Lab Matters Winter 2017 | Page 13

public health preparedness and response
Michael Pentella , PhD , D ( ABMM ) welcomes APHL Regional Biosafety and Biosecurity Workshop participants to the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory , Jamaica Plain , MA

Building a Biosafety Community of Practice by Michael Marsico , MS , specialist , Biosafety and Biosecurity

In May 2015 , APHL was awarded a $ 2.2 million cooperative agreement by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) for Domestic Laboratory Biosafety for Ebola and other Highly Infectious Diseases . As a part of this agreement , and with guidance from its Biosafety and Biosecurity Committee ( BBC ), APHL is building a community of practice to enhance biosafety and biosecurity at public health laboratories . Comprised of APHL members , primarily local and state biosafety officers ( BSOs ) and biosafety outreach personnel , this community interacts regularly via an APHLmaintained listserv and connects via meetings and webinars .

Currently , over 130 US public health laboratory biosafety professionals strengthen their knowledge and skills as subscribers to the APHL biosafety listserv , and the number continues to grow each month . The listserv allows BSOs from all around the US and its territories to share information , experiences and suggestions with others in their field . Recent discussions have covered questions about disinfectants , spill kits , Ebola and Zika testing , laboratory procedures , laboratory equipment purchases , laboratory acquired infections , packaging and shipping courses , personnel protective equipment , risk assessment templates and sharing of biosafety trainings . To prevent this valuable information from being lost , APHL staff have developed a SharePoint site to archive these discussions .
In addition to the listserv and outreach , APHL convenes regional biosafety and biosecurity workshops covering all 50 state public health laboratories , the majority of the US-Affiliated Pacific Islands and some larger , local public health laboratories . These workshops equip BSOs with the fundamentals of biosafety and biosecurity , explain how to perform risk assessments and encourage engagement with peers .
Biosafety resources developed by APHL are free and available at www . aphl . org / biosafety . Look for additional resources and activities at this address as the year progresses . If you are interested in joining the APHL Biosafety listserv , please contact Michael Marsico , MS at michael . marsico @ aphl . org or biosafety @ aphl . org .
APHL Biosafety and Biosecurity staff serve as subject matter experts , providing technical / scientific guidance to state , local and territorial PHLs receiving ELC Ebola Supplemental funds to enhance PHL biosafety capacity and improve laboratory coordination and outreach .
APHL also disseminates biosafety information and resources at conferences . APHL ’ s Public Health Preparedness and Response staff and members of the BBC routinely share information and tools developed with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) Scientific and Program Services Branch , Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity ( ELC ) Program , to help strengthen biosafety and biosecurity domestically and globally . For example , in October 2016 , APHL exhibited and presented at the American Biological Safety Association 59th Annual Biological Safety Conference in Grapevine , TX . APHL also presented on rebuilding biosafety programs at the African Society of Laboratory Medicine Biennial Conference in Cape Town , South Africa .
Northern Marlana Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
American Samoa
U . S . Virgin Islands
Puerto Rico
State , local and territorial PHLs that have received awards via the Ebola Supplemental project B-Enhanced Laboratory Biosafety and Biosecurity Capacity including the Continental United States , District of Columbia , Houston , Los Angeles County , New York City , and Philadelphia , American Samoa , Federated States of Micronesia , Guam , Northern Mariana Islands , Puerto Rico and U . S . Virgin Islands Public Health Laboratory . Local labs are represented by red dots
APHL . org
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