Lab Matters Winter 2023 | Page 26


Laboratory Design Matters Workshop Goes International

By Maria Landron , senior specialist , Global Health ; Jocelyn Isadore , manager , Global Health ; Lucy Maryogo-Robinson , director , Global Health ; Sherrie Staley , deputy director , Global Health ; Warren Hendrickson , vice president , Science + Technology Principal , HDR , Inc .; Michael Mottet , associate vice president , Principal Planner , HDR , Inc .; and Victor Waddell , bureau chief , Arizona Bureau of State Laboratory Services
The Laboratory Design Matters workshop is an interactive workshop designed to help attendees improve biosafety and biosecurity in their facilities , organizations and respective countries . The workshop was launched as a virtual pilot in November 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic response . There was a recognized need and increased interest in renovations and construction of public health laboratories . Since then , APHL , in collaboration with APHL members as faculty , offered a one-day in-person workshop during the APHL Annual Conferences in 2022 and 2023 , hosted in the United States . But the workshop was always intended to be offered internationally — with additional experience and improvements , Laboratory Design Matters was successfully launched internationally for the first time in 2023 .
The first international workshop was delivered in Nairobi , Kenya , September 12-14 , 2023 . It was a three-day in-person workshop , and the invitation was open globally . There were 32 attendees representing 10 countries : Botswana , Cameroon , Ethiopia , India , Kenya , Oman , Rwanda , Tanzania , Uganda and Zambia . Each country brought experiences , opportunities and challenges related to laboratory design , biosafety and biosecurity . The workshop included multiple interactive sessions and group activities , including :
1 . Completion of a situational analysis to identify the strengths , weaknesses , opportunities and threats ( SWOT analysis ) of the laboratory .
2 . A thorough risk assessment exercise .
3 . An activity to recognize flaws in a laboratory floor plan .
The workshop also included several open forum sessions , allowing attendees to share experiences and ask questions .
Workshop attendees take a break in Nairobi , Kenya .
An increase in participant knowledge was measured through a pre / post-test , with an increase in knowledge indicated through an average increase in test scores from 65 % pre-workshop to 88 % postworkshop . Attendees included biomedical engineers , laboratory technical personnel , biosafety professionals and laboratory management . There was also representation from the public sector ( e . g ., Ministry of Health , Ministry of Defense , and research institutes ) as well as the World Health Organization ( WHO ), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ), and private sector companies . The diversity in the audience — not only geographically but also in the professions represented — reinforced the message embedded in the guidelines : the importance of having a comprehensive team and representation from different collaborators during the laboratory design process .
A post-workshop survey was shared with the September 2023 workshop attendees . Information provided by participants will allow APHL to adapt and enhance the workshop and identify other related training needs . g
This awareness-level workshop targets a diverse audience : biosafety professionals , facility operations and maintenance personnel , laboratory management , biomedical engineering professionals and technical personnel . After completing the workshop , the attendees can :
1 . Perform a thorough laboratory assessment to identify issues , needs , deficiencies or problems .
2 . Discuss how to assemble and synthesize pre-design information appropriate to the development of a laboratory facility , including risk assessment .
3 . Summarize the use and applications of the APHL Laboratory Facility Construction and Major Renovation Guidelines .
4 . Outline the steps required for renovation or new laboratory construction projects using the Laboratory Design Checklist .
The workshop can also be tailored to include topics such as high containment / heightened control measures , allowing attendees to explain high containment renovation and construction design principles .
This project was 100 % funded with federal funds from a federal program of $ 511,882 . This project and the production of this article was supported by Cooperative Agreement # NU2HGH000080 , funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of , nor an endorsement by , CDC , HHS or the US Government .
24 LAB MATTERS Winter 2023
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