AUDIO HERE: Health systems collaborate for Marcellus Shale health research

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DANVILLE – Funding for a study on the health impacts of natural gas drilling comes with a $25 million price tag, but three health systems say the expense is worth it.

A longterm study, being done by Geisinger Health System, Susquehanna Health and Guthrie Health, was announced last year says Andrew Deubler, Executive Vice President for the Office of Resource Development at Geisinger.

“We are position ourselves to be prepared to create a reservoir of highly qualified data that can be used to assess the health and well being of our community.  We believe the curation of data must be done responsibly and to have that partnership in place, along with the state’s health department, this is a very important development and one we are very proud of.”

To date, only $1 million has been contributed to help fund the project.  That money given by the Degenstein Foundation in Sunbury.  “A challenge of any project like this is always going to be to find funding.  I wouldn’t want to suggest in any way that we feel like we are falling behind in that regard.  We just continue to refine the project and are excited as partners continue to talk with us about how they might help us move the project forward.”

The health systems’ plan to look at health histories of thousands of patients who live near Marcellus Shale gas wells in the state. (Sara Bartlett)

 

Deubler