PRECONFERENCE COURSES February 12-13, 2022
SATURDAY, February 12, 2022
COVID-19 PPE: Selection, Decontamination and Reuse

This course will provide current information on the PPE biosafety practices within the laboratories to minimize potential exposures during a highly infectious airborne pathogen outbreak response. This course will provide the information on use of various types of PPE based upon performing a risk assessment. We will discuss the decontamination and reuse of PPE needed to overcome supply shortages.

Pawan Angra, MS , PhD, International Laboratory Advisor, Center for Global Health, CDC
Gerald Pellegrini, ASCP (MT), International Laboratory Advisor, Center for Global Health, CDC
Len Peruski, PhD, International Laboratory Advisor, Center for Global Health, CDC

The Challenges of Biosafety Program Management: Dos, Don’ts, and Must-Haves for Organizational Success

Building a holistic and comprehensive biorisk management program requires extensive effort from laboratory staff, safety stakeholders, and organizational leadership. Biosafety Officers alone cannot develop, maintain, or continuously improve safety programs and require infrastructural support both within safety verticals as well as externally across divisions. It’s easy to lose sight of key objectives and results when faced with a mountain of operational issues and frustrated by a lack of resources. Where do you begin when standing up a new biosafety program or trying to mature an existing one? What are the pitfalls to avoid, how do you strategically engage laboratory staff and leadership?

This class will reinforce the fundamentals of biosafety program management with an emphasis on key program areas to either develop or improve. These include risk assessment and communication, competency-based training, safety metrics, basic program infrastructure, and how to use appreciative inquiry as a tool for continuous improvement.

AJ Troiano, PhD, RBP, Principal, Scorton Creek Biosafety, LLC
Danene Balint, Clinical Biosafety Specialist, Scorton Creek Biosafety, LLC


Pandemic ready: Rapid Implementation …. Non- Traditional Laboratory Testing Sites

Successful implementation of point of care testing in non-traditional settings was one critical measure in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic to permit universities to remain open for in person learning.

This course will provide an overview of mounting an institutional response to address the COVID-19 pandemic including risk assessments and functional adaptations for point of care testing and vaccination sites including unique solutions to risk mitigations for limited PPE, minimal trained staff, supply chain disruptions, public perception and interdepartmental cooperation. The course will include hands-on activities for designing and building a COVID-19 testing site using existing organizational resources. Lastly, this course will provide tips and direction to help institutions prepare for future pandemic or catastrophic disruptions.

Irene Mendoza, MS, RBP (ABSA), Biosafety Officer with Environmental Health and Safety and CDC Alternative Responsible, Arizona State University.
Amanda Rice, PhD, Associate Director for Employee Health with Environmental Health and Safety and CDC Alternative Responsible Official, Arizona State University

An Interactive Decontamination Experience: From Analysis to Application

This course is designed to help take the guesswork out of decontamination, from start to finish, using knowledge and techniques for success against current and future pathogenic threats, including COVID-19. Join us for three segments of hands-on training on decontamination, including Surveillance Methods/Validations, Small and Large Enclosure Decontamination, and Decontamination Applications. Learn how to distinguish the difference between diverse types of validation methods to determine the safety of a space with regard to contamination. Thoroughly understand fogged chemical decontamination in order to select proper fact-based solutions centered on optimal efficacy and risk mitigation. Implement easy protocols for complete decontamination, and mitigate pathogen transmission to help protect facility health with solutions rooted in science. Developed by experts in the field of microbiology and environmental decontamination, this workshop will help participants overcome challenges facing effective facility decontamination by reviewing best practices used in published studies. This workshop is essential for all personnel responsible for planning, implementing or applying decontamination and disinfection protocols or technology.

