New Pennsylvania group leading the way in first-of-its-kind health care for oil and gas communities
Posted February 21, 2012
I was thrilled to read today about the creation of the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project (SWPA-EHP). This new non-profit health center is funded by local philanthropies to provide free health care services to those who believe their health has been, or could be, impacted by natural gas drilling activities. A nurse practioner is available for home or office visits, exams and consultations with people who think their health may be compromised by nearby gas drilling activities. She will also provide referrals, help clients navigate the health care system and consult with environmental health specialists about residents' medical conditions.
This new organization will also serve as a resource center for information on the potential routes of exposure to hazardous substances and strategies for limiting the risk of health effects from these exposures. They have an excellent fact sheet: "3 Good Things To Do if you live near natural gas drilling." Their staff experts bring decades of eminent experience, extensive education, and priceless knowledge and environmental health expertise to this issue. I am glad there will now be a new resource to help families being harmed by natural gas activities in southwest Pennsylvania, and hope it is a model that can be replicated elsewhere.