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Red Cross Announces $50 Million 9/11 Grant Program, Red Cross Press Release
By Lesly Hallman , Staff Writer,, July 1, 2004

Thursday, July 1, 2004 ­ NEW YORK­The American Red Cross September 11th Recovery Program (SRP) announced this week the formation of a grant program to distribute $50 million over the next two years to support the recovery of Sept. 11 victims across the country.

At a June 30th press conference, SRP Executive Director Alan Goodman also announced the first grant award to an innovative program operated by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine that supports those who worked for the recovery efforts following 9/11. The announcement marks the beginning of a process to continue supporting 9/11 victims who need help today and those who may need it in the future.

In a 2003 study of 12,000 World Trade Center Respondents conducted by Mt. Sinai’s Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine
75% suffered from upper-airway disorders such as sinusitis or laryngitis;
45% suffered from lower-airway disorders including asthma
42% suffered from psychological disorders including depression or post-traumatic stress disorder
18% suffered from musculoskeletal disorders including carpal tunnel syndrome or lumbar spine sprain or strain.

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"It is wonderful to have reached this point where we can announce these programs," said Goodman. "These grants will ensure that the unique and evolving needs of victims and their families are met in the communities where they live."

Mount Sinai’s $1.5 million grant will help the hospital expand its World Trade Center Health Effects Treatment Program, which supports recovery workers dealing with ongoing mental and physical health disorders following their service at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan or the Staten Island Landfill where the debris was taken. The Mount Sinai program provides all treatment at no cost to participants.

"Many of those we are serving developed a wide range of mental and physical health injuries, and we are grateful to the Red Cross for providing this critically needed philanthropic funding to continue care," said Dr. Robin Herbert, Associate Professor at Mount Sinai and co-director of the WTC Health Effects Treatment Program. Many of the physical injuries include respiratory problems which can become chronic if not properly treated.

"Needs like these don’t wait," Goodman said. "These needs are imminent, and we are ready to put our funds to work to meet them."

Grants Available to Qualified Groups Nationwide

The first request for proposals (RFP) to apply for SRP grant funding is expected to be announced in the next month, with distribution of awards expected this fall. To carefully manage the grant application and review process, the Red Cross hired Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, an industry leader in managing all aspects of grant program creation and delivery.

According to Rockefeller President and CEO Melissa A. Berman, the grant program will issue RFPs over the next two years that focus on several priority areas, including mental health and wellness, treatment for physical injuries, social services, community-based recovery, and services for children and youth.
"The expertise of the Red Cross in caregiving will complement our expertise in grant making," Berman said. "A clear example of that strategy is the funding for the project at Mount Sinai."

Since its creation, Mount Sinai’s WTC Health Effects Program has provided more than 3,500 health services to the 800 people participating in the program. The SRP grant will allow coverage for 500 new patients, as well as the development of a satellite program office in the lower Hudson Valley, and expansion of existing offices in Manhattan and Queens.

Those eligible include workers involved in rescue and recovery, restoration of essential services and clean up/debris removal at either the World Trade Center site or the Staten Island landfill.

The program at Mt. Sinai is supported by research done with funding from the federal government. The resulting study of 12,000 WTC responders released in January 2003 found that more than half of the participants had persistent WTC-related injuries involving physical or mental health.

"This grant helps us continue to provide assistance to those who gave so selflessly," said Herbert.

Previous programs that have received SRP funding include a $1.2 million grant to the Trial Lawyers Care fund and a $200,000 grant to the National Center for Victims of Crime to help families understand the process and receive legal assistance to apply for the federal Victim’s Compensation Fund.

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