Frances M. Grinstead, CEO, CURIS System
Aleah C. Cutshall, Systems Integration Engineer, CURIS System

SUNDAY, February 13, 2022
Strategies and Tactics for Emergency Preparedness

Emergency situations and disasters can happen at any time, Experience is the best teacher. Every company, every expert in the field of labor protection has many years of experience in solving difficult situations. All this allows them to imagine the range of dangerous situations that may arise and to develop complex scenarios for the actions of the company’s/community emergency response services.
We will simulate real-world situations and talk about strategies and tactics: what kind of services for internal response and decision-making mechanisms should exist within the organization, what measures need to be taken to ensure that no one is injured and how to evacuate victims

This program trains First Responders and Emergency Managers to handle various emergencies by developing Emergency Response Plan (ERP), understanding Emergency Procedure and executing Incident Command System (ICS) during disaster.

Lester Claravall, MHR, Safety Professional, State of Oklahoma
Kadiri Shamusideen. B.Sc. M..Ed., Principal Consultant, Zub Chord Technical Ventres, (OSH Consultants) Fellow, Institute of Risk and Safety Management of Nigeria

Exchanging Ideas and Cataloging Lessons Learned to Prepare for the Next Pandemic

Creating devasting health and societal consequences worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has uncovered a number of gaps and shortcomings within the nation’s collective public health systems, both internationally and locally. To prepare for the inevitable next public health threat, the Texas Legislature, with approval of the Governor, created the Texas Epidemic Public Health Institute (TEPHI), a state agency housed within The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health , TEPHI will create linkages among relevant statewide entities and combine existing resources and expertise to form a robust public health reserve, strengthen the resiliency of the state’s workforce and infrastructure, and develop an integrated research program.

This workshop will tap into the collective experience and expertise of workshop participants by using a series of provocative questions to elicit an open discussion about the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC’s 17th International Symposium on Biosafety presents a unique opportunity to collect and catalog key themes and perspectives from professionals engaged in pandemic preparedness and response. The catalog outcome resulting from this workshop will inform TEPHI’s efforts to manage the next pandemic and could serve as a model for other states that may consider forming a similar agency.

In this four-hour workshop, we will (1) identify and describe the role of biosafety professionals within the continuum of a pandemic event, (2) uncover gaps in the training that biosafety professionals receive, (3) outline possible updates to biosafety skills and competencies, and (4) identify educational and training needs for the biosafety profession.

Robert J. Emery, DrPH, MSEH, MSPH, CHP, CIH, CBSP, CSP, CHMM, CPP, ARM, Vice President for Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Professor of Occupational Health, The University of Texas School of Public Health
Janelle Rios, PhD, MPH, Faculty Associate, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health Director and Principal Investigator, Prevention, Preparedness, and Response (P2R) Consortium

Pivoting to Virtual Training: Best Practices and Lessons Learned

The SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a rapid pivot from in-person training activities to those involving remotely facilitated training. While virtual training has been used previously in cases where travel by either facilitators or participants was prohibited, the refocus of entire training portfolios to a virtual format was unprecedented. While unexpected and challenging, this shift, nevertheless, provides the opportunity to examine and benchmark observations, lessons-learned, and metrics to inform more strategic use of virtual training to support biorisk management efforts worldwide. This highly interactive course will use training industry observations along with the instructors’ and participants’ experiences with both in-person and virtual training to explore the following questions:
● What aspects of virtual training work? What are the best use cases?
● What are limitations of virtual trainings?
● Does virtual training present unique security or sensitivity concerns?
● How can virtual training and remote engagement be used to maximize return on investment?
What training approaches/delivery methods can improve virtual learning beyond the pandemic?

Instructor Team – Global Chemical and Biological Security (GCBS), Sandia National Laboratories
LouAnn C. Burnett, MS, CBSP, GCBS Training Team, Developer Biorisk Management Trainer Development Program
Jeannie Leesman, MPH, GCBS Training Team, Lead Africa Regional Biorisk Management Trainers’ Networks
Laurie Wallis, MPH, GCBS Training Team

Turning On A Dime: Can Your Biosafety Plan Handle An Emerging Pathogen?

