New Lab Matters: The promise and challenge of newborn screening in 2019

New Lab Matters cover depicts a newborn baby

Newborn screening is a public health success story, ongoing for 56 years. On the one hand, new treatment and laboratory testing options open up the possibility of expanded screening panels. On the other hand, testing laboratories and follow-up providers are generally under-resourced and straining to keep pace with growing workloads. But as our feature article shows, scientists are working diligently to improve the accuracy and precision of existing tests and to bring on new disorders, even as they continue the high-stakes work of screening tens of thousands of infants a year.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

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2019 APHL Annual Meeting: Day 3

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha speaks at the APHL annual meeting

Today was day three of the annual meeting! We started the day with awards ceremony and concluded with the member assembly, listening to many great speakers in between. For many, the highlight was the Dr. Katherine Kelley Distinguished Lecture delivered by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha. Dr. Mona is a pediatrician, scientist, researcher, activist and author of What the Eyes Don’t See. Her research and the work of her team exposed the deliberate effort to cover up the Flint water crisis and the lead poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s children.

Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts:

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APHL honors public health leaders at 2019 annual meeting

Award winners

The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) is pleased to announce the winners of its annual awards for outstanding achievements in laboratory science, creative approaches to solving today’s public health challenges and exemplary support of laboratories serving the public’s health. Awardees were honored during a ceremony at the 2019 APHL Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. Congratulations to all award winners!

The following awards were presented:

Healthiest Laboratory Award – This award is given to an APHL member laboratory that is committed to safety, environmental process, environmental policy and employee health and wellness.

Thomas E. Maxson Education, Training and Workforce Development Award – This award was established in August of 1998 in memory of Dr. Maxson, and honors an APHL member who is a public health or clinical laboratory practitioner, trainer or educator who has made significant contributions to public health laboratory practice by creating, delivering or developing continuing education opportunities, programs, policies or practices for the laboratory community. For the first time, the Maxson award was presented at the Public Health Laboratory Training Conference in April.

On the Front Line Award – This award honors an individual or organization outside of the association’s membership who makes significant contributions to APHL, its membership and mission.

Emerging Leader Award – This award honors an individual whose leadership has been instrumental in one or more advances in laboratory science, practice, management, policy or education within his or her first five to ten years in the profession.

Leadership in Biosafety and Biosecurity Award – This award honors a laboratory scientist with over 10 years of related service in the field of biosafety and biosecurity in a state and/or local public health laboratory.

Silver Award – This award honors a laboratory scientist with 10 to 15 years of service in a governmental public health laboratory that is recognized as a leader both within their home laboratory as well as external to their laboratory. This year we have two recipients of the Silver Award.

Gold Standard Award – This award recognizes an individual who makes or has made significant contributions to the technical advancement of public health laboratory science and/or practice.

Champion of the Public Health Laboratory Award – This award honors federal, state and local elected officials and executive branch employees who have recognized the importance of state and local governmental laboratories that perform testing of public health significance either through support of legislation or federal agency decisions.

Presidential Award – This award recipient is selected by APHL’s president and given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the Association’s work to promote policies that strengthen public health laboratories. This year there are two award winners.

Lifetime Achievement Award – This award recognizes an individual who has established a history of distinguished service to APHL, made significant contributions to the advancement of public health laboratory science or practice, exhibited leadership in the field of public health, and/or positively influenced public health policy on a national or global level.

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2019 APHL Annual Meeting: Day 2

Networking at the APHL annual meeting

It was another great day at the annual meeting in St. Louis! As the attendees interviewed on this episode will share, some of the highlights included Poster Speed Dating, learning about new technology from exhibitors and, of course, networking.

Follow #APHL on Twitter and Instagram for more updates!

Listen here or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts:

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2019 APHL Annual Meeting: Day 1

2019 Annual Meeting: Day 1 | www.APHLblog.org

We’re in St. Louis for the 2019 APHL Annual Meeting! This episode is a round-up of all the excitement of the first day. It was fascinating and exhausting, just as the annual meeting should be.

Follow #APHL on Twitter and Instagram for more updates!

Listen here or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts:

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New Lab Matters: The ABCs of PFAS

New Lab Matters: The ABCs of PFAS | www.APHLblog.org

First discovered in the 1930s, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) now pervade almost every aspect of modern life. In fact, PFAS compounds are found in everything from dental floss to cookware. But human exposure to PFAS comes at a cost, and as old compounds are removed from production, new compounds take their place. So how does a public health laboratory handle this challenge with limited resources? As our feature article shows, by establishing new public-private partnerships.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

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SUIT UP for Lab Week — 2019 Lab Week ToolKit

SUIT UP for Lab Week -- 2019 Lab Week Toolkit | www.APHLblog.org

How do you suit up? With a crisp white lab coat and purple gloves? Or maybe in a fierce yellow hazmat suit? How about knee-high rubber boots and waders? However you SUIT UP, we want to see it! Take photos or video of you suiting up for Lab Week, and share on Instagram using #SuitUpforLabWeek.

Celebrate Lab Week April 21-27, 2019!

Join the conversation! Use and follow #LabWeek #SuitUpforLabWeek #APHL on:

Printables

Social media graphics

Sample social media posts

  • When evil pathogens appear, public health lab scientists don’t run the other way… they SUIT UP! http://www.aphlblog.org/ #LabWeek #SuitUpforLabWeek
  • Look at those ten little baby fingers and ten little baby toes! But does she have any serious heritable conditions? Newborn screening lab scientists SUIT UP to find out! http://bit.ly/2ERxbkQ #LabWeek #SuitUpforLabWeek
  • Millions of gallons of mine waste spilled into a river. Public health and environmental laboratory scientists immediately SUIT UP and go into response mode! http://bit.ly/2ERSWBc #LabWeek #SuitUpforLabWeek

Stories that highlight public health, environmental and agricultural laboratory work:

Videos

Celebration ideas

  • Celebrate Lab Week internally with a social event, banners or other decorations. Print posters, stickers and activity sheets shared below!
  • Hold an open house for media, elected officials, school groups, staff families and other members of the community. Check out the Milwaukee Health Department Laboratory’s story about their health fair for students.
  • Visit local elementary, middle and high schools to talk with students interested in science and health.
  • Write an op-ed piece for local newspapers and/or magazines to highlight the valuable contributions your public health laboratory staff are making in your community, city and/or state.
  • Do you have other ideas? Share them in our Facebook group, APHL Off the Bench, so others can enjoy them too!

Earth Day is April 22 – here are some ways to incorporate it into your Lab Week celebration:

  • Host a Green and Blue Day and ask staff to wear colors representing earth and water.
  • Hold a grounds-keeping afternoon: Invite staff and their families to help with weeding, mulch, planting, etc.
  • Ask if your regional EPA office plans to do something for Earth Day and join them as a partner.
  • Encourage employees to do Meatless Monday or purchase items at a local farmer’s market instead of the supermarket.
  • Encourage employees to carpool, take the bus, walk or ride their bike to work.
  • Learn more about the Water Environment Federation (WEF).

APHL is part of the Lab Week coalition.

 

 

The post SUIT UP for Lab Week — 2019 Lab Week ToolKit appeared first on APHL Lab Blog.

SUIT UP for Lab Week — 2019 Lab Week ToolKit

SUIT UP for Lab Week -- 2019 Lab Week Toolkit | www.APHLblog.org

How do you suit up? With a crisp white lab coat and purple gloves? Or maybe in a fierce yellow hazmat suit? How about knee-high rubber boots and waders? However you SUIT UP, we want to see it! Take photos or video of you suiting up for Lab Week, and share on Instagram using #SuitUpforLabWeek.

Celebrate Lab Week April 21-27, 2019!

Join the conversation! Use and follow #LabWeek #SuitUpforLabWeek #APHL on:

Printables

Social media graphics

Sample social media posts

  • When evil pathogens appear, public health lab scientists don’t run the other way… they SUIT UP! http://www.aphlblog.org/ #LabWeek #SuitUpforLabWeek
  • Look at those ten little baby fingers and ten little baby toes! But does she have any serious heritable conditions? Newborn screening lab scientists SUIT UP to find out! http://bit.ly/2ERxbkQ #LabWeek #SuitUpforLabWeek
  • Millions of gallons of mine waste spilled into a river. Public health and environmental laboratory scientists immediately SUIT UP and go into response mode! http://bit.ly/2ERSWBc #LabWeek #SuitUpforLabWeek

Stories that highlight public health, environmental and agricultural laboratory work:

Videos

Celebration ideas

  • Celebrate Lab Week internally with a social event, banners or other decorations. Print posters, stickers and activity sheets shared below!
  • Hold an open house for media, elected officials, school groups, staff families and other members of the community. Check out the Milwaukee Health Department Laboratory’s story about their health fair for students.
  • Visit local elementary, middle and high schools to talk with students interested in science and health.
  • Write an op-ed piece for local newspapers and/or magazines to highlight the valuable contributions your public health laboratory staff are making in your community, city and/or state.
  • Do you have other ideas? Share them in our Facebook group, APHL Off the Bench, so others can enjoy them too!

