Lab Matters Fall 2023 | Page 35

Attendees at the 2023 California Select Agent Partner Meeting gathered to network and exchange information . Photo : CA Center for Laboratory Sciences
Tran : Consistent communication among LRN laboratories and partners via regular meetings is key to staff readiness . As for morale , we have formed a committee devoted to planning events for the entire campus to ensure that there is time for both work and mental and physical rest , which is critical to maintaining good services . Additionally , we nurture a welcoming team atmosphere and enable collaborative work at the laboratory bench . We cross-train our staff on a multitude of laboratory tests to enable coverage for continued laboratory operations in the event of the unexpected . We create opportunities for teamwork and to instill a supportive atmosphere for cooperative laboratory operations . Most importantly , we respect each other and treat one another with dignity and expect everyone to maintain personal accountability . However , that being said , it is hard , and morale does suffer considering
that we and other preparedness programs are under-resourced and understaffed . National Preparedness Month offers an opportunity for this community to stand together to advocate for change and bring awareness and support to LRN laboratories across the nation . The more united we stand , the stronger we will be as a network !
What preparedness advice do you have for other public health laboratories ?
Cannons : Definitely prepare for the worst and hope for the best ! And while sometimes it looks like you can over prepare , that is way better than being underprepared .
Tran : Always be prepared for any threat and always expect the unexpected . The Friday afternoon calls from the FBI are real , thus ensuring that staff are trained and are mentally prepared for these types of calls . It is useful to exercise and train to maintain competency , both tabletop and in the laboratory , as these assays can be difficult to perform and interpret . Preparedness is about cooperation , planning and being organized . The chance of success can be optimized with these three aspects in mind .
National Preparedness Month is a call to action for all sectors of the public health system and a reminder that public health threats can escalate quickly , cross jurisdictional lines , occur simultaneously or in quick succession . The inevitability of these events reinforces why maintaining preparedness is essential to mitigate the impact of future public health emergencies . g
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Fall 2023 LAB MATTERS 33