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World Trade Center Health Program expands to SUNY Downstate

Ribbon cutting ceremony for the SUNY Downstate World Trade Center Health Program satellite office

Stony Brook University’s Long Island Clinical Center of Excellence (LI-CCE) chapter of the World Trade Center Health Program has expanded to SUNY Downstate Medical Center.  This new extension site will allow medical professionals to care for thousands more non-FDNY 9/11 responders living or working in Brooklyn (Kings County).  An opening ceremony was held yesterday to mark the occasion.

The new satellite location opened on February 28, 2012 at 760 Parkside Avenue.  The convenient location and collaboration with SUNY Downstate Medical Center was chosen to ensure geographic accessibility and comprehensive, free medical services for responders living in Brooklyn. The facility offers services including annual health monitoring examinations, physical and mental health treatment, as well as diagnostic and specialist care and is staffed by a team of medical experts to serve responders suffering from WTC-related illnesses.

The program at SBU has been operating since the days after September 11 and is supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).  The chapter expanded in response to the health needs of responders in the Brooklyn region who continue to suffer from various physical and mental health conditions following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the environment of the region in the days after.

“The establishment of the satellite clinic at SUNY Downstate Medical Center addresses two issues that have been missing ingredients in the delivery of healthcare to non-FDNY 9/11 responders living and working in Brooklyn – geographic accessibility and comprehensive care,” said Benjamin J. Luft, M.D., Edmund D. Pellegrino Professor of Medicine, and Medical Director of the LI-CCE. “We have assembled a superb team of experts to enable a seamless coordination of services, and delivery of high-quality care for responders living in Kings County.”

“The number of Brooklyn residents in need of WTC Health Program services may exceed the number currently involved,” adds Jack A. DeHovitz, M.D., M.P.H., Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and the SUNY Downstate site director.

“Stony Brook is pleased to work with Downstate on this important initiative,” said Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr., President, Stony Brook University. “The LI-CCE at Stony Brook has grown to serve more than 6,000 responders and is now a major component of NIOSH’s World Trade Center Program. Our expansion to Brooklyn offers the opportunity to work with Downstate Medical Center to make sure that responders in Brooklyn receive the highest level of care.”

“Expansion of the LI-CCE to Brooklyn furthers the mission of the program to reach additional 9/11 responders from the region who are experiencing many health issues related to their work at Ground Zero,” says Kenneth Kaushansky, M.D., M.A.C.P., Senior Vice President of the Health Sciences and Dean of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine. “The continued clinical care taking place at each of the Clinical Centers of Excellence is an important element to understanding the origins of the health problems experienced by this deserving and heroic group of individuals.”

“This program brings the expertise of two SUNY academic medical centers – Stony Brook and Downstate – to the health issues that continue to beset 9/11 responders,” said Dr. John LaRosa, President of SUNY Downstate. “This is a much-needed clinic and a very significant advance in providing care to Brooklyn-based responders affected by their WTC disaster work.”

“I am grateful that the World Trade Center Health Program has expanded to SUNY Downstate Medical Center where thousands of our first responders affected by 9/11 can have access to the medical attention they need right here in Brooklyn,” said Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke. “It was an honor to be able to help secure the grant allowing the expansion of this very important program. Our 9/11 responders help protect this nation, and it is imperative that we help them recover from the potentially negative health effects that have lasted nearly 11 years later.”

      Written by Emily Schwartz


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