From the day we first opened our doors to help WTC responders, our clinicians and administrators understood that this work would be different from any they had done in their careers thus far. For many of the staff, the phrase “comprehensive care” has taken on a deepened and more meaningful definition, as they not only help patients navigate their care, but work to foster feelings of trust and togetherness. Going out into the community at large is an equally important piece of our work—we continually strive to educate the general public about our program and the effects of 9/11, as well as ensuring that potentially eligible individuals know about the range of services available to them. Endeavors like the Remembering 9/11 oral History Project and our library and school initiatives are important components of this work.
By providing educational resources and engaging with our local communities, we strive to give all people, whether directly connected to the event or not, access to education about 9/11 and its consequences and feel invested in our endeavors. This work is manifested in programming at high schools, libraries, and public events, and by working closely with 9/11 responder advocacy groups. We’re also passionate about engaging our member responders in these efforts, inviting them to speak about their experiences through our oral history project, at public events, and in other ways. We’ve found that personal empowerment and ownership of one’s story can be valuable tools in the healing process, and we strive to create and support such opportunities at every turn.
Helping develop a supportive and empowering community that extends beyond our clinic doors is at the heart of our mission.
Giving our responders a voice is a responsibility we take seriously. Working with organizations like the Fealgood Foundation, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), LI Federation of Labor, WTC Health Registry, the Johnny Mac Foundation, Laughter Saves Lives, and others, we are dedicated to sustaining and improving grassroots education, advocacy, and support about 9/11 and the ongoing needs of responders, both our patients and beyond. This is in addition to the community events we are proud to offer our members and their families.