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NYC Non-Profit Meetup Club (NYCNP) Message Board Funding/ Grants › Free Air conditioners for the Mentally ill, chronic diseases

Free Air conditioners for the Mentally ill, chronic diseases

Lisa P.
Group Organizer
Port Washington, NY
Post #: 292
From: Meggan Christman []
Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 11:02 AM
Subject: FW: DOHMH Update # 18 - Free Air Conditioners for High Risk Populations

Dear Colleague of the Division of Mental Hygiene:

We have just released a DOHMH Update concerning free air conditioners for high risk populations. It is available on the HAN home page, is appended to this email, and is also attached as a pdf file. The fact sheet referenced in the update is also attached. To read the attachments, you will need the Adobe reader. If you do not have that software, it can be downloaded at no cost at­.

To log into the HAN, for this alert and many related documents, go to

If you have any questions or problems, call 1-888-NYCMED9 or write to

2009 Health Update # 18
• Encourage low-income patients over 60 years of age to apply for a free air conditioner.
• Prioritize patients at greatest risk for heat-related illness as air conditioner supplies are limited.
• Documen t patient’s medical need and risk for heat-related illness to include with the application.
• Counsel all at-risk patients to “Keep Cool” and use air conditioners during heat waves.

May 19, 2009

Dear Colleague,

As summer approaches, we need your help to prepare for heat waves and to prevent heat-related health effects among your senior patients.

The Health Department and the NYC Department for the Aging are promoting the installation of free air conditioners to low-income seniors over age 60 in NYC.
• Patients can qualify for this program by meeting income criteria and submitting a health care provider’s note affirming that the patient’s health condition increases the risk for heat-related illness.
• Complete information about the program and the 2009 application are included at the end of this health update. Call 311 to receive additional application packets and patient education materials.

Hot weather can ex acerbate chronic medical conditions, leading to severe complications and death. Extreme heat events kill more Americans each year on average than all other natural disasters combined. The Health Department identified 40 heat stroke deaths and estimated an 8% excess mortality in NYC during a heat wave in 2006. Individuals at greatest risk include persons:
• Over age 65
• With chronic physical or mental health conditions
• Taking certain medications
• Living alone or with decreased mobility because of physical disabilities or social isolation
(Read the Heat Illness Information for Health Care Providers Fact Sheet at

Heat-related mortality is preventable.
Air conditioning is the most important way to protect at-risk patients on hot days.
• Counsel your at-risk patients on the importance of staying cool and healthy during hot weather.
• Be alert to heat-related illness or exacerbation of chronic medical conditions such as heart or lung disease.
• Advise at-risk patients to use their air conditioner or go to a place with air conditioning. To find a Cooling Center in New York City, call 311 or go to­ooling.shtml.
• Engage family members or other support networks to frequently check on at-risk patients

You can help make this intervention a success by identifying at-risk patients and helping them apply. Thank you for your continued dedication and contribution to the health of New Yorkers.

Nancy Clark, MA, CIH, CSP
Assistant Commissioner
Bureau of Environmental Disease Prevention

Nathan Graber, MD, MPH
Director, Environmental and Occupational Disease Epidemiology

Thomas Matte, MD, MPH
Acting Director of Environmental Research, Bureau of Environmental Surveillance and Policy

• Information for Health Care Providers on Heat-Related Morbidity and Mortality
• 2 009 Cooling Assistance Program Application and Cover Letter from The Department for the Aging

Template for written statement from health care provider
Health care provider letterhead or prescription

Re: 2009 Cooling Assistance Program

Name:______________, DOB:________, age______ years, is a patient under my care. S/he has a medical or psychiatric condition or takes medication that increases her/his risk for heat-related illness during a heat wave.

As her/his health care provider, I strongly advise that s/he use an air conditioner at home during a heat wave to prevent serious heat-related illness and possibly death. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Signature of health care provider
Contact information

Application information for free air conditioners for at-risk patients (Please see attachments)
• Patients can submit applications for free air conditioners beginning May 1, 2009 for as long as supplies last.
• Applicants must meet HEAP income eligibility criteria. Patients can determine eligibility by going to or calling 1-800-342-3009. For the Hearing Impaired, TTY Phone number: 1-866-875-9975
• A written statement from the health care provider documenting that the patient is at risk for heat-related illness must accompany the application.
• At-risk patients age 60 and over must apply through the NYC Department for the Aging using the attached application. Call 311 for more information.
2009 CAP, NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA)
2 Lafayette Street, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10007
• At-risk patients under age 60 must apply directly to the New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance.
New York State Office of Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA)
Phone: 1-800-342-3009 For the Hearing Impaired, TTY Phone number: 1-866-875-9975.
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