Register Speakers 

Revised Schedule – Same Sessions; Program takes place Monday, October 4 – Wednesday, October 6

1:00pm EDT


1:15pm EDT

Update on Latest Information: Transmission, Variants, Vaccines (1.5 hours)
Speaker: Gary Fujimoto, MD SARS CoV-2 update

This presentation will provide updated information regarding the course of the initial infection, antigen and antibody response, transmission, vaccines including those under development and variants of concern along with the new nomenclature proposed by the WHO. Highlighted topics will include what is known about the current circulating variants and implications for vaccine status and booster doses.


Workforce Occupational Health Issues (1.5 hours)
Facilitator: Michelle Gochnour, MN, RN, COHN-S;
Panelists: Gary Fujimoto, MD; T Warner Hudson, MD, FACOEM, FAAFP; Marcia Isakari, MD, MPH, MRO; Ellyn Segal, PhD; Maureen Thompson, BSN, RN, COHN-S, RBP

Panelists will address the changes that took place in their workplaces during the pandemic related to occupational health and workplace safety. What changes were temporary and what ones will continue into the future? Topics discussed will include employee testing/screening programs, vaccinations, disinfection, masking and social distancing, and immunocompromised populations. How will we prepare for the flu season while still in the pandemic? How will variants and waning immunity influence decisions? How does an IBC make decisions regarding containment, occupational health and safe work practices when researchers don’t know answers for emerging pathogens?

12:00pm EDT


12:15pm EDT

Worker Well-being During and After a Pandemic (2 hours)
Speakers: James M Welch and L. Casey Chosewood, MD, MPh

Over the last 18 months, the nation’s workforce has experienced unprecedented change, novel risks and unrelenting challenge. Worker stress, burnout, and turnover are reported at record levels, especially among health providers and other essential workers. This session unpacks what we know about the current mental health, substance use and related challenges among workers and the best strategies for protecting and promoting the well-being of your workforce in trying times. Topics include: work fatigue, remote work/telework issues, novel causes of workplace stress, the substance use disorder syndemic, family-work-life conflict, and information on the relationship between poor mental health outcomes and substance use disorders by industry and occupation. Long-term strategies for intervention using the NIOSH Total Worker Health framework will round out the presentation.


Travel in Times of COVID (1 hour)
Facilitator: T Warner Hudson, MD, FACOEM, FAAFP
Panelists: Gary Fujimoto, MD; Michelle Gochnour, MN, RN, COHN-S; Marcia Isakari, MD, MPH, MRO; Ellyn Segal, PhD; Maureen Thompson, BSN, RN, COHN-S, RBP

In this interactive session, panelists will address the following questions: When employees travel, what do institutions need to consider related to COVID? Pretravel COVID test not back in time for travel? What if traveler is not vaccinated? What will employees do if they do get sick or test positive when traveling? If COVID is a possibility, how do they get test kits or find locations to get tested? Results not back in time? How do you deal with individuals unable to return home as planned?

4:15pm EDT

Respiratory Protection Update (1.5 hours)
Speaker: Philip Harber, MD, MPH

Respiratory personal protection (respirators) are central to most research and healthcare programs with potential biologic exposures. This session will discuss components of a respiratory protection program including selecting the optimal device, medical evaluation, fit testing, and training. The rapid changes in devices and policies due to the recent pandemic will be considered. This session will also help understand the important difference between voluntary and mandatory use


Update on COVID19 Therapeutic Options (1.5 hours)
Speaker: Robert T Schooley, MD

The number of medical therapies to treat and manage COVID-19 continues to grow and is rapidly advancing. At this time the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved one drug treatment for COVID-19 and has authorized others for emergency use. In addition, many more therapies are being tested in clinical trials to evaluate whether they are safe and effective in combating COVID-19. This presentation will provide up-to-date information regarding the different treatment options for both active COVID and post-COVID conditions.

11:00am EDT


11:15am EDT

Lessons from the Front: AIDS to COVID-19 – Animal Research for Emerging Infectious Disease Crises (1.5 hours)
Speaker: Kent Osborn, DVM, PhD

Public health crises, and societal response to them, come in all shapes and forms. The emergence of COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 infection is just the latest, and certainly the most wide-spread with regard to international emerging infectious disease problems. This discussion will focus on animal research and research support responses to two particularly dramatic emerging diseases – AIDS and COVID-19, and the associated challenges to do this work. Although there is general acceptance that animal related research can lead to understanding, addressing and eventually effectively responding to these diseases, it is clear that money, politics and sometimes potentially conflicting roles and agendas among many involved groups and individuals have and will continue to make such work very challenging. Those groups and individuals include medical professionals, public health and safety professionals, academics, research support staff, politicians, and general public. To illustrate these complex challenges, we will discuss my first-hand experience as a participant in animal research’s role to investigate and understand each of these diseases – timelines, obstacles, successes, and apparent failures, and how an understanding of those factors may allow us to better prepare for the inevitable next emerging infectious disease.


Maintaining Preparedness when Research Quickly Shifts (1.5 hours)
Facilitator: Ellyn Segal, PhD
Panelists: Gary Fujimoto, MD; T Warner Hudson, MD, FACOEM, FAAFP; Marcia Isakari, MD, MPH, MRO; Michelle Gochnour, MN, RN, COHN-S; Maureen Thompson, BSN, RN, COHN-S, RBP

During the pandemic, research labs had to quickly shift the focus of their research without time to prepare, causing potential safety hazards. For example, combining TB work with SARS work required sharing space and potential contamination. Panelists will discuss the following questions: What is risk? When How do you prepare? What training is needed? If agent in community and a researcher gets ill, how do you know if it is lab acquired or community acquired? What should be in place before work

3:15pm EDT

Brave New World: Update on TB Control Guidelines and Federal COVID-19 Workplace Safety Standards (1.5 hours)
Speaker: Amy J Behrman, MD, FACP, FACOEM

Tuberculosis has declined to historic low rates in the US, reflecting effective screening, infection control and treatment over decades. In recognition, the 2019 CDC/NTCA guidelines for tuberculosis testing and treatment of healthcare personnel radically altered some time-honored practices while leaving others intact. How has this impacted TB control programs in acute and ambulatory care settings? What are the implications for research and educational institutions housing vulnerable animal populations? How should organizations address the risks of fieldwork in TB endemic areas? And how has COVID-19 impacted implementation? This session will primarily address resources, opportunities, and challenges with implementing the new TB guidelines.
With far greater impact, the COVID-19 Pandemic overlapped the first year of new TB guidance. Considered as a workplace biohazard, SARS-COV-2 warrants the highest level of safety standards and regulation, although most of our infection control knowledge was hard-won over the past 2 years with evolving and sometimes conflicting guidance. ow will the 2021 OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard address ongoing challenges and help organizations mitigate exposure risks? This session will conclude with a discussion of its implications and potential evolution.


Pandemic Preparation (1.5 hours)
Speaker: Pam Hymel, MD
Panelists:  Gary Fujimoto, MD; T Warner Hudson, MD, FACOEM, FAAFP; Marcia Isakari, MD, MPH, MRO; Ellyn Segal, PhD; Michelle Gochnour, MN, RN, COHN-S; Maureen Thompson, BSN, RN, COHN-S, RBP

How can we be ready for the next pandemic? What are the policy Issues? What are gaps? How can we communicate better? How can decisions be made quicker? What if pandemic doesn’t have vaccine? How can we all make improvements? What kinds of planning needs to be done now, as organisms are always one step ahead of us?