The Hazelwood Health Study needs your help

The view of the Morwell central business district near the town's train station and underpass.

The view of the Morwell central business district from the town’s train station and underpass.

The Hazelwood Health Study is looking for people who use or have used electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes or vaping) to provide feedback on a questionnaire we are developing.
The questionnaire takes about 5 minutes to complete and can be done over the phone.
At the end of the questionnaire, we will ask some questions regarding your understanding of the questions. No identifying information about you will be recorded.
If you are a current or past user of electronic cigarettes and are interested in helping us, please private message us using ‘e-cigarette questionnaire pilot’ as the first line, followed by your name and best contact phone number.
Alternatively, you can leave you details for one of our team to phone you back on 1800 985 899.

Pick up a paper copy of the Adult Survey

Adult Study Paper Survey Packs are now available at the following businesses throughout Morwell and Sale. Pick up a pack, complete the survey and return in the reply paid envelope.

MORWELL

  • Latrobe City Offices Commercial Road, Morwell
  • Newspower Newsagent, Commercial Road Morwell
  • Neighbourhood House, 48-50 Beattie Cres, Morwell
  • Latrobe Community Health Service, 81-87 Buckley St Morwell
  • All GP Clinics in Morwell
  • Morwell Police Station, 8-10 Hazelwood Rd, Morwell
  • The Laundry Lounge, 244 Commercial Rd, Morwell
  • Latrobe City Morwell Library, 63-65 Elgin St, Morwell
  • Central Gippsland Aboriginal Health Services, 15/17 Collins St, Morwell
  • Gippsland Multicultural Services, 100-102 Buckley St, Morwell
  • Latrobe Regional Hospital, Sub Acute Care, Allied Health

SALE

  • Wellington Shire Office, 18 Desailly St, Sale
  • Sale Library , 75 Macalister St, Sale
  • Neighbourhood House, 19-21 Leslie St, Sale
  • Clocktower Medical Clinic, 284 Raymond St, Sale
  • Sale Medical Clinic, 49 Desailly St, Sale
  • Inglis Medical Centre, 12 Inglis St, Sale

Share your hopes for the future of Morwell

The Hazelwood Health Study is calling on the community to take part in a photography exhibition that shares their hopes for the future of Morwell.
The ‘Our hopes for the future of Morwell’ exhibition will feature images of Morwell community members and groups holding a symbol that represents their hopes for the township.
The Monash University-led study is inviting the community to have their photo taken with their symbol at Morwell Neighbourhood House on Thursday 24 August from 10am to 12pm. The photographic images will then be exhibited at Switchback Gallery, Churchill in November. The project is a collaboration between the health study, Morwell Neighbourhood House and Gippsland Centre for Art and Design (Federation University).

photo credit: clive hutchison

Parents asked for help with Schools Study

Parents of children in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9 in Latrobe Valley schools will be contacted by their schools in the coming weeks to ask permission for them and their children to take part in the 10-year longitudinal study.

The aim of the study is to see if there were any ongoing psychological impacts of exposure to smoke from the Hazelwood mine fire in school-aged children, as well as exploring other educational and wellbeing outcomes.

The study will be approaching almost all schools in the Latrobe Valley and has received considerable assistance from the Department of Education and Training, the Catholic Education Office, and from the schools themselves.

“In addition to understanding the specific smoke impacts, a study of this size and length is likely to shed light on other factors impacting on the wellbeing and academic outcomes of local students, which has the potential to shape future educational policy for the region and beyond,” said lead researcher Professor Darryl Maybery.

“Parents are encouraged to keep an eye out for the Schools Study information and to take part so that we can better understand the impacts of the mine fire.”

Find out more about the Schools Study or ask your children’s school for details.

 

See the WIN News story about the launch of the Schools Study.

Schools StudyThe long term Hazelwood Health Study has begun researching the mine fire’s impact on young people. Almost every school in the Latrobe Valley will be approached to take part in the study, which will form a crucial part of the overall research. This item was posted on Facebook by WIN News Gippsland on Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Heart and blood vessel tests underway in Sale

Hazelwood Health Study staff Karen Kilpatrick and Liz Dewar help Sale participant Bill Redmond during the cardiovascular assessment.

Heart and blood vessel assessments of adults who lived in Sale during the 2014 Hazelwood mine fire are underway.

The Hazelwood Health Study has selected about 1000 of the 4100 Morwell and Sale residents who completed the previous Adult Survey, to participate in the free, specialised cardiovascular health assessments.

