GLEN DALE, W.Va. (WTRF) – Healthcare services are expanding in the Ohio Valley, and it’s aimed at workers who have black lung disease.
WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital is opening a Respiratory and Occupational Lung Disease Clinic.
It actually affects anyone working around fumes. That can also be steelworkers, welders or painters.
Since East Ohio Regional Hospital closed, there has been no clinic in this area to help them.
Miners that need to be seen currently are being referred to clinics either in Zanesville or McMurray, Pennsylvania.Kathleen Richmond, Black Lung Program Coordinator
Word just got out that they’re creating a clinic here, and they’re already getting calls.
We’ve also had people stop by here that’s noticed the signage outside of our office and knocked on the door and inquiredKathleen Richmond, Black Lung Program Coordinator
They will test pulmonary function, arterial blood gases, they’ll do EKGs and chest X-Rays and have a specialist read those results.
The clinic can also help people with their worker’s comp claims.
We can go to the Department of Labor and help them fill out all the paperwork. It is a lengthy process. They do want a lot of things that we can help guide the clients through and understand the process a little bit.Kathleen Richmond, Black Lung Program Coordinator
And they don’t still have to be working at the job….to qualify.
Three years from your last date of exposure. So, wherever you’ve worked, your last date of employment, you have three years from that date to get treated.April Lucido, Respiratory Director
It’s not just for coal miners.
It’s for anybody that has any occupational exposure to dust, fumes, anybody who can develop pneumonoconiosis from their occupation is eligible to be tested.April Lucido, Respiratory Director
The clinic will open on February 2nd.