A huge spike in the number of people seeking evaluations and treatment for 9/11-related health conditions through the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) has prompted the opening of a new clinic in Lower Manhattan. The clinic, which opened in August at 156 William Street, will provide initial health evaluations and screenings for up to 750 patients a month.
The new William Street clinic should reduce the long wait times applicants were experiencing before the could get appointments for the initial evaluations which are a prerequisite to receiving cost-free screening and treatment through the program. While anyone who believes that they are suffering from a condition or illness that they believe is related to 9/11 can enroll in the WTCHP, only those individuals whose condition has been certified as a WTC-Related Health Condition can avail themselves of the program’s services, and that certification process includes an initial health evaluation by a WTCHP physician.
Beginning in mid-2017, WTCHP noticed a rise in the number of individuals seeking enrollment in the Program as screening-eligible survivors who were requesting certification of their health conditions as 9/11-related. This increase was due in part to the program’s efforts to raise awareness of the program and encourage enrollment. The WTCHP was a victim of its own success in this regard, as the influx of new patients needing screenings resulted in an estimated 2,800 WTCHP enrollees who were still waiting for their first appointment, often for months on end. For those already worried about their condition or experiencing health problems, those months can seem like an eternity.
In order to address this backlog and reduce the duration of wait times, the WTCHP opened the William Street clinic specifically to increase the capacity for initial health evaluations. Appointments at the new clinic are scheduled based on enrollment dates so that those members who have been waiting the longest for their initial evaluation are seen first. Members are contacted either by phone or mail when they have been assigned to either the new William Street clinic or the existing NYC Survivor Program, New York City Health + Hospitals (H+H), at which point they can schedule an appointment.
The new William Street clinic will be run by Logistics Health Inc., which was recently issued a two-year contract by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to provide screenings and care for those with 9/11-related illnesses who reside within the New York metropolitan area.
The purpose of the initial health evaluation is to find out whether the enrollee has any covered conditions related to 9/11 exposures. At the appointment, some or all of the following diagnostic procedures may be performed:
- 9/11 exposure assessment;
- Blood tests;
- Chest X-ray;
- EKG (when medically necessary);
- Medical history and mental health questionnaires;
- Physical examination;
- Spirometry/Pulmonary function testing (breathing test);
- Urinalysis; and
- Vital signs (blood pressure, pulse).
Call Turley Hansen & Rosasco to Learn More About the WTC Health Program
You can apply to join the WTCHP by calling 1-888-982-4748. Alternatively, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorneys at Turley Hansen & Rosasco would be happy to assist you. We are the only law firm in the country that focuses exclusively on representing victims, recovery workers, and first responders for their 9/11 related cancers, illnesses, and injuries. Please call us at 1-855-WTC-INFO (982-4636) or fill out our contact form to schedule your free claim review today.