Lab Matters Spring 2019 - Page 5

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE Spring has Sprung, and So has APHL It’s spring in DC and there’s so much to report on! No, I’m not talking about the Mueller report…I’m talking all things APHL. These past few months we held a series of meetings ranging from the Newborn Screening and Genetic Testing Symposium, the Public Health Laboratory Training Conference, three PulseNet/ OutbreakNet Regional Meetings and the 11th National Conference on Laboratory Aspects of Tuberculosis. These gatherings, not including the various committees that met, have put us in touch with a vast number of members. How vast you ask? By my count, we had over 850 members and partners come together—all engaged in the work of their laboratories AND the association. Let’s look at the Newborn Screening Symposium as an example. We had 562 people gathered in Chicago, representing 24 countries—Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Netherland, New Zealand, Qatar, Spain, Turkey, UAE, United Kingdom and Vietnam—along with representatives from 45 states across the US. We had over 25 companies exhibiting and highlighting the latest in technologies and support for the newborn screening system. Lastly, we announced to the cheering crowd that, as of 2020, the symposium would become an annual event. Be sure to dig into our lead article in this issue of Lab Matters because there is so much going on in this dynamic field, led by many of APHL’s members and partners. Meetings and events are not the only thing we have been busy doing. We have worked with our close partner and allies at the Council of State and Territorial PublicHealthLabs @APHL Epidemiologists, NAPHSIS and HIMSS to launch an advocacy campaign called Data: Elemental to Health. The goal is to seek funding of $1 billion over 10 years to modernize the public health surveillance enterprise so that we can transform disease surveillance and save lives. More, better, faster data yielded by secure, interoperable systems will allow public health professionals and policymakers to make better decisions and get ahead of chronic, emerging and urgent threats. This campaign fits nicely in the overall APHL strategic initiatives related to improving the informatics infrastructure and ways to engage with non-traditional partners in all things “data science.” Spring is also a time of anticipation. I’m excited and am getting ready for APHL 2019 which is fast approaching. Plan to attend and mix and meet with your 600+ colleagues, choose from over 35 plenary and breakouts, eight roundtables and four Innovate! Sessions. You can also view 117 posters, listen to 30 speed- dating presentations and visit 77 booths representing 66 companies. Also, if you are one of the first 500 people at the Kati Kelley lecture, you will receive a copy of What the Eyes Don’t See by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, this year’s lecturer. Won’t you meet me in St. Louis? More, better, faster data yielded by secure, interoperable systems will allow public health professionals and policymakers to make better decisions and get ahead of chronic, emerging and urgent threats.” Scott Becker, Executive Director, APHL With spring turning soon to summer, it is also a time of leadership transition at APHL. I am grateful for the leadership and guidance of Dr. Joanne Bartkus. She has been a strong voice for our members and for the association. I am appreciative of all Joanne has done this year and look forward to working closely with incoming president Dr. Grace Kubin in the coming year. n APHL.org Spring 2019 LAB MATTERS 3