Health surveys sent to Brookfield area

WARREN — A health and environmental survey has been sent to residents of the Brookfield and Masury areas seeking comments on their health and well-being in connection with the placement of permitted injection wells in the area.

Representatives of the Trumbull County Combined Health District and Kent State University’s public health department are working together on the survey. Officials sent 700 surveys in mid-March.

Frank Migliozzi, health commissioner, said the survey is a way to collect information on residents’ health status as more permitted underground injection wells are approved in the Brookfield area.

“We want to start to collect data on the health of residents and see if they may have been affected. We were asked a few years ago by members of the Trumbull County Trustee Association to determine if there may be any potential impact to people’s health with increased number of injection wells,” he said.

Migliozzi said the surveys are a chance to obtain at least basic information since they are not allowed permitted medical records from hospitals due to HIPAA guidelines.

“We want residents to know the survey is legitimate and want to get their feedback,” he said.

The survey is being done in collaboration with Kent State University, which will compile and process the data.

Jenna Amerine, health educator with the health district, said the 50-question survey needs returned within 30 days, by mid-April, to Kent State University.

“The survey is a form that was sent out throughout the Brookfield School District area. The survey is asking people if they have noticed any health-related changes, such as with breathing. We asked about noise and environmental factors, such as any changes in water or with smell. We are looking at any conditions that may interrupt or affect residents’ lives,” Amerine said.

Migliozzi said while Brookfield is not the only location with injection wells, the area seems to have more permitted wells than any other community in Trumbull County.

“Brookfield is starting to see the increase in wells. We want to collect data before and after to see any changes after wells are operating. We will reproduce the survey again in upcoming years to see if there is any changes later or if things stay the same.” Migliozzi said, adding there is an understanding of a transient population in the county, which also will be monitored.

Migliozzi said graduate students in public health at Kent State are handling the survey results.

Anyone from the Brookfield area who did not receive a survey may call 330-675-2489.

Another survey sent out earlier this year, throughout Trumbull and Mahoning counties, focused on community health concerns and needs.

Amerine said data is being reviewed on the 472 surveys returned and findings will be released to the public 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. June 6 at Kent State University at Trumbull.

Also, the health district has learned officials in Girard, Cortland and Warren have discussed Tobacco 21, which is being pushed by Gov. Michael DeWine, who wants to raise the age to purchase tobacco products from age 18 to 21.

Amerine, who said she met recently with Girard city council to discuss the issue, said plans are for health officials to again talk with Girard about DeWine’s proposal.

Amerine said no community in Trumbull County has passed a motion in support of Tobacco 21, but Youngstown city officials are working on it.

Migliozzi said area data shows a high level of tobacco-related premature deaths, which can be prevented. He said cancer and heart disease are the two highest causes of premature deaths for ages 75-and-under in the county.

“If we can hold people off from using tobacco products up to age 21, the chances of them ever becoming addicted to tobacco products is greatly reduced. The goal is to prevent premature deaths because those who start before 21 are usually going to become addicted to it. We want to prevent them from using the products which can affect their health.” he said.

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