Many different professions lost good people as a result of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11. However, the clinical laboratory industry and the pathology profession seems to have emerged unscathed. Following many conversations with laboratorians throughout the United States, THE DARK REPORT is unaware of any laboratory executive or professional killed or injured as a result of the attacks. However, the tragedy touched laboratorians in many ways, as the stories which follow below reveal.
BIO-REFERENCES’ CEO PROVIDES MEDICAL CARE TO NY FIREMEN
There is a lab executive who personally knows many of the firefighters lost in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. Marc Grodman, M.D. is the Chairman and CEO of Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. (BRLI) of Elmwood Park, New Jersey. He is also board-certified in internal medicine. For more than 16 years, Dr. Grodman has provided medical care to members of the firefighters’ union in New York City. BRLI also does laboratory testing for the firefighters’ union. His personal relationships with so many firefighters, both those living and those lost, has made the events since September 11 particularly painful.
EYEWITNESS VIEW OF EVENTS AS THEY OCCURRED
One laboratory executive found himself watching the attack on the World Trade Center Towers and their subsequent collapse. On the morning of September 11, David Nichols, President of Nichols Management Group, a laboratory consulting company, was across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan. He was on the upper floors of a skyscraper, participating in a meeting. He was the first in the room to see the explosion on the North Tower. During the next few hours, he and his companions watched with shock and horror as the second plane hit the south tower and both buildings subsequently collapsed.
FORTUITOUS CHANGE OF MEETING SITE…
At least one executive of Laboratory Corporation of America was scheduled to be at a meeting at the World Trade Center on September 11 to sign papers and attend to details relating to the recent financial package closed by LabCorp. However, those details were handled a week earlier, thus causing the September 11 meeting to be cancelled.
SOME “LIFE GUARD” FLIGHTS GOT A FIGHTER ESCORT
A limited number of planes took to the air in the 24 hours following the attacks. These flights were deemed “medically necessary” and obtained permission to fly from government authorities. Several pilots reported that military aircraft accompanied them during portions of their flights. This was true of a charter flight ferrying whole blood units cross-country to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey. Pilots flying specimens for Quest Diagnostics Incorporated also reported having a fighter escort for at least some of their flight.