First Responder Advocate Stephen Levin Passed Away

Dr. Stephen M. Levin, an advocate for the medical needs of the rescue workers who responded to the World Trade Center tragedy, died February 14th, 2012 of cancer. He died peacefully in his home in Upper Grandview, New York. Levin was 70 years old. As a professor of preventative medicine and co-director of the Irving J Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, Dr. Levin identified the need for a long-term program that would treat the workers and volunteers who rushed to the scene as the World Trade Center collapsed. He saw the poisonous cloud of dust and knew workers would be exposed to illness and asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. After earning his medical degree from the New York University School of Medicine in 1967, he worked for over 40 years at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, both treating and advocating for many patients who became ill due to hazardous conditions in the workplace; particularly those suffering from asbestos-related diseases. He tirelessly treated patients who were exposed to mercury, solvents, lead, ergonomic hazards, and reproductive toxins. The center became one of the leading institutions for the treatment of occupational medicine under his outstanding leadership. Within two days of the attack on the World Trade Center, it was obvious to Dr. Levin that responders would need specialized attention to respond to their breathing problems stemming from the toxic fumes. Dr. Levin gathered his staff a few days after the attack to plan a clinic that would give complete exams to the 9/11 responders. According to the clinic's 2004 study, 90 percent of responders reported an acute cough. Following these exams Dr. Levin successfully lobbied New York State authorities to require vacuum hoses and respirators be provided to bridge workers to protect them from lead poisoning. Dr. Levin received the prestigious Irving J. Selikoff Award in 2009 from the Collegium Ramazzini for his painstaking attention to the needs of workers and volunteers. Born on October 16, 1941 in Philadelphia, Stephen Michael Levin was the son of Sam and Sarah Levin. A 1963 graduate of Wesleyan University, Levin attended New York University, where he received his medical degree. He practiced medicine in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, before moving on to the Selikoff Center in 1979. Levin is survived by his wife, Robin Levin, his mother Sarah Schurr; three sons, Jonathan, Joseph, David; his daughter, Kate Levin and a sister, Ginny Jarvis. References:
  • Monforton, Celeste. (February 09, 2012). “Remembering Stephen M. Levin, MD, a clinician, scientist, advocate.” Retrieved on January 3, 2012, from The Pump Handle.
  • Hevesi, Dennis. (February 13, 2012). “Stephen M. Levin, Who Ran a Clinic for 9/11 Responders, Dies at 70.” Retrieved on February 17, 2012, from The New York Times.
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