, and inpatient hospitalizations for WTC-related health conditions specified by NIOSH. Funding for treatment is in place through May 2007. Patient monitoring via periodic health examinations will continue through May 2009.
The World Trade Center Treatment Program is open to all WTC responders who are enrolled or eligible for enrollment in the WTC Medical Monitoring Program. For more information, call Lauri Boni at CBNS, Queens College, 718-670-4191.
An environmental and occupational health research institute at Queens College since 1981, CBNS has been involved in many community-oriented programs in addition to its screening of WTC responders. This year, CBNS received a federal grant of $19.5 million to expand its national lung-cancer screening project. CBNS also has a mobile lab to assess air quality in city neighborhoods with high asthma rates; investigates the genetic engineering of food; and reaches out directly to day laborers, mainly immigrants, who are prone to on-the-job injuries and health problems.