Invites have been mailed out to selected Sale residents with testing beginning on Thursday.

The aim is to find out whether exposure to mine fire smoke has affected the heart and blood vessels of adults living in Morwell compared to adults living in Sale.

HHS cardiovascular spokesman Dr Dion Stub said Sale was chosen as a comparison community because it was only minimally exposed to the smoke but was comparable to Morwell in size, rural location, and population characteristics.

“The participants in Sale are very important. Not only does their participation help the researchers measure the impact of the mine fire smoke, it also provides vital information about the cardiovascular health profile in Sale itself. This helps to guide long-term health service needs specific to the Sale area,” Dr Stub said.

Dr Stub said “to ensure the study gets accurate results as many of the selected Sale residents as possible must participate; whether they are well or unwell.

Participation involves attending the Hazelwood Health Study Clinic at Central Gippsland Health Service in Sale for two hours. The appointment will include completing questionnaires, measurements and tests administered by trained researchers in private rooms. Blood pressure, electrical activity of the heart measured by ECG and blood cholesterol are examples of the tests included.

The selected residents who agree to take part in the testing will receive a $50 gift card for their time and inconvenience. Information on how to participate will be included in the mailed invitations.

The study will then invite participants to repeat the same assessments on two further occasions; once in three years and again in six years from now.

Residents who receive the invitation packs should phone the study on 1800 985 899 to book an appointment. Residents who completed the previous Adult Survey but have since changed address, can phone the recruitment team to find out if they were randomly chosen to participate and also update their address.

This research is funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. For more information about the Monash University-led Hazelwood Health Study, visit www.hazelwoodhealthstudy.org.au

Related News

10 August 2017 – Hazelwood Health Study begins adult lung assessments

The ELF study has its first participants

The Latrobe Early Life Follow-up (ELF) study is well and truly underway with the first parents having completed their surveys online or over the phone.

The ELF study aims to explore whether the smoke of the Hazelwood mine fire of 2014 affected the health and development of babies and children in any way in the years following the fire.

The ELF team have been working in close partnership with the Maternal Child Health Unit at Latrobe City Council, with council sending out letters to all eligible families in the Latrobe Valley informing them about the study. This was followed up with the first batch of letters from the ELF team inviting parents to participate in the study, with more to be sent out in the coming weeks.

We are excited to see that the first parents have started to complete the survey and we look forward to more coming on board as the roll out continues.

More information about the ELF study is available here.

Students needed for Hazelwood Health Study research

Dr Matthew Carroll and his team of researchers will be recruiting a new group of grade three students during the next round of data collection.

Hazelwood Health Study researchers are returning to Latrobe Valley schools to explore the longer-term health impact of the 2014 Hazelwood mine fire on school-aged children.

This year’s round of data collection follows on from an earlier release of key findings from the Schools study where researchers investigated child distress, the change in NAPLAN results from the year before and after the fire and what students said to researchers.

As part of the next stage of data gathering, researchers are keen to recruit a new group of grade three students.

By recruiting this new group, researchers are planning to explore the longer-term impacts of the Hazelwood mine fire in even younger children.

“We understand that it may seem like a long time since the mine fire, but it is important that as many children participate as possible, even if parents don’t think they were impacted by the smoke,” researcher Dr Matthew Carroll said.

The Schools Study, part of the long-term health study, is looking at whether children exposed to the smoke from the mine fire have higher levels of distress than children with less exposure to the smoke. The study is also looking at impacts on education and other outcomes.

Carolyne Boothman, a local teacher and member of the HHS Community Advisory Committee, is particularly keen to see as many children as possible participate in the study.

“As a teacher I saw the effects on students at the time – not just the exposure to the smoke, but also the disruption to their everyday routine of school, relocation and the ongoing stress over the 45 days,” Ms Boothman said.

“It is vital that we ensure our children’s wellbeing is closely monitored as they grow and develop.

“Through their involvement in the health study we will be able to provide much better support and evidence that we will need to advocate for the wider community.”

Families involved in the Schools Study will receive a $25 gift card for their time and any inconvenience caused.

The study is taking place in 18 local schools which support the study and are in the process of writing to all families of grade 3 children inviting them to participate.

The study is funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. For more information about the study, visit www.hazelwoodhealthstudy.org.au or www.facebook.com/hazelwoodhealthstudy