The Stony Brook WTC Wellness Program offers comprehensive, integrative healthcare of 9/11-related illnesses for WTC disaster responders. Integral to our mission of patient-centered care is an enduring support community, advocacy for our 9/11 responders, and cutting edge research efforts.
When we started our work with the 9/11 responder community, we never dreamed our Center would expand as much as it has. We have grown from a small clinic providing limited health monitoring services for a few hundred World Trade Center (WTC) responders to a vibrant Center that monitors and treats many thousands. But the measure of our work is so much more than just the number of people we serve—it’s about how we serve them, and our community, both locally and nationally.
Our patients’ courageous work at the WTC sites resulted in lasting physical, psychological, and emotional effects that continue to change and develop over time. To be effective, those who provide care to 9/11 responders have to evolve as well. For us, this has meant looking beyond disease management alone, and has required creating a wellness community that empowers our responders to take part in their own continued wellness and healthcare. The concept of resilience is key to our work, and is reinforced through a diverse array of endeavors. In addition to increased clinical services and patient volume, we have built a robust research program and undertaken meaningful education and outreach efforts. We have strengthened our ties to the community and work with our patients in creative and new ways, all with the goal of improving their quality of life and our communities’ understanding of the events and ongoing impact of the 9/11 disaster.
This evolution has led to our decision to rechristen our program as the Stony Brook WTC Wellness Program, emphasizing our lasting connection to the WTC disaster and the importance we place on promoting health, even in the face of chronic illness. Doing so gives us the opportunity to fully integrate our clinical work as the WTC Health Program Long Island Clinical Center of Excellence at Stony Brook Medicine with our research and education efforts. These interconnected tenets are essential to our work under this name.
As you’ll see in pages that follow, all of our work is related. That is why our perspective on care encompasses so many things: we offer education so that the general public understands the ongoing effects of 9/11; we ensure our responders are empowered in their own care; we maintain a patient-centric Center with a focus upon comprehending and responding to patients’ needs; and we run an innovative research program so that we can offer the most up-to-date and effective medical care possible. In short, we are here to serve our responders and the community at large.
We are very proud of what we do, the people we serve, and the communities we work with. We are grateful to the men and women who permit us to care for them and look forward to continuing this most meaningful work.
Thank you for your continued support.
Benjamin J. Luft, MD, Director and Principal Investigator
Melodie Guerrera, Administrative Director