Lab Matters Winter 2017 | Page 12

public health preparedness and response

APHL Launches BSO Peer Network by Brit J . Hart , MS , manager , Biosafety and Biosecurity

States and territories participating in the BSO twinning program
The Biosafety Peer Network , formerly known as the Visiting Biosafety Official Program , connects state , local and territorial public health laboratories ( PHLs ) and laboratories in the US-affiliated Pacific Islands to facilitate mentoring and information sharing among biosafety officials and officers ( BSOs ).

Established in 2016 , the Network aims to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity at participating laboratories through exchange of practices and procedures . The exchange is expected to advance and harmonize biosafety and biosecurity at these programs , while fostering a collaborative community and ultimately improving PHL biosafety and biosecurity nationwide .

Based on the twinning model , the Biosafety Peer Network pairs BSOs from two PHLs who alternately visit the other ’ s institution . The visiting BSO spends approximately three days at the host laboratory working closely with the BSO on an agenda tailored to the needs of the visiting institution . Biosafety and biosecurity plans , occupational health programs , regulated waste management and sentinel clinical outreach are a few of the topics that could be examined . Within three months , the roles are reversed , and the initial host travels
It is anticipated that through the free and mutual exchange of practices and procedures , participating laboratories will improve and enhance the implementation of their biosafety and biosecurity programs . to the other ’ s facility . To date , twelve PHLs have been twinned , for a total of six pairs .
Laboratories are paired based on responses to an application as well as strengths and proficiencies in specified areas of biosafety and biosecurity . Visits for the first round of twinned laboratories began in January 2017 . The program is expected to continue through 2018 .
PHLs interested in applying for the second round of the program should have their BSO complete the Biosafety Peer Network Application on the APHL Biosafety and Biosecurity Resources webpage and send the completed application to biosafety @ aphl . org . If you have further questions about this unique program , please feel free to contact Brit Hart , manager , Biosafety and Biosecurity at brit . hart @ aphl . org or 240.485.2702 .
LAB MATTERS Winter 2017
DIGITAL EXTRA : Read more about APHL ’ s Biosafety and Biosecurity initiatives .
APHL . org