Hurricane Sandy devastated a huge swath of the Jersey shore. As our neighbors began the difficult task of cleaning up, rebuilding, and returning to everyday life, the medical experts at Deborah expressed concerns about any health impacts from the storm. Many residents were unknowingly exposed to mold, asbestos and mildew, among other contaminants. Of special concern are our older (55-plus) residents who make up a large part of the population in Ocean and Monmouth Counties, and who face a higher risk of aging cardiac and pulmonary health complications to begin with, as well as first responders, volunteers, and contractors who worked side-by-side with homeowners and tenants during the Sandy clean-up. Our Deborah experts have put together a pro-active respiratory and cardiac health screening program to help identify any potential problems from contaminant exposure.
Deborah has been aided by a significant grant from The Robin Hood Foundation to cover the costs of hosting respiratory and cardiac screenings in our neighbors’ hometowns.
Partnering with local groups whose members and constituencies include those hardest hit by Sandy, i.e. churches, fire departments, civic organizations, senior citizen groups, and library clubs for example, as well as the Long Term Recovery Groups (LTRG) of Ocean and Monmouth Counties, Deborah has been able to find intimate screening sites right in the Sandy victims’ own backyards. Here residents are seen by appointment by Deborah medical experts who provide a free pulmonary and cardiovascular medical screening, including pulse oximetry, pulmonary function test, auscultation of the lungs, and blood pressure. When finished each person is provided with a medical report they can share with their physician if follow-up testing is recommended.
Deborah’s commitment to bring its expertise into the community is rooted in the belief that health screenings that are appropriate, convenient, and close to home is the best way we can help the victims of Sandy, our neighbors and friends who have endured plenty. A screening can bring peace of mind to those potentially exposed to contaminants, and can direct those who might need medical follow-up to receive early care.
Deborah urges anyone affected by Sandy to participate in the Respiratory Evaluation of Sandy Program (RESP). If you are part of a group or organization whose members have been affected by Sandy, and would like to host one of Deborah’s respiratory screenings clinic, please call Tina St. John Bialt at 609-893-1200 ext. 8010 to be included on the screening schedule. If you have been affected by Sandy, and would like to participate in the screenings, please check out the upcoming schedule on our website.