The Black Lung Center at Boone Memorial Hospital located in Madison, West Virginia held a free outreach event in Logan this past Friday, March 1st. The hospital opened its new Black Lung Center last February, 2018 and has since tested nearly 1,000 active or retired coal miners.
“Our goal is simple...to help miners,” said Willie Carte, Director of Respiratory Therapy and the Black Lung Center at Boone Memorial Hospital. "We want to make the process of completing black lung claims and getting tested easier. That's why we hold free outreach events across the State of West Virginia, to make the process more accessible and convenient."
The outreach event is one of several held over the past year.
"We have held two in Boone County, one in Raleigh County, one in Oceana and our most recent outreach in Logan," said Chief Development Officer, David Gresham. “We want to help guide them through the necessary steps to complete the claims, receive testing and, in turn, hopefully receive their black lung benefits."
In addition to completing black lung claims, The Black Lung Center performs 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 one of its reputable, experienced Pulmonologists.
The Black Lung Center will continue to host outreach events across the State.
“The outreach event is just one more avenue to help our local miners get the support they need,” said Gresham. We plan to add more dates soon."
Pre-registration is not required for the outreach events and the event is free of charge. In preparation for an upcoming outreach, miners should obtain as much of the following information as possible:
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.
“If miners are unable to attend an outreach event we encourage them to call our Black Lung Center at 304-369-8825 to set-up an appointment here at Boone Memorial in Madison," said Carte.
"We are excited to provide this much needed service to our coal miners. While we hope those getting tested don't have black lung disease, we want to be here for our miners no matter the outcome," concluded Carte.
For more information about the BMH Black Lung Center or a list of upcoming outreach events please visit: www.bmh.org/blacklungcenter