The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced yesterday that John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), will be appointed as administrator for the World Trade Center Health Program established by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010.

“NIOSH has considerable experience with the WTC program and their continued strong engagement will facilitate continuity and an efficient transition to the newly authorized program,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D.

Since the law was enacted, the CDC, NIOSH and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “have been planning for a smooth transition that ensures continued, high-quality care for survivors and responders,” said Frieden.

In addition to making Howard program administrator, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is also expected to designate the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as the payor for the reimbursement of eligible health care claims associated with the initial health evaluations, follow-up monitoring, and treatment of enrollees. “This designation builds on the considerable experience and capacity of CMS in this area,” said Frieden.

James Zadroga was a NYPD detective who died of 9/11-related illness. The bill named after him provides $4.3 billion to help ailing 9/11 responders and volunteers. As of the end of 2010, there were more than 58,000 people enrolled in WTC health programs, including 15,000 FDNY responders.