Questions & Answers about
the New York City Employees
9/11 Health Communication Service
Why is New York City offering this service?
In 2006, Mayor Bloomberg appointed a special panel of city agencies to examine the health impacts of 9/11 and develop recommendations about how the city could achieve two primary goals: 1) making sure that city employees, residents and others whose health was or might be affected by the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster get first-rate care and 2) making sure that city policies regarding WTC-related health issues are coordinated, comprehensive and responsive to current and emerging health care needs.
The panel released its report Addressing the Health Impacts of 9/11 in February 2007 and the Mayor adopted all of its recommendations. In Recommendation 12, the panel said that "[t]he city should undertake a renewed effort to identify City employees and former employees who participated in WTC rescue, recovery and clean-up operations for the purpose of targeting information about and services for 9/11-related health effects to this important group."
Although several New York City agencies, including the Fire Department of New York and the New York Police Department, already maintain lists of their members who participated in WTC rescue, recovery and clean-up operations, most do not. In an effort to be as inclusive as possible, the city decided to establish a voluntary information service for City employees who want to receive 9/11 health-related information.
Am I required to sign up for the New York City Employees 9/11 Health Communication Service if I participated in WTC rescue, recovery and clean-up operations?
No, signing up is entirely voluntary. You still will be able to get the latest information about 9/11 health issues and services by visiting www.nyc.gov/9-11healthinfo. The development of this website was also recommended by the Mayor's panel.
If I didn't participate in WTC rescue, recovery and clean-up operations, can I still sign up for the New York City Employees 9/11 Health Communication Service?
Yes, any New York City employee can participate. If you are not a New York City employee, you can sign up for 9/11 Health E-News, a similar service for the public, at www.nyc.gov/9-11HealthInfo. Look for the "Stay Informed" section on the lower left-hand side of the page.
I already am enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Registry. Why should I sign up for this service?
While the WTC Health Registry regularly provides its 71,000 enrollees (many of whom are New York City employees) with 9/11 health information, it is an epidemiological research project designed to track the long-term health of people who were exposed to the WTC disaster. The purpose of the New York City Employees 9/11 Health Communication Service is to make it as easy as possible for all employees to stay informed about the latest research and services.
I already have signed up for 9/11 Health E-News at www.nyc.gov/9-11HealthInfo. How is this service different?
Although the information provided by both services may be similar, the New York City Employees 9/11 Health Communication Service also will provide additional information that is particularly relevant to New York City employees. For example, New York City employees who enroll in this service will receive reminders about New York City retirement system deadlines for filing Notices of Participation in connection with a WTC-related disability.
How often will I receive e-mail updates as part of the service?
Updates about 9/11 health issues and services typically will be distributed every other month in January, March, May, July, September and November. However, the NYC Employees 9/11 Health Information Service can be used any time there is a need to disseminate important 9/11-related health information.
Will my enrollment information be kept confidential?
While New York City plans to use the voluntary enrollment information it collects ONLY for the purpose of improving communication with our employees about 9/11 health issues and services, any work-related information you provide when enrolling, including your nyc.gov e-mail address, current employment status, and your present and past agency affiliations, is subject to release to third parties upon request under New York State's Freedom of Information Law.
Who is responsible for maintaining the service?
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is responsible for developing the content. The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications is responsible for distributing the content.
If I decide that I don't want to continue using this service, can I stop participating in it?
Yes. If you decide to discontinue the service you can send a message here.
How can I update my contact information if I change jobs or move?
I don't have access to the internet at home or at work. How can I stay informed about the latest 9/11 research and services?
Many branches of the New York Public Library provide free access to computers. All of the updates that will be provided via e-mail through the New York City Employees 9/11 Health Service also will be posted at www.nyc.gov/9-11HealthInfo.
The New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene also will be developing a general brochure about 9/11 health, including treatment options, in 2008. This brochure will be made available to New York City agencies and retirement systems for mailing to employees and retirees, and for distribution at worksites.
Who do I contact if I have any more questions about the New York City Employees 9/11 Health Communication Service?
World Trade Center Health Coordinator
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene