Upstate News

August 18, 2003
Doretta Royer 315 464-4833

Local occupational health center to offer free medical screenings for personnel involved in World Trade Center rescue and clean-up

A SUNY Upstate Medical University service will offer free medical screenings for individuals who were involved in rescue, recovery and cleanup at Ground Zero and the Staten Island landfill in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks. The CNY Occupational Health Clinical Center (CNYOHCC) of SUNY Upstate is one of 38 occupational medical centers nationwide participating in the World Trade Center Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program, coordinated by the Mount Sinai Medical Center.

According to officials, the program hopes to identify responders and screen them for health problems and hazardous exposures related to the terrorist attacks. To date, CNYOHCC has screened 12 patients and expects that number to increase to approximately 100 before the program ends in 2004.

“In addition to responders referred to us by Mt. Sinai, we are conducting our own outreach program to identify the responders in our area who may need medical screening,” said Greg Siwinski, an industrial hygienist and health educator. Siwinski notes that the program also offers participants referrals for follow-up medical care and occupational health education.

The World Trade Center Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program was originally established in July 2002 as a as a one-year federal initiative, but it has since been extended to 2004. It is coordinated by the Mount Sinai-Irving J. Selikoff Center for Occupational Environmental Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center, with the support of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Preliminary analysis of a responders has shown that approximately 50 percent experienced pulmonary, ENT and/or mental health symptoms one year following the New York City terrorist attacks.

CNYOHCC is part of the NYS Occupational Health Clinic Network and functions within the Department of Family Medicine at SUNY Upstate. It is located at 6712 Brooklawn Parkway, Suite 204 in Syracuse. Serving Central New York since 1989, CNYOHCC offers accurate diagnosis of work related illness in workers and former workers and works to prevent occupational illness in workers exposed to hazardous conditions.

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