ENT and Allergy Associates LLP has been selected by Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials to screen and treat MTA employees for sleep apnea and other related sleep conditions, the Tarrytown-based specialty practice announced on Tuesday.
ENTA’s selection is pending approval by the MTA board of directors.
Officials at ENTA said the clinical service, in combination with employee compliance, could be a significant step in reducing potential dangers on the region’s roads and rails.
MTA employees suspected of suffering from sleep apnea and sleep-disordered breathing would be referred to ENTA for further testing or diagnosis. Sleep studies would be processed by ENTA physicians qualified to evaluate the entire upper airway. Commuter rail workers found to require treatment would be offered an array of nonsurgical and, if necessary, surgical treatment options.
A common sleep disorder affecting millions of Americans, sleep apnea occurs when a person’s airway closes or narrows during sleep and can result in significant drowsiness and loss of focus, among other conditions.
“We are proud to partner with the MTA,” said Dr. Robert Green, president of ENT and Allergy Associates, “and will be instituting policies and oversight that maximize the quality of care to be delivered to each and every patient. We also look forward to working with the MTA to ensure compliance with any recommended treatment.”
ENTA CEO Robert Glazer in the announcement said sleep apnea and related conditions “are particularly important to treat because they affect the ability of sufferers to remain alert, and that can have an impact not only on them, but in the case of public transportation employees, the millions more who depend on them for their own safety. We are glad to see the MTA expanding their sleep apnea screening program systemwide and see this as a model for other rail agencies and transportation systems to follow in order to make this a safety standard throughout the industry.”
ENT and Allergy Associates has more than 180 physicians practicing at more than 40 offices in Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk counties, New York City and northern and central New Jersey. ENTA specialists see more than 80,000 patients each month, according to the partnership.