Earth Day is April 22 – here are some ways to incorporate it into your Lab Week celebration:

  • Host a Green and Blue Day and ask staff to wear colors representing earth and water.
  • Hold a grounds-keeping afternoon: Invite staff and their families to help with weeding, mulch, planting, etc.
  • Ask if your regional EPA office plans to do something for Earth Day and join them as a partner.
  • Encourage employees to do Meatless Monday or purchase items at a local farmer’s market instead of the supermarket.
  • Encourage employees to carpool, take the bus, walk or ride their bike to work.
  • Learn more about the Water Environment Federation (WEF).

APHL is part of the Lab Week coalition.

 

 

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New Lab Matters: Time to welcome the next generation of public health laboratory scientists

New Lab Matters: Time to welcome the next generation of public health laboratory scientists | www.APHLblog.org

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 12,000 new laboratory professionals are needed each year to meet consumer demand. At the same time, while automation has eliminated some less-skilled laboratory jobs, the growing sophistication of public health laboratory analyses has generated demand for scientists with highly specialized training. As our feature article shows, laboratories are recruiting new talent for the “hidden profession” by taking a hard look into what they really want, and how they want to work.

Here are just a few of this issue’s highlights:

Subscribe and get Lab Matters delivered to your inbox, or read Lab Matters on your mobile device.

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Partnerships Help Save Lives When Disaster Strikes

Emergency responders gathered in a circle.

Public health emergencies occur every day across the United States. Tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, floods, infectious disease outbreaks, terrorist attacks, and other emergencies have all occurred within the past few years and likely will happen again. Communities must be ready in the event of a public health emergency – both those they expect and those that come without warning.

Since 2002, CDC’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) program has provided funding and guidance to 50 states, four cities, and eight territorial health departments across the nation to protect communities. Planning and exercising plans help ensure that health departments are ready to respond and save lives when emergencies occur.

While we all hope that emergencies never happen, they are inevitable and the true test of any preparedness system. The following stories are examples of how CDC’s PHEP program works with states and local communities to ensure they are ready to respond to any emergency. Some of CDC’s partners include health departments, community organizations, national public health organizations, and private companies.

Restoring California Communities after Devastating Wildfires

A fire truck responds to a brush fire.In 2017, nearly 9,000 fires, almost double the average annual number, burned 1.2 million acres in California. The fires destroyed more than 10,800 structures and killed at least 46 people. However, thanks to years of planning for such events and building a public health infrastructure through the PHEP program, state and local health departments were ready to respond immediately and help their communities recover over the following months.

Through partnerships and support provided by the PHEP program in and around Sonoma County, local officials evacuated more than 1,160 patients from area hospitals and many other healthcare facilities. Additionally, because of the relationship the state built with the California National Guard through the PHEP program, more than 100 volunteer troops cleaned the Sonoma Developmental Center in one day. More than 200 patients with disabilities were then able to return safely to the facility.

Ensuring Access to Medication during an Influenza Outbreak in Maine

Package of Oseltamivir (i.e., Tamiflu) capsulesIn March 2017, an influenza outbreak on Vinylhaven, a remote island off the coast of Maine with a population of about 1,165, sickened half of the island’s residents. The outbreak depleted the medical center’s Tamiflu® supply. Tamiflu® can greatly lessen the severity of influenza but it must be taken early in treatment.

Because of a partnership agreement established under PHEP with the Northern New England Poison Center, local pharmacies, and other organizations, and the Maine Department of Health staff quickly delivered 100 treatment courses of Tamiflu®. As a result, the state successfully reduced the impact of the influenza outbreak on the island.

Responding to a Water Contamination Incident in Illinois

Bottles of water on a conveyor belt.On May 2017, a water main break under a river contaminated water in Cumberland County, Illinois, and left some residents without water entirely. Health department staff funded through PHEP established water distribution sites with bottled water donated by private partners such as Walmart, Coca-Cola, and Anheuser-Busch. Staff also went door-to-door to check on residents and distribute materials about safe water.

The PHEP program ensures public health emergency management systems and experts are ready to respond when emergencies occur. Preparedness efforts throughout the years have saved lives and helped communities return to normal operations as quickly as possible.

From natural disasters to infectious diseases, the PHEP program protects America’s health, safety, and security to save lives. Check out the PHEP Stories from the Field to find out more about how the PHEP program has helped communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from public health emergencies.