Boone Memorial Hospital in Madison, West Virginia opened its new Black Lung Center last week.
“We are already getting an exuberant amount of calls,” said Willie Carte, Director of Respiratory Therapy and the Black Lung Center. “We are excited to provide this much needed service to our coal miners.”
The Black Lung Center will help miners file federal black lung claims and offer federal black lung testing.
“The process is often difficult,” explained Carte. “We don’t want our miners or widows to feel discouraged. We want to make the process easier and guide them through the necessary steps to complete the claims, receive testing and, in turn, hopefully receive their black lung benefits.”
The BMH Black Lung Center will perform B-Read chest x-rays (specific to black lung), spirometry testing to determine breathing capacity, an EKG, exercise stress test and a complete physical by a physician.
A well-known, reputable Pulmonologist, Dr. Dominic Gaziano will serve as attending physician and will perform the complete black lung examination. Dr. Gaziano received his medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and specializes in Pulmonary Disease.
The BMH Black Lung Center will host multiple outreach events to help participants complete federal black lung claims.
“The outreach event is just one more avenue to help our local miners get the support they need,” said David Gresham, Chief Development Officer at Boone Memorial Hospital.
“Over the past two years we have held a couple of outreach events and helped over 150 miners (or widows) complete their claims.”
The Division of Labor partners with the hospital to provide assistance at the outreach events.
The next outreach event will be held at Boone Memorial Hospital on May 11th, 2018 from 9am to 4pm in the private dining room (1st floor). Pre-registration is not required; the event is free of charge.
Those attending should bring proof of their coal mining employment: (W-2’s, pay stubs, or employment letters), work history with approximate dates of employment including name and company (NOTE: Do not get social security record due to expense), a certified copy of your marriage certificate, spouse’s social security number and date of birth, copy of divorce decree (if applicable) and copy of birth certificate and Social Security number for self and all dependents.
“We encourage miners to attend one of our upcoming outreach events or simply call our Black Lung Center at 304-369-8825 to set-up an appointment here at BMH. We are happy to help and furthermore provide a location, close to home,” concluded Carte.
For more information about the BMH Black Lung Center or a list of upcoming outreach events please visit: www.bmh.org/blacklungcenter