Novel and re-emerging pathogens are inevitable and will be a constant challenge for microbiologists and our world. It is extremely important that laboratorians can recognize and safely handle ancient pathogens, such as Yersinia pestis, as well as new pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2, in order to prevent laboratory exposures and laboratory associated illnesses.

This workshop will cover the importance of preplanning and developing a Biosafety Plan that is quickly adaptable for use with whatever biohazardous agent emerges. We will begin with an overview of what constitutes an effective Biosafety Plan and discuss its key components. There will be an emphasis on the importance and value of performing biosafety risk assessments prior to determining and implementing any mitigation steps, or establishing training requirements and competency assessments for the staff.

Unfortunately, despite the best plans, sometimes laboratory accidents happen and exposures do occur. This course will also cover how to assess whether there has been an exposure and, if an exposure has occurred, what subsequent steps need to happen next. The importance of developing a strong occupational health program will also be highlighted.

Shoolah Escott, MS, MT(ASCP), Biosafety and Biosecurity Trainer
Michael Perry, Associate Director, Biodefense Laboratory, New York State Department of Health – Wadsworth Center
Erin Bowles, MT(ASCP), Laboratory Network Coordinator, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene
Michael Pentella, PhD, D(ABMM), Laboratory Director and Clinical Professor, State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa.

Intra-action Reviews (IAR): A New Tool for a Sustained Response Plan

Mastering the techniques within Intra-Action Reviews will enable you to add a dynamic tool to your tool box for sustained responses. This new approach for emergency managers and policy makers will support the transfer of knowledge about best practices and challenges in response throughout the world. The focus will be on understanding WHO’s process, discussing how to adapt IARs for other responses, and practice an IAR with a mock public health emergency. This will be an interactive session that will send you away with lessons to use immediately in your respective organizations and emergency preparedness!

Ryan Houser, MS, EMPS, NREMT, Emergency Management Specialist, Tetra Tech

Animals or People: Who is the Bigger Biosafety Hazard?

Attendees will participate in a leader-guided discussion (preceded by didactic elements) on how to identify and mitigate infectious agents that may cross species boundaries, both from animals to humans and humans to animals. The course will emphasize the risks these infectious agents pose to not only human health; but, also to scientific research through their effects on the animals. Procedures and policies that prevent and mitigate the introduction of unwanted agents into the institutions will be addressed. Participants will develop policies and procedures for their parent institutions with guidance from subject matter experts. Additionally, there will be discussion of emergency preparedness and how to incorporate biosafety concerns into institutional disaster response plans.

Marie Brake, DVM, Laboratory Animal Resident, CDC
Catalina Forero, DVM, MS, Laboratory Animal Resident, CDC
Jessica Levine, DVM, MS, Laboratory Animal Resident, CDC
Rachel Wier, DVM, Laboratory Animal Resident, CDC
Rex Howard, DVM, DACLAM, Veterinary Medical Officer, CDC
Cassandra Tansey, DVM, DACLAM, Comparative Medicine Branch Deputy Chief, CDC

MONDAY, February 14, 2022
The Changed Workplace
SESSION: Workforce Challenges
What changed for you at work?
Issues with PPE: Stories from the field
Supports for Staff Mental Health
Considerations for Virtual Inspections
Collaborations and Partnerships
Challenges in Point of Care Setups
TUESDAY, February 15, 2021
Special Presentation
Artificial Intelligence – The Future of Work
SESSION: Risk Assessment
Presentation: Animal Transmission of Coronaviruses
Breakout Sessions
SESSION: Training

Training for Non-Traditional Environments
Virtual training- What works?
Training Using Virtual Reality – PPE module
Challenges of Communicating in a Climate of Disinformation

WEDNESDAY, February 16, 2022
Special Session
SESSION: Preparedness Planning
Did Existing Plans Work?
Pathogens of the Future
Adapting our Emergency Plans