WTC Healthcare by the Numbers
Every quarter, the Centers for Disease Control publishes a report that gives a picture of the activities of the World Trade Center Health Program. The program was created as part of the Zadroga Act to provide free health monitoring and treatment for responders and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Those eligible to enroll include people who lived, worked or attended school in the New York City disaster zone, those who were part of response and recovery operations at The World Trade Center and, beginning this year, responders present at the Pentagon and the jet crash site near Shanksville, PA .
According to the report released June 30, 2013, during the immediately preceding 12-month period:
- There were a total of 64,614 members enrolled in the program.
- Membership included 16,610 firefighters, 36,061 general responders and 6,166 survivors, all from the New York City area, plus 5,777 members nationwide.
- More than 24,000 people received monitoring services or screening exams.
- More than 16,000 received medications.
- More than 3,500 new members joined the program.
Authorities are concerned, however, that many more people eligible for the program have not signed up, considering the hundreds of thousands of citizens believed to have been affected by the disasters. Everyone from politicians to labor union officials have been putting forth an effort to drum up more applicants for the program, trying to get the word out through public appearances, publications and press coverage.
For instance, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH), saying that reaching everyone needed to be a team effort, published a flyer titled “Making Sure WTC Responders, Workers, and Area Residents Get the Health Care They Need — How Your Organization Can Help Spread the Word.” Rather than directly addressing the victims themselves, the flyer casts a wider net by encouraging organizations to spread the word by publishing information on their websites and in their newsletters, hosting guest speakers on the topic at meetings and sponsoring outreach events. Informational materials for organizations are available from NYCOSH.