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Thread: WTC Clinic Opens

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    WTC Clinic Opens

    WTC Clinic Opens;
    Clinton urges $ 90M more for initiative

    Copyright 2002 Newsday, Inc.
    Newsday (New York, NY)...08/06/2002

    By Margaret Ramirez. STAFF WRITER

    Nearly 11 months after the World Trade Center collapsed in a caustic cloud of black smoke, the Mount Sinai Hospital officially opened a federally funded clinic yesterday to treat thousands of rescue and recovery workers exposed to toxic substances at the disaster site.

    But Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who helped secure the initial $ 12 million for the medical screening program, renewed her call for President George W. Bush to release an additional $ 90 million for the initiative.

    Although the preliminary $ 12 million will cover free health exams for about 8,500 rescue workers and police officers, health officials believe about 30,000 people volunteered in cleanup at Ground Zero and the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island.

    Clinton (D-N.Y.) said if the supplemental emergency funding is not approved "thousands of people are going to be left out of what is one of the most important public and occupational health efforts ever undertaken in this country."

    Bush has until Aug. 31 to decide whether to approve a $ 5-billion emergency spending package, which includes the $ 90 million for the World Trade Center health program.

    "The president will be in New York next month on Sept. 11," Clinton said during a news conference with health and labor leaders at the hospital. "If he signs this emergency designation, he will be able to look people in the eye, and tell them help is on the way."

    John Graham, who worked as an emergency medical technician in lower Manhattan, said he began experiencing respiratory pains immediately after the attacks. After being examined, Graham, 40, was told he was suffering from burned lungs, asthma and reactive airways disease. He now takes steroids and uses an inhaler medicated with albuterol.

    "My life is changed. I need the albuterol in the morning as soon as I wake up. If I come in contact with smoke, I start to cough uncontrollably," Graham said. "I'm getting better. But I'm concerned about my future. They're saying the rescue dogs are dying. So, how much time do I have left? 10 years? Six years?"

    Dr. Robin HErbert, co-director of the World Trade Center program, said after the attacks hundreds of workers like Graham came to the hospital's occupational health clinic suffering from sinusitis, laryngitis, bronchitis and new cases of asthma.

    Although the medical program officially opened yesterday, Herbert said the clinic actually started seeing patients on July 8. So far, doctors have examined 129 people at the clinic on Fifth Avenue at 101st Street in East Harlem. Another 500 workers and volunteers have been scheduled for medical exams this month.

    Herbert said of the first 40 workers and volunteers examined about 50 percent are still suffering from respiratory problems.

    For more information about the World Trade Center medical screening program or to inquire about an appointment, call: 1-888-702-0630.


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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Funds Sought to Monitor the Health of Rescuers

    Funds Sought to Monitor the Health of Rescuers

    By DAVID W. CHEN


    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and a number of medical experts yesterday urged President Bush to quickly approve $90 million in financing for a program that would monitor the long-term health of thousands of rescue workers who assisted in the World Trade Center recovery effort.

    The program is part of a $5 billion emergency spending package to fight terrorism that Congress approved by overwhelming margins last month.

    But if Mr. Bush fails to approve the package by an Aug. 31 deadline, the $90 million proposal

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