July 17, 2020

Updates from the Aliso Canyon Disaster Health Research Study Team

Aliso Canyon Community,

We hope this email finds you safe and well. As we continue to see increased community spread of COVID-19 across the County, we ask everyone to stay home as much as possible, to stay physically distant from people you don’t live with and take all of the necessary precautions to minimize risk – wear a face covering, maintain physical distance, wash your hands and avoid crowds. We encourage you to stay informed by visiting our COVID-19 homepage.

Since the $25 million was secured for a long-term health study of the 2015 Aliso Canyon Well Blowout, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) has undertaken the initial scoping phase of the study. Incorporating input from the Community Advisory Group (CAG) and guidance from the Scientific Oversight Committee (SOC), DPH has initiated a planning process for the health study that is community-centric and scientifically driven. Here are some study activity highlights for the month of July:

Communications Preference Survey

For those of you who responded to our communications preferences survey, thank you for your participation. Your responses will help us better understand community members’ preferred methods of engagement. Communications out to the community will be tailored based on the results of the survey. There was a total of 116 respondents.

·     97% of respondents resided in one of the affected communities (Porter Ranch, Granada Hills, Chatsworth, Northridge) during the 2015 blowout.

·     94% reported that they prefer receiving updates on ACDHRS via email.

Despite respondents’ familiarity with Zoom, DPH is no longer able to use this video conference platform due to a recent change in County policy. Instead, WebEx will be used as one of the video conference platforms due to its capacity to host a large number of guests and panelists.

Health Impacts Opinion Survey

In the coming weeks, a survey research firm will be conducting focus groups and an opinion survey to gather feedback to inform the development of the health study. The research firm will ensure that a representative sample of community members take part in the focus groups and complete the survey. If you are contacted to participate, we thank you in advance and appreciate your support in moving the Health Study forward. If you are not contacted and would like to provide your feedback, we will provide an online survey link on our website. Community input is critical as the SOC develops the scope of work for the $25 million health study.

Cancer Subcommittee

Over the past two months, a subcommittee consisting of CAG and SOC members has been collaborating with researchers at the USC Cancer Surveillance Program (CSP) to develop a plan for investigating cancer concerns in the community using data from the CSP. The subcommittee has played a crucial role in determining the scope and design of the investigation. USC CSP is currently drafting an analysis plan which will be reviewed by the CAG and SOC.

Save The Date:

Second SOC Scoping Meeting on Tuesday, July 28

The second scoping meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 28, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. via WebEx, and will include a CAG presentation along with a Q&A session open to the public. Meeting link and call-in information can be found here. We encourage your participation to engage with members of the SOC and the CAG and to help inform the ongoing planning of the Aliso Canyon Disaster Health Research Study. Information gathered during this meeting will directly inform the study scope of work.

Monthly Community Advisory Group Meetings

Community Advisory Group Meetings are held regularly on Microsoft Teams at the end of every month. Please use the ACDHRS webpage to view upcoming meetings and to access meeting agenda, summary, and other materials. Members of the public are encouraged to attend and provide Public Comment.

Upcoming Meetings:

·     Monday, July 27, 2020 at 4:00 PM, hosted by the CAG via Microsoft Teams/Toll number: +1 323-776-6996 Conference ID: 288 990 479#

·     Monday, August 24, 2020 at 4:00 PM, hosted by the CAG via Microsoft Teams/Toll number +1 323-776-6996 Conference ID: 642 177 782#

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