The three field nurses of the Ohio OHNAC project have used the media as a form of getting information on farm safety issues to their populations. They have used their local newspapers, Ohio Farmer (a monthly magazine), Farmweek (a weekly farm newspaper), and the Sugarcreek Budget (a weekly newspaper that serves the Amish population).
There is no way of evaluating how effective this type of information delivery system is. With the Farmweek articles, the Occupational Health Department phone number at the Ohio Department of Health is listed for people to call for further information. With the local newspapers, the local nurses usually give local numbers to get further information. There has been a small response to the phone numbers for further information, but there still is no way of knowing how many people are impacted by reading the articles.
The other aspect these articles give the nurses is visibility within their own communities. They are often associated with a recent article or contacted because someone has seen an article in the newspaper. This makes the surveillance part of the OHNAC project easier when people know you when you contact them to get information on injuries or illnesses.
This research abstract was extracted from a portion of the proceedings of "Agricultural Safety and Health: Detection, Prevention and Intervention," a conference presented by the Ohio State University and the Ohio Department of Health, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
B. Slabaugh-Wengerd, Wooster Community Hospital OHNAC Project, Wooster, OH.
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