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The Power of Persistence: NewYork-Presbyterian Finally Accepts 9/11 Fund After NYDN Stories

Sometimes, you have to stick with a story.

When I wrote before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks about how NewYork-Presbyterian would not accept the World Trade Center Health Program's payment schedule, and how it creates a bureaucratic mess for ill 9/11 responders, the hospital didn't budge. It denied there were any problems.

Walter Clark, with his oxygen tank at work in 2015.

But I followed up this spring, writing up the experiences of former NYPD traffic supervisor Walter Clark and a ConEd high-voltage lineman Charlie Buttacavoli, who have both struggled with NewYork-Presbyterian bills.

Just a week later, that story hit the mark. NewYork Presbyterian had a vice president call up Buttacavoli and Clark to apologize. And, they announced they would start accepting the 9/11 Health Fund. It was the only New York hospital that did not, and this means 9/11 patients who need things like transplants will now have access to one of the best hospitals in the world.

One side note, Clark told me that NYP not only saved his life by transplanting his lungs, but also by keeping him alive through a 69-day battle with COVID.


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