Lab Matters Summer 2018 - Page 45

APHL 2018 Annual Meeting Poster Abstracts that were eventually twinned. Based on the twinning model, the PHL alternately visit the other’s institution. The visiting lab spends approximately three days at the host PHL working closely with them on an agenda tailored to the needs of the visiting institution. Biosafety and biosecurity plans, occupational health programs, regulated waste management and sentinel clinical outreach are a few of the topics that are examined. Within three months, the roles are reversed and the initial host travels to the other’s facility. The Biosafety Peer Network facilitates mentoring and information sharing among biosafety professionals in PHLs. Analyzing the trip reports from the 24 twinned laboratories, we have seen PHLs improve the implementation of their respective biosafety and biosecurity programs. PHLs have initiated changes in their biosecurity plans, donning and doffing procedures, waste management protocols and sentinel laboratory outreach program to name a few. Finally, this program pools limited resources to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity nationwide to foster an environment of collaboration and community of practice among the relevant stakeholders as well as to develop a baseline level of competency in biosafety and biosecurity for all programs across all PHLs. The biosafety and biosecurity programs at these PHLs are more harmonized due to their common source of guidance. This standardization among different organizations is beneficial in many aspects such as implementing new procedures and communication between partners. APHL plans to continue this program in 2018 for another round, pairing additional PHLs across the United States. The three year funding of $21 million aims to strengthen biosafety and biosecurity programs at PHLs and to assist these labs with outreach to clinical labs. Questions from both surveys were solicited in the areas of funding, workforce, biosafety competencies, risk assessments, biosafety/biosecurity drills or exercises, clinical lab outreach training and related resource needs. Additional questions in the 2017 Biosafety and Biosecurity Survey included funding questions related to maintaining biosafety programs after the three year funding period is concluded along with the effectiveness of the APHL developed resources. Key findings from both surveys included PHLs are utilizing the CDC funding to strengthen internal biosafety and biosecurity programs. Successes include implementing risk assessments, reaching out to sentinel clinical labs and delivering training courses to thousands of clinical laboratorians. The survey data shows that PHLs still face challenges such as inconsistent funding, a diminished workforce pool, limited guidance documents and limited buy-in from clinical labs. APHL via its Public Health Preparedness and Response staff and Biosafety and Biosecurity Committee (BBC) plans to utilize these survey findings to address the identified gaps and continue to provide support to PHL directors and biosafety professionals. Presenter: Drew Fayram, MS, State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa, Coralville, IA, Phone: 319.335.4864, Email: Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases Cooperative Agreement (ELC)’s Enhanced Biosafety Project: Progress Toward Biosafety Milestones and Outcomes Analysis from the APHL 2016 and 2017 Biosafety and Biosecurity Surveys K. Bellis, C. Chung, A. Shultz, A. O’Connor and A. Pullman, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA Recent events such as the Ebola Virus Disease have called attention to the climate of biosafety and biosecurity in public health laboratories (PHLs) around the US. During this response, significant gaps were identified in US laboratory biosafety practices. In 2015, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded APHL a $2.2 million Domestic Laboratory Biosafety for Ebola and other Highly Infectious Diseases Cooperative Agreement. Over the course of three years (2015–2018), APHL has strengthened biosafety across US laboratories by coordinating with CDC, state, local and territorial health departments and other partners to review biosafety practices, address identified gaps, develop and promote tools to help laboratorians improve biosafety practices and assist PHLs with outreach to clinical labs. With the support of CDC funding, APHL conducted the 2016 and 2017 Biosafety and Biosecurity Surveys to the 62 state, local, territorial and US Affiliated Pacific Island (USAPI) PHLs that received $21 million in March 2015 via the CDC Domestic Ebola Supplement to the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Infectious Diseases (ELC) Cooperative Agreement — Building and Strengthening Epidemiology, Laboratory and Health Information Systems Capacity in State and Local Health Departments to identify current biosafety and biosecurity practices and gaps. These 62 PHLs include all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the five largest US metropolitan areas and US territories and US Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI). PublicHealthLabs @APHL M. Marsico 1 , C. Mangal 1 , J. Rosalez 1 , S. Woldehanna 1 , D. Fayram 2 ; 1 Association of Public Health Laboratories, Silver Spring, MD, 2 State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa, Coralville, IA Presenter: Michael Marsico, Association of Public Heal th Laboratories, Silver Spring, MD, Phone: 240.485.2710, Email: Objective: In March 2015, CDC awarded $24.1 million to 63 state and territorial health departments to support public health laboratories (PHLs) and their clinical partners in improving laboratory biosafety practices for dealing with Ebola virus disease and other emerging infectious diseases. A set of eight indicators was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the project at making progress towards important biosafety milestones and outcomes. Methods: Data collection on the eight quantitative indicators is ongoing, starting in March 2015 and continuing through March 2018. A descriptive analysis of indicators is conducted after each data submission. Additionally, ELC staff conducted calls with each PHL to discuss progress made on the indicators and work plan activities. Results: PHLs reported progress in putting risk assessment (RA) policies in place (+19%). They met targets for improving staff certifications in packaging and shipping and staff competency for working in Biosafety Level 3 laboratories. Clinical laboratory partners made progress on all indicators, with more improvement made on increasing staff certifications in packaging and shipping (+27%) compared to conducting RAs (+20%) and having policies in place to perform RAs (+26%). Conclusions: PHLs have made progress on improving staff competency in biosafety practices and strengthened their ability to address biosafety issues. Gaps still exist in improving biosafety practices among clinical laboratory partners. Outreach to clinical laboratory partners was most successful when PHLs Summer 2018 LAB MATTERS 43