Preventing and Treating Biological Exposures: An Occupational Health Colloquium

Occupational Health Colloquium Outline
June 5-7, 2022, San Diego

Preconference Classes

Sunday, June 5, 2022

8-12 #1 Arthropods and Occupational Health Issues

Instructors: Aristea Lubar; Maureen Thompson, BSN, RN, COHN-S, RBP; Robyn Raban, PhD

Using examples from research projects and case studies, this multi-faceted class will be take a deep dive into research with arthropods and the associated risks. In Part I, Aristea Lubar will share her experiences performing high-risk procedures when working with human malaria in the mosquito model. Exposure risks at all life stages of parasite and arthropod and risk mitigation practices that may not always fit the ideal biosafety mold will be explored. In Part II, Robyn Raban will give an overview of emerging technologies in the field of arthropod-borne disease research, including technologies to engineer disease resistant mosquitoes, gene drive technologies to rapidly facilitate the spread of disease resistance into a population and technologies to kill mosquito populations. It will also highlight the risks associated with these technologies and the current approaches to mitigate these risks as well as further directions and concerns in the field. Both sessions will include case studies by Maureen Thompson. The first considers post-exposure treatment for malaria, and the second focuses on a laboratory zika infection.


1-5 #2 Designing and Implementing Occupational Health Programs

Instructors: Philip Harber, MD, MPH; Marcia Isakari, MD, MPH, FACOEM; Amy J Behrman, MD, FACP, FACOEM

Institutions of all sizes need a robust occupational health program to prevent biologic exposures, treat their consequences, to meet the inspection requirements of regulatory and certifying agencies. This class will begin by providing an overview of the regulations, workplace hazards, and hazard control practices that need to be considered in program design. Three specific protective programs will then be presented and discussed in small group sessions – respiratory protection, post-exposure management using viral vectors as an example, and surveillance for animal allergies. Differences in approaches for smaller colleges, large research universities, healthcare systems and freestanding/corporate research organizations will be explored. The three instructors will share insights gained from years of leading occupational health departments. They wrote many chapters for the soon-to-be-published book, Occupational Health for Higher Education and Research Institutions, for which Dr. Harber is the primary editor.


Colloquium Agenda

Day One, Monday, June 6, 2022

8:00 Welcome

8:15 COVID-19 Therapeutics for Active and Post-COVID Conditions

Lucy Horton, MD, MPH, Infectious Disease, University of California San Diego

An increasing number of symptoms are being associated with Long COVID – nerve damage, heart damage, fatigue, brain fog. What are the treatment options for both active COVID and post-COVID conditions? The number of medical therapies continues to grow, and this presentation will provide up-to-date information on FDA approved therapies, as well as others being tested in clinical trials. Discussion will follow regarding ideas for biosafety and occupational health professionals to provide support of people with Long COVID in the workplace.


9:45 Break

10:00 The Upward Trend of Mental Health Issues In the Workplace

Sidney Zisook, MD, Psychiatry, University of California San Diego
Jim Welch, Elizabeth R Griffin Program, Georgetown University

A growing challenge for biosafety and occupational health providers related to employee reliability is the upward trend of mental health issues. Dr. Sidney Zisook, MD, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the University of California, San Diego Healer Education, Assessment and Referral (HEAR) program will lead us in this important session focusing on mental health in the workplace. Among the topics addressed will be recognizing and preventing worker burnout, depression and suicide; differentiating burnout from depression, and mental health issues related to COVID. UC San Diego’s HEAR program will be described as potentially transportable burnout and suicide prevention intervention. Dr. Zisook’s current research projects at UCSD include: preventing healthcare workforce suicide; novel interventions for treatment resistant depression; and interventions for prolonged (aka complicated) grief disorder.


12:00 Lunch

1:00 BSL3 and Occupational Health: What Should You be Concerned About?

Michelle Kom Gochnour, MN, RN, COHN-S, Occupational Health, Seattle Children’s
Marcia Isakari, MD, MPH, FACOEM, Occupational Health, University of California San Diego

Biosafety level 3 (BSL3) facilities present unique occupational health situations including requirements for additional personal protective equipment (PPE), research on emerging or more virulent biological agents that may or may not have vaccines or treatments available, and physical working conditions with barriers to quick egress or summoning of assistance in the event of an emergency. The occupational health program for BSL3 workers builds on your basic program, while addressing these unique hazards and potential risks of the agents themselves and the individual worker risk factors. Elements of the program include: worker medical evaluations including pre-placement and periodic medical requirements such as vaccinations, medical clearances, and/or testing; exposure and emergency plans; training and education; criteria for accommodations and/or work restrictions; and special occupational health considerations for work with select agents.


