Category Archives: Positions vacant

Hazelwood Health Study reaches lung function testing goal

Respiratory Coordinator Brigitte Borg has thanked the Morwell community for its support.

Lung function assessments in Morwell have ended with the Hazelwood Health Study testing 347 people.

Testing in Morwell ended on 8 December with the study exceeding its target of 339.

The assessments aimed to find out whether exposure to mine fire smoke is associated with respiratory symptoms, or changes in lung health or asthma control.

“It was vital as many people participated in the assessments as possible,” Respiratory Coordinator Brigitte Borg said.

“Not only is their participation helping the researchers measure the impact of the mine fire smoke, it also provided vital information about the respiratory health profile in Morwell.

“On behalf of the study I would also like to extend our thanks to the Morwell community for their ongoing support. We will return to Morwell in about three years’ time to re-commence testing.”

Testing will now relocate to the comparison community of Sale with assessments to begin in late January.

Heart and blood vessel assessments, which have been taking place in Sale since October, will then start taking place in Morwell from mid-January with letters to eligible residents going out later this month.

Appointments will include completing questionnaires, measurements and tests administered by trained researchers in private rooms.

Residents who choose to take part in testing will be compensated for their time with a $50 gift card. Information on how to participate will be included in mailed invitations.

“Residents who participate in the testing will be invited to undergo the same assessments on two further occasions; once in three years and again in six years from now,” Ms Borg said.

Morwell community members who receive an information pack inviting them to participate in heart and blood vessel assessments should phone the bookings team on 1800 985 899 to make an appointment.

This research is funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

Call for new Community Advisory Committee members

Latrobe Valley and Sale community residents interested in the health outcomes of the Hazelwood mine fire are encouraged to apply for membership on the Hazelwood Health Study Community Advisory Committee.

Members have provided invaluable community insight in the first three years of the study and have worked together with residents and stakeholders to ensure issues of significance to the study are heard.

“By becoming a member of the committee, you have the opportunity to provide input into this world-first study and share its findings with the community,” Principal Co-Investigator Professor Judi Walker said.

“To ensure the team hears from as many people as possible, committee membership is for a fixed term and new committee members are now being sought.

“We are looking for a diverse range of people from many backgrounds to represent the Latrobe Valley and Sale communities on the committee.”

Expressions of interest are being sought from Latrobe Valley and Sale residents, the latter community having been selected as the comparison group for the adult health assessments. Committee positions are non-representative and voluntary.

Study membership includes up to six community members from the Latrobe Valley and up to four from Sale.

“The selection of the community members will be at the discretion of a selection committee to ensure equitable membership across the committee, including gender balance,” Professor Walker said.

This call for expressions of interest will close on Friday, 15 December 2017 with the first committee meeting of 2018 scheduled for the second week of February. Regular meetings are held during the year.

For more information about the call for expressions of interest, the committee or the Monash University-led Hazelwood Health Study, phone Dr Matthew Carroll on 5122 7604.