Study deadline looms

The Hazelwood Health Study’s Adult Survey closes recruitment at midnight on Tuesday, 31 January.

The Monash-led study team has commended the thousands of Morwell and Sale residents who have participated in the survey so far and urged those who have not yet returned their questionnaires to do so before the deadline.

The Adult Survey is the largest component of the long-term study looking at the potential long-term health impacts of the 2014 Hazelwood mine fire.

More than 4000 residents across Morwell and Sale have completed the study, however the study team hopes to boost that number considerably over coming weeks.

Chief investigator Professor Judi Walker said last minute replies would be just as important to the study as those already received.

“We really value each questionnaire that is completed. It is so important that as many eligible residents as possible support this study before the opportunity is lost,” Professor Walker said.

“While the study’s key aim is to collect evidence about the true health impact of the mine fire, it will also inform governments about future health service planning needs across the whole of Gippsland.”

Anyone who may have lost their mailed invitation is asked to phone the study team on 1800 985 899 or pick-up a survey pack from: Morwell Newspower on Commercial Road; Latrobe Community Health Service in Morwell, Traralgon or Sale; local GP clinic; the Morwell Neighbourhood House; Latrobe City Council; Morwell library; Wellington Shire Council; Sale library; or Sale Neighbourhood House.

Anyone who participates in the Adult Survey will be compensated for their time with a $20 Shop in Sale e-voucher or a $20 Latrobe City Gift Card, redeemable at a wide range of local businesses.

Professor Walker said 2017 would be a significant year for the Hazelwood Health Study.

“We will be releasing early research results to the community,” she said.

“The data already collected from participants are being carefully analysed and merged with CSIRO air quality data to measure the impact of the smoke on community health.”

In the coming months selected Adult Survey and all Early Life Follow Up (infant) study participants will be invited to attend clinics to have their cardiovascular and respiratory health examined as the next Hazelwood Health Study research streams are rolled out.

Also, school children will be invited to the follow-up of the Schools Study.