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Conference Presentations

Conference Presentations
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APHL Annual Meeting

2013 APHL Annual Meeting & Seventh Government Environmental Laboratory Conference

More than 500 participants attended the 2013 APHL Annual Meeting that was held in Raleigh, NC from June 2-5, 2013. The four-day conference addressed elements specific to laboratory preparedness. In particular, sessions covered influenza, environmental health, informatics, nanotechnology, community building and laboratory leadership, biomonitoring, food safety, seafood testing, global health accreditation and emergency preparedness. Keynote speakers included William Roper, MD, MPH, University of North Carolina School of Medicine and Health Care System and Harvey Fineberg, MD, Institute of Medicine.

2012 APHL Annual Meeting & Sixth Government Environmental Laboratory Conference

More than 550 participants attended the 2012 APHL Annual Meeting that was held in Seattle, WA from May 20-23, 2012. The four-day conference addressed elements specific to laboratory preparedness. In particular, sessions covered infectious disease testing and outbreaks, environmental health, knowledge management, biomonitoring, food safety, waterborne pathogens, global health, LEAN processes, and emergency preparedness. Keynote speakers included Ileana Arias, PhD, MA, Principal Deputy Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Laurie Garrett, Council of Foreign Affairs and Author, and Joseph Reardon, Senior Advisor for Federal-State Relations, US Food and Drug Administration.

2011 APHL Annual Meeting

More than 450 participants attended the 2011 APHL Annual Meeting that was held in Omaha, NE from June 5-8, 2011. The four-day conference addressed elements specific to laboratory preparedness. In particular, sessions covered infectious disease testing and outbreaks, informatics, health care reform, ELC funding, biosafety and biosecurity, biomonitoring, food safety, emerging environmental contaminants, global health, the storage and use of residual blood spots, and emergency preparedness. Keynote speakers included Alexander Garza, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, US Department of Homeland Security and Ayman El-Mohandes, MD, Dean, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska.

2010 APHL Annual Meeting

More than 350 participants attended the 2010 APHL Annual Meeting that was held in Cincinnati, OH from June 6-9, 2010. The four-day conference addressed elements specific to laboratory preparedness. In particular, sessions on pandemic influenza, electronic data exchange, biosafety and biosecurity, biomonitoring, food safety, climate change, chemical policy, vaccine preventable diseases, global health, SCID and HIV testing, and emergency preparedness. Keynote speakers included Steve Owens, Assistant Administrator for the US EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Joshua Sharfstein, Principal Deputy Commissioner, US FDA, Judith Monroe, Director, CDC Office of State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support and Richard Besser, Senior Health & Medical Editor, ABC News.

InFORM Conferences

InFORM 2013 Conference (Integrated Foodborne Outbreak Response and Management)

The InFORM 2013 Conference, a combined meeting of PulseNet, OutbreakNet and EHS-Net, was held in San Antonio, Texas, November 18-21, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency San Antonio hotel. The meeting drew over 400 laboratorians, epidemiologists, and environmental health professionals from the United States and 8 other countries. Participants represented federal, state and local public health, food and environmental regulatory agencies.

Scott Becker, Executive Director of APHL and Dr. David Lakey, Commissioner, Texas Department of State Health Services, opened the meeting during the Welcome Session which was held the evening of November 18. The keynote address was given Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner, US Food and Drug Administration. “Collaboration doesn’t always come easily,” said Dr. Hamburg, “but today, relationships and systems make the biggest difference in improving our food safety system. No single agency or discipline can do this work by themselves.” This point was reflected time and again throughout the three-day conference.

The meeting began on Tuesday, November 19 with opening remarks from Dr. Chris Braden, Director of CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases and Dr. Alfred Almanza, Administrator, USDA, FSIS. The day continued with combined sessions for PulseNet, OutbreakNet and EHS-Net. The last day and a half were filled with individual tracks of sessions for the three groups.

Meeting topics comprised food science, reports/recaps of 2012-2013 outbreaks including salmonella, hepatitis A, E. coli, norovirus, listeria, and cyclosporiasis, enteric zoonoses and One Health, next generation sequencing and other new technologies, subtyping of bacterial pathogens, training and assessments, and future challenges facing state and federal outbreak response networks.

Throughout the meeting, participants shared their experiences and best practices on outbreak investigations and surveillance activities from the past year. These shared experiences forged stronger partnerships among meeting attendees, demonstrating the inter-agency teamwork crucial to the long-standing success of the PulseNet, OutbreakNet and environmental health networks.

PulseNet Update Meetings/OutbreakNet Meetings

Proceedings from the

16th Annual PulseNet Update Meeting

 and

8th Annual OutbreakNet Meeting

The 16th Annual PulseNet and 8th Annual OutbreakNet Meeting was held in Atlanta, Georgia, August 27-30, 2012 at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta hotel in Buckhead. The meeting drew nearly 400 laboratorians, epidemiologists, and environmental health professionals from Australia, Canada, South Korea and the United States. Participants represented federal, state and local public health and food regulatory agencies.

The theme for this year’s meeting was “Modernizing Outbreak Detection Through Teamwork. Drs. Charles Brokopp, President of APHL, and Jennifer Wright, CDC, opened the meeting during the Welcome Session which was held the evening of August 27. The keynote address was given by Eric Schlosser, Atlantic Monthly, which was titled, “Private Interests and Public Health.

