SUNY Medical Campuses Team to Expand WTC Health Program Services in Clinical Center of Excellence
Official Opening at SUNY Downstate Places Focus on Healthcare Needs of non-FDNY 9/11 Responders in the Brooklyn Area
STONY BROOK, N.Y., May 14, 2012 – Stony Brook University’s Long Island Clinical Center of Excellence (LI-CCE), which is part of the World Trade Center Health Program, has expanded to SUNY Downstate Medical Center. The new clinic site enables a dedicated team of healthcare professionals to care for thousands more non-FDNY 9/11 responders living or working in Brooklyn (Kings County). On May 14, an official opening celebration will take place at the satellite location to mark its opening.
With an annual budget of close to $8 million, the LI-CCE is a clinical program that has been in operation since immediately after 9/11. The program is supported primarily by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The program’s expansion is a response to the needs of non-FDNY 9/11 responders in the Brooklyn area, many of whom continue to suffer from upper and lower respiratory ailments, mental health symptoms, and other conditions related to environment exposures at Ground Zero, and the long-term effects.
“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.”
On July 1, 2011, the LI-CCE at Stony Brook University was awarded additional funds by NIOSH to open a clinic site in Brooklyn. Working collaboratively with SUNY Downstate Medical Center, the LI-CCE established the clinical site at 760 Parkside Ave., which opened on February 28, 2012. This convenient location and collaboration with SUNY Downstate Medical Center ensures geographic accessibility and comprehensive, free medical services for responders living in Brooklyn. Services include annual health monitoring examinations, physical and mental health treatment, as well as diagnostic and specialist care. It is staffed by a team of medical experts to serve responders suffering from WTC-related illnesses.
About the Long Island Clinical Center of Excellence at Stony Brook University
The LI-CCE, part of the World Trade Center Health Program, follows more than 6,000 9/11 responders including police officers, paramedics, construction workers and volunteers. With an annual budget of close to $8 million, it provides free medical services for eligible WTC responders. Funding is provided by NIOSH.
In addition to the new Brooklyn clinic site, the program offers services at two other sites located in Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island. Its primary clinical location and administrative office is located in Islandia, N.Y., in Suffolk County. The second site is located in Garden City in Nassau County and is affiliated with Winthrop University Hospital. The Garden City location opened in January 2012. Combined, these three sites afford geographic accessibility to specialized medical care for thousands of deserving WTC responders throughout Brooklyn and Long Island.
All clinical sites of the World Trade Center Health Program located in the New York City metropolitan area are listed on the World Trade Center Health Program website.
Assembled at the official opening of the expansion of Stony Brook University's Long Island Clinical Center of Excellence (LI-CCE), part of the World Trade Center Health Program, to SUNY Downstate Medical Center, are, from left (in front): Melodie Guerrera, Administrator, LI-CCE; Dr. Monica Sweeney, SUNY Council Member; Rev. Terry Lee, 9/11 responder; Dr. Benjamin Luft, Edmund D. Pellegrino Professor of Medicine, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and Medical Director, LI-CCE; Dr. Jack DeHovitz, SUNY Downstate Site Director; Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke; Al Meller, 9/11 responder; John Feal, 9/11 responder; and Glen Klein, 9/11 responder. In back center, from left: Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, Sr. VP for Health Sciences and Dean, School of Medicine, Stony Brook University; and Dr. John C. LaRosa, President, SUNY Downstate.