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Newsroom Press release

George Soros Joins The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund to Provide Medical Treatment for 9/11 Workers

NEW YORK—George Soros, chairman and founder of the Open Society Institute, along with five other philanthropies joined forces today to help The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund create a 9/11 Neediest Medical campaign. Contributions to the campaign, which begins with more than $4 million, will provide treatment for uninsured workers and residents who have developed life-threatening diseases since the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.

This special campaign is being launched by The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund with a $1 million grant from its endowment to a clinical consortium headed by the Mount Sinai Medical Center. The funds will be used to treat uninsured responders who performed Sept. 11 rescue, recovery, and cleanup work. The New York Community Trust, in a parallel effort, plans to contribute $1 million for screening and treatment to Bellevue Hospital Center, principally for uninsured clean-up workers and Lower Manhattan residents.

Soros announced today OSI’s gift of $1 million to support the Sept. 11 work at the two hospitals. Both hospitals will also benefit from donations of $1 million from the Ford Foundation, $250,000 from the Altman Foundation, $75,000 from the United Way of New York City, and $25,000 from Trinity Church, which will also accept contributions from the public at its St. Paul’s Chapel near Ground Zero.

“As a New Yorker, I wanted to support the people who risked their well-being to help others in the aftermath of the Sept. 11th attacks,” said Soros. “As a result of their heroic efforts, many of them today are in poor health and are especially vulnerable because they lack medical insurance. Now it is important to come to their aid.”

In a report last week, Mayor Bloomberg’s World Trade Center Health Panel estimated that the cost of screening and treatment for all those affected by Sept. 11 could exceed $392 million a year, not including late-emerging conditions or pension and disability costs. The 9/11 Neediest Medical Campaign is a vital step to address this gap in medical services and will bolster the efforts of doctors to save lives and alleviate suffering of 9/11 workers with life-threatening diseases.

The Open Society Institute, a private operating and grantmaking foundation, works to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. To achieve its mission, OSI seeks to shape public policies that assure greater fairness in political, legal, and economic systems and safeguard fundamental rights. OSI works in over 60 countries including the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

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