World Trade Center Health Program Scientific Review Panel Named

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–September 8, 2011.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today the appointment of members to the World Trade Center Health Program’s Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee. The committee will review scientific and medical evidence and make recommendations to the WTC Health Program administrator on eligibility criteria and on WTC related health conditions.

The WTC Health Program is an organization within HHS that provides medical monitoring and treatment for WTC responders and survivors for health conditions related to exposures experienced as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The 15-member panel represents a diversity of scientific and public health expertise. Each panel member will provide insights into the needs of the WTC responder and survivor communities. The members’ experience includes epidemiology, toxicology, occupational medicine, and specialized medical care for WTC responders and survivors.

“Independent expert scientific advice from the panel will be essential when complex scientific questions arise, and this panel represents the best of the field. Together with the WTC responder and survivor steering committees, the advisory committee will also assist in serving the health needs of those who continue to suffer the adverse health consequences of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001” said John Howard, administrator of the WTC Health Program. “I look forward to working with this distinguished panel as the program carries out its responsibilities under the Act.”

The committee was established to review scientific and medical evidence and to make recommendations to the WTC Health Program administrator on eligibility criteria and on WTC-related health conditions.

The advisory committee will begin meeting this fall in New York City. During the meetings, testimony will be solicited from scientific and technical experts, stakeholders, and the general public. The recommendations are nonbinding, but the committee’s recommendation will be given serious consideration by the WTC Health Program administrator. The advisory committee was created by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. Proceedings and recommendations will be made available to the public on the WTC Health Program website at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/wtc/.

The 15-members of the WTC Health Program’s Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee are:

Occupational Physicians with Experience in Treating WTC Rescue and Recovery Workers:

William Rom, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and environmental medicine, New York University School of Medicine; director, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, School of Medicine, New York University, New York City.

Steven Markowitz, M.D., professor of environmental sciences and director of the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems at Queens College, City University of New York, New York City.

Occupational Physicians:

Robert Harrison, M.D., M.P.H., clinical professor of medicine, University of California, San Francisco; chief, occupational health surveillance and evaluation program, California Department of Public Health, San Francisco.

Virginia Weaver, M.D., M.P.H., director, occupational and environmental medicine residency, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

Physician with Pulmonary Medicine Expertise:

Thomas K. Aldrich, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the pulmonary training program, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, New York City.

Representatives of WTC Responders:

Valerie Dabas, human resources analyst, Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association of the City of New York, Inc., New York City.

Guillermina Mejia, M.P.H, certified health education specialist, principal program coordinator, safety and health department, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, District Council 37, New York City.

Representatives of Certified-Eligible Survivors:

Catherine McVay Hughes, vice chairman, Community Board 1 World Trade Center redevelopment committee, Lower Manhattan World Trade Center Redevelopment, New York City.

Susan Sidel, J.D., resident of New York City and volunteer WTC responder.

Industrial Hygienist:

John Dement, Ph.D., professor, community and family medicine, Duke University Medical School, Durham, N.C.

Toxicologist:

Julia Quint, Ph.D., research scientist supervisor II and chief, Hazard Evaluation System and Information Service (HESIS), Occupational Health Branch, California Department of Public Health (retired), Oakland.

Epidemiologist:

Elizabeth Ward, Ph.D., national vice president for intramural research, American Cancer Society, Atlanta. (advisory committee chair-person)

Mental Health Professional:

Carol S. North, M.D. M.P.E., professor, department of psychiatry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

Environmental Health Specialists:

Glenn Talaska, Ph.D., certified industrial hygienist, professor, department of environmental health, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati.

Leonardo Trasande, M.D., M.P.P., associate professor in pediatrics, environmental medicine and health policy, New York University; associate attending in pediatrics, Bellevue Hospital Center, New York City.

For more information on the WTC Health Program, visit the program web site at www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/wtc/.

Source: hhs.gov