Lab Matters Summer 2018 - Page 85

APHL 2018 Annual Meeting Poster Abstracts Laboratory Response Network — Chemical (LRN-C) Level 3 Resource Handbook (complete abstract in Environmental Health, p. 50) Increasing Preparedness Through Laboratory Full-Scale Exercises G. Gardenier and L. Mapp, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC Presenter: George Gardenier, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, Phone: 202.272.0167, Email: PublicHealthLabs @APHL Evaluating Progress Achieved Through a Two-Year Quality Assurance Laboratory Mentor Program S. Chester 1 , P. Kennedy 2 , M. Warren 1 , E. Reisdorf 3 , N. Tavakoli 4 , R. Alexander, J. Parker 5 , S. Bino, A. Moen 2 ; 1 Association of Public Health Laboratories, Silver Spring, MD, 2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, 3 Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, Madison, WI, 4 Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY, 5 Alaska State Virology Laboratory, Fairbanks, AK Objective: From May 2015 to June 2017, the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO Euro) and the Southeast European Center for Surveillance and Control of Infectious Diseases (SECID) conducted an influenza laboratory quality assurance mentorship program. The primary goal was to help laboratories systematically implement a quality monitoring system and enable laboratories to achieve WHO National Influenza Center (NIC) recognition. Initially supported for 1 year, the program was extended to a second to help move remaining action items to completion and increase the number of laboratories ready for NIC assessments. This poster provides updated data from the end of Year 2 (Y2). Study Design: Four mentors from US public health laboratories were paired with 6 laboratories from 5 countries. Mentors and countries worked in partnership to address quality management weaknesses, NIC requirements and recommendations from previous laboratory assessments. In Y2, required communications were decreased from once per month to once per quarter. Mentors shared templates and example documents, reviewed draft documents and provided general advice and reminders. Results of progress achieved were compiled at the end of Year 1 (Y1) and previously reported. Each laboratory created a Y2 action plan with priority items to complete by the program conclusion. Results: During Y1, mentees identified 159 action items compared to 121 identified for Y2. At the conclusion of Y2, the laboratories marked a total of 85.8% of action items as being in-progress or completed compared with an 83.0% completion rate for these same groups in Y1. Montenegro achieved NIC recognition in 2017 and two additional laboratories are on track for NIC assessments in 2018. The poster will evaluate the entire two year program and compare Y1 and Y2 progress. Conclusion: Similar to the first year of the program, we saw progression of many of the planned activities. The accountability offered by regular interaction and the interpersonal relationships built in the first year of the program were key to progress achieved in the second year. The southeastern European mentor program served as a proof of concept for regional mentor programs and led to the CDC and APHL initiating a second iteration of the program in Africa in summer 2017. Presenter: Stephanie Chester, Association of Public Health Laboratories, Silver Spring, MD, Phone: 240.485.2740, Email: Summer 2018 LAB MATTERS 83 Drinking water and wastewater systems face a number of challenges when confronting a contamination incident. Whether the contamination happened because of a natural disaster or due to an accidental or intentional release, several key decisions need to be made. These include how best to access the analytical laboratory support that will be necessa ry to respond to the incident and return the water system to service. The decisions made and actions taken during the response, remediation and recovery processes will depend on the circumstances of each incident. Therefore, responders and water utility personnel can benefit from tools that help utilities practice and update their response plans and decontamination strategies. During a water contamination incident, laboratories and utilities will need to reach out to the appropriate analytical partners to help confirm the identity of the contaminant, characterize the extent of contamination and verify that cleanup efforts have been successful. The Water Laboratory Alliance (WLA) provides a nationwide network of analytical laboratories that are available to provide water and wastewater utilities with the analytical capabilities and capacity to assist with the response to a contamination incident. Practicing the coordination between the utility and laboratory communities in advance of an incident is important for ensuring an efficient and appropriate response during an emergency. The Water Laboratory Alliance program in EPA’s Water Security Division has developed tools and resources to aid the water sector in preparing for and responding to chemical, biological or radiochemical contamination incidents. One such resource is the Analytical Preparedness Full-Scale Exercise (AP- FSE) Toolkit. This toolkit provides water utilities with the necessary information to plan and conduct a laboratory full-scale exercise. The toolkit outlines a step-by step process for how to design, initiate and implement an exercise involving coordination between the water utility and laboratory sectors. The toolkit includes a chemical and a biological scenario, as well as relevant templates and forms for developing the necessary exercise documentation and training and for collecting evaluations and feedback to assist the implementation of an exercise improvement program. The toolkit has been piloted with five utilities and is scheduled to be released in early 2018. Another useful resource that the Water Laboratory Alliance Team has developed is an interactive resource for Accessing Laboratory Support. This interactive training resource will provide users with information on how to receive analytical support when it is needed. The resource guides users through the available access routes beginning at the local level and progressing, based on the scale of the need, to the state and federal levels. Accessing Laboratory Support was published in July 2017. Quality Systems