While monitoring and treating our member patients in the immediate, here at the Long Island Clinical Center of Excellence we place great importance on our research arm, with views to the long-term. Through collaborations with renowned researchers at SUNY Stony Brook, Columbia University, Bellevue, and other institutions, our multidisciplinary program has secured millions in funding for a variety of groundbreaking studies. To date, our research has uncovered links between 9/11-related trauma and other health outcomes; additional findings underline the fact that responders with conditions resulting from WTC exposures (such as sinusitis, various lung diseases, and GERD) may not respond as well to typical treatments. Knowing this has helped us develop new standards of care for our patients. With researchers expert in fields ranging from infectious disease and preventive medicine to epidemiology and pathology to clinical psychology, our program aims to comprehend not only the health consequences 9/11 response work has had on responders, but what kinds of consequences it will continue to have—with particular attention to co-occurring, or “comorbid,” physical and mental health conditions as well as epigenetics. This allows our medical care to be focused, and more importantly, effective. Understanding how the ramifications of 9/11—from toxic exposure to PTSD—affects responders allows us to continuously adapt our model of care, finding novel approaches and making better-informed decisions about necessary treatments.
Well over a decade has passed since September 11, 2001, and with it endless changes in the lives of WTC responders and the healthcare they need. Although we are an established program with thousands of patients, it is obvious to us that ongoing education and conversation about the consequences of 9/11 remains necessary, both to help legislators and the public understand why support and funding for medical care is essential, and because keeping the lessons of such a tragic and history-altering event is of critical import.
As the needs of our patients evolve, due to aging and the successful treatment of disease, so does the focus of our Center. Although we must address the emergence of new WTC-related illnesses, we have entered a phase of care that centers on preventive approaches and maintaining health and wellness—attending to minor health issues (both age-related and not ) before they become more serious, educating our patients on healthy lifestyle choices, and more. Our ongoing research efforts reflect this philosophy, with studies on epigenetics, comorbidity of certain illness, and others that teach patients techniques for stress management, smoking cessation, and more. Given our expertise with such a unique patient population (which exists because of an act of terrorism), we have also become a resource in providing care for the victims of large-scale disasters.
We are committed to providing leading edge physical and mental healthcare, as well as new discoveries about gene expression and the long-term effects of a catastrophic event on those involved, while also preserving the legacy of those individuals we serve.
[PDF click out to the chart of research projects]