Joined: Mar 17, 2005
|Posted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:26 pm Post subject: 9/11 Family Advocate Calls for “Ground Zero Health Czar”
|For Immediate Release
9/11 Family Advocate Calls for “Ground Zero Health Czar”
Joins Maloney, Fossella’s Push for Increased Federal Funding and Oversight
NEW CANAAN, CT (January 25, 2006)— Mary Fetchet, Founding Director of Voices of September 11th (VOICES), a 9/11 family advocacy group, supports New York Congressional Leaders Carolyn Maloney’s (Dem.) and Vito Fossella’s (Rep.) call for a stronger Federal commitment to providing for the health care needs of Ground Zero workers and Lower Manhattan residents.
“Our firsthand experience at VOICES with 9/11 first responders and survivors has proven that they face ongoing and evolving physical and mental health needs resulting from their exposure at Ground Zero. Many hundreds of our dedicated rescue workers still need help—and many have seen their health continue to deteriorate,” Ms. Fetchet said Wednesday.
Noting that several 9/11 first responders and rescue and recovery workers have already perished from illnesses related to their service at Ground Zero, and many more are already sick, Ms. Fetchet added: “These problems will not go away, and will require constant monitoring and continuity of care.”
Ms. Fetchet echoed Maloney and Fossella’s call for increased Federal funding and the appointment of a “Ground Zero Health Czar” to monitor the mental and physical health needs of 9/11 rescue and recovery workers and Lower Manhattan residents:
“The $125 million in Federal funds committed for the health of Ground Zero workers was preserved with great effort last year, but the government’s initial attempt to take it back was deeply troubling. It showed a failure to understand the gravity of the health crisis, and a disregard for the sacrifices of these brave men and women.”
Ms. Fetchet added: “Our public servants need to know that this additional money and oversight is set aside for their care. The first responders put themselves in harm’s way to help during our nation’s darkest hours. They must have the same commitment from our government to support them during their time of need.”
Voices of September 11th (http://www.voicesofsept11.org) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group founded in October 2001 by Mary Fetchet after the death of her son in the 9/11 attacks. VOICES:
Supports and Advocates for those impacted by 9/11 and other terrorist attacks
Promotes public policy reform for prevention, preparedness and response to terrorism
Fosters improved relations and share best practices with all countries confronting terrorism