The meeting began on Tuesday, August 28 with opening remarks from Dr. Chris Braden, Director of CDC's Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, followed by a day and a half of combined sessions for PulseNet and OutbreakNet. Meeting topics included how and when to best communicate messages to the media and public during outbreak investigations; legal considerations and laws governing foodborne outbreak investigations; next generation/whole genome sequencing methods; and emerging culture independent methods and their threat to public health surveillance systems such as PulseNet and OutbreakNet.

Throughout the meeting, participants shared their experiences and best practices on outbreak investigations and surveillance activities from the past year. These shared experiences forged stronger partnerships among meeting attendees, demonstrating the inter-agency teamwork crucial to the long-standing success of the PulseNet and OutbreakNet networks.

Proceedings from the

15th Annual PulseNet Update Meeting

 and

7th Annual OutbreakNet Conference

This year, the Los Angeles County Public Health Laboratory, was host to the 15th PulseNet Meeting and 7th Annual OutbreakNet Conference in Long Beach, California, September 19-22, 2011. The meetings drew over 285 laboratorians, epidemiologists and environmental health professionals from the United States, Germany, Egypt and Canada. Participants represented federal, state and local public health and food regulatory agencies.

The theme for this year’s meeting was “PulseNet & OutbreakNet: Evolving Connectivity in Food Safety.” Drs. Victor Waddell, President of APHL and Robert Kim-Farley, Director, Communicable Disease and Control for Los Angeles County Department of Public Health gave insightful welcomes during the Welcome Session to start off this year’s meeting. Mimi Lachica, Long Beach Public Health Laboratory Director, gave a brief overview of the Long Beach Department of Health and the vast array of activities Long Beach had to offer participants. The keynote address was given by Caroline Smith Dewaal, Director of Food Safety, from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). She described her current food safety activities at CSPI and presented data from the latest findings of CSPI’s All Over the Map and her ideas for an improved food safety system.

For more information on the PulseNet Update Meeting or for inquires related to the PulseNet Network, please contact Kristy Kubota, Senior Specialist, PulseNet Program for APHL at kristy.kubota@aphl.org.

Proceedings from the 14th Annual PulseNet Update Meeting

This year, the Illinois Department of Public Health, was host to the 14th Annual PulseNet Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, August 30-September 2, 2010. The meeting drew 180 laboratorians from the United States and Canada. Participants represented federal, state and local public health, and food regulatory agencies.

The theme for this year’s meeting was “PulseNet: A Model for Improving Foodborne Outbreak Response.” Dr. George Dizikes, CLIA Laboratory Director for the Illinois Department of Public Health gave an informative welcome during the opening session of the meeting. The keynote address given by Dr. Ali Khan from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided support and inspiration to the PulseNet community. Dr. Khan spoke of the urgent need to continue funding public health programs like the PulseNet network in order for food safety to progress into the 21st Century. Open sessions were held again this year for PFGE, MLVA and BioNumerics. These sessions provided laboratorians an opportunity to ask CDC experts and technical support staff from Applied Biosystems, Beckman Coulter Inc., Applied Maths and BioRad Laboratories protocol and troubleshooting questions.

For more information on the PulseNet Update Meeting or for inquires related to the PulseNet Network, please contact Kristy Kubota, Senior Specialist, PulseNet Program for APHL at kristy.kubota@aphl.org.

Newborn Screening and Genetic Testing Symposia

2013 Newborn Screening and Genetic Testing Symposium

The 2013 Joint Meeting of the Newborn Screening and Genetic Testing Symposium and the International Society for Neonatal Screening featured presentations drawn from submitted abstracts from around the world, including invited oral presentations, poster sessions, exhibits, a Meet the Manufacturers session, awards luncheon, welcome reception, off-site social and tours of the GA Public Health Laboratory and the Newborn Screening and Molecular Biology Branch at CDC. The meeting addressed state, national and international newborn screening, genetic testing and policy issues important to national and global public health. Topics included new and emerging technologies, candidate conditions, common issues and solutions, clinical outcomes and short and long-term follow up.

For questions related to the Newborn Screening and Genetics Testing Symposium or inquiries of the APHL Newborn Screening and Genetics program, contact Jelili Ojodu, Director of Newborn Screening and Genetics.

TB Conference

8th National Conference on Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis

More than 150 participants attended the 8th National Conference on Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis which was held in San Diego, CA, August 19-21, 2013. Speakers addressed the utility of the latest developments in TB diagnostics including the use of pyrosequencing for the molecular detection of drug resistance; whole genome sequencing and MALDI-TOF. Other issues discussed covered building efficiencies in service utilization, assuring biosafety and global TB laboratory issues. The keynote addresses were given by Dr. Phillip Hopewell from San Francisco General Hospital and Dr. Madhukar Pai, McGill International TB Centre.

7th National Conference on Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis

More than 140 participants attended the 7th National Conference on Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis which was held in Atlanta, GA, June 13-15, 2011. The two-day conference was co-located with the National TB Controller’s Association’s National TB Conference for the second time. Speakers addressed implementation of new technologies in the TB laboratory, new CLSI recommendations for Mycobacteriology Drug Susceptibility Testing, and approaches for assuring quality in the TB Laboratory. The keynote address was given by Dr. William Burman, University of Colorado

6th National Conference on Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis

More than 130 participants attended the 6th National Conference on Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis which was held in Atlanta, GA, June 21-22, 2010. The two-day conference was co-located with the National TB Controller’s Association’s National TB Conference for the first time. Speakers addressed recommendations from APHL and CDC regarding verification and validation of new FDA-approved or off-label assays, different approaches to identifying tuberculosis and performing drug susceptibility testing, and best practices in safety and service utilization in the TB laboratory. The keynote address was given by Dr. Peter Small, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.