2:00 Break

2:15 Special Session: Who Did What?
Lessons Learned When Managing Exposures

Ellyn Segal, PhD, Biosafety, Stanford University
Maureen Thompson, BSN, RN, COHN-S, RBP, Biosafety, Emory University

In this three-act dramatization performed by brave planning team members, a case is followed from initial exposure to lessons learned. A group consisting of both medical and biosafety professionals will explore questions to ask an employee after an exposure, how to manage the exposure, the investigation of the incident, and the follow-up by the IBC, IACUC, EHS, PI, and Occupational Health physicians and nurses. Pathways for communication and collaboration between disciplines, as well as tips for overcoming pit falls and roadblocks, will be explored. Based on years of experience, the team will share thoughts and experiences on the impact of culture and accountability on a successful Occupational Health program. Participants will be able to join in and discuss what they wish they knew as they moved through different stages of their careers. What key lessons would you share with colleagues? What recommendations do you have for communicating biological hazards to those working with an agent?


4:45 Discussion


5:00 Conclusion



Day Two
Tuesday, June 7, 2022

8:00 Welcome

8:15 Occupational Health and Safety: AAALAC Trends and Expectations

Gary Borkowski, DVM, MS, Global Director, AAALAC International

AAALAC International is a private, non-profit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through voluntary accreditation and assessment programs. AAALAC-accredited programs are typically visited by a review team every 3 years and findings during those visits often include occupational health and safety issues. This presentation will review the trends from site visit findings with an emphasis on occupational health and safety concerns. Additionally, meeting participants will be presented with hypothetical programmatic findings and in a small-group setting will have an opportunity to discuss the significance and resolution of the concerns, using AAALAC Reference Resources as a basis for the discussion.


10:00 Break

10:15 Biosafety for Field Work with Bats

Elizabeth Gilman Duane, MS, RBP, CBSP, Biosafety Consultant
Amy J Behrman, MD, FACP, FACOEM, Occupational Health, University of Pennsylvania
T Warner Hudson, MD, FACOEM, FAAFP, Occupational Health, University of California Irvine

Direct from the authors, this session will provide a preview of a soon-to-be-published paper in Applied Biosafety on field work with bats. The discussion will focus on the occupational health section of the paper. It will provide a holistic approach to medical surveillance, travel medicine, vaccinations, field safety and emergency response.


11:15 Working Safely with Aquatic Animals

Kent Osborn, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Medicine, University of California San Diego

The 21st century has seen increasing use of aquatic animals in basic and applied biomedical research, testing and education. The animals used include primarily certain fish species (zebrafish – Danio rerio), but also a number of other aquatic species, including invertebrates as well as vertebrates. Work with aquatic animals and their life support systems comes with a wide variety of health and safety issues. This presentation provides a window to the related concerns for individuals who work with and around aquatic animals. It offers information that can help to assure mindful awareness of the risk factors related to such aquatic work. That awareness can lead to rational plans, training, procedures and responses that are necessary for confident oversight by occupational health professionals and lifelong job satisfaction and performance by aquatic system workers.


12:00 Lunch

1:00 Novel Genetic Technologies

Imke Schroeder, PhD, University of California Los Angeles

What do occupational health and biosafety professionals need to know to assess adequately the risk of novel genetic technologies? Gain knowledge about cutting-edge molecular tools used in research and clinical trials, including viral vectors, genome editing technologies, gene drives, CAR T-cell immunotherapies, ground-breaking vaccine technologies, and gain-of-function experiments. Learn to identify potential risks associated with these new technologies and recognize the challenges that Institutional Biosafety Committees will face in reviewing the research and clinical protocols associated with them.


3:00 Update on Immunization

Marcia Isakari, MD, MPH, FACOEM, Occupational Health, University of California San Diego
T Warner Hudson, MD, FACOEM, FAAFP, Occupational Health, University of California Irvine
Michelle Kom Gochnour, MN, RN, COHN-S, Occupational Health, Seattle Children’s

This presentation will keep you up-to-date with current and upcoming vaccine recommendations. Short presentations and panel discussions will include the new Hep B Vaccine, Jynneos and ACAM2000 Smallpox Vaccines, Rabies vaccine, and more.


4:00 Discussion: Participant Selected Topics

Prior to this session, participants will be given the opportunity to submit topics that they’d like to discuss with the group.


5:00 Conclusion


In order to protect the health and safety of all of our students and staff, all course participants must produce proof of vaccination. I acknowledge that I can provide proof of vaccination.


• “Preventing and Treating Biological Exposures: An Occupational Health Colloquium” (OCEAN ID #2022-11) has received OCEAN approval for 22.25 contact hours
• Approved AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM: up to 21.75
Sunday, June 5, 2022: 7.0 (3.5 for the #1 Arthropods and Occupational Health Issues and 3.5 for the #2 Designing and Implementing Occupational Health Programs)
Monday, June 6, 2022: 7.25 (3.5 for the am sessions and 3.75 for the pm sessions, this includes the 15 minutes for the Discussion of todays topics)
Tuesday, June 7, 2022: 7.5 (3.5 for the am sessions and 4 for the pm sessions)

ANCC Accreditation Statement:
This nursing continuing professional development activity was approved by Oregon Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
Approval valid through 06/05/2024
OCEAN ID #2022-11

ACCME Accreditation Statement
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) and the Eagleson Institute. The ACOEM is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education to physicians.

AMA Credit Designation Statement
The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 21.75 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.