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					                          DHMH, Laboratories Administration
      Laboratory Emergency Preparedness and Response Advisory Committee (LEPRAC)

                                          MINUTES
                                         March 9, 2006


CALL TO ORDER (10:05 a.m.)

ATTENDANCE:

      Present: Lane Ahlburn (via teleconference); Reginald Booker; Jack DeBoy, DrPH; Sgt. Mitchell
      Dinterman; Asoka Katumuluwa, PhD (for Prince Kassim, PhD); Donald Lewis; Steven
      Montgomery; Polly Ristaino; Jeffrey Roche, MD, MPH; Jill Santacroce; Jim Svrjcek; Art
      Thacher, MPH; Robert Waltersdorff, PhD (via teleconference)

      Absent: Ed Bonner (advance notice given); Michael Deabay (advance notice given); Tom
      Jacobs, DVM (advance notice given); Prince Kassim, PhD (advance notice given); Julia
      Kiehlbauch, PhD (advance notice given); Helen McQuay; Robert Myers, PhD (advance notice
      given); Michael Wajda, MS, JD (advance notice given) Alan Williams (advance notice given)

      Guest: Steven Montgomery

MINUTES (from 12/1/2006)

      1.     Review and Corrections – Helen McQuay and Dr. Waltersdorff have submitted several
             corrections to the minutes. Once those corrections have been made, they will be e-mailed
             to the committee members.

OLD BUSINESS

      1.     Office of Preparedness and Response – Reginald Booker stated that the Office of
             Preparedness and Response (OPR) has undergone many changes. OPR was formed when
             DHMH consolidated the Office of Emergency Preparedness and the Office of Public
             Health Preparedness and Response. Dr. Matthew Minson began his duties as Director of
             OPR on February 20, 2006. He is in the process of organizing the office, consolidating
             grants, and reviewing procedures. OPR will oversee all Emergency Preparedness and
             Response activities and the Physician On-Call System (formerly, the Bioterrorism
             Physician On Call).

             Mr. Booker indicated that Dr. Minson has yet to determine who will be assigned to attend
             the LEPRAC meetings. Until a decision has been made, Mr. Booker will remain the
             committee’s liaison/member.

      2.     STARLIMS Update – Steven Montgomery stated that STARLIMS is on schedule.
             DHMH Laboratories Administration is ready to move the Bioterrorism part of the
             Microbiology module onto Database. MyLIMS is a web-based application of
             STARLIMS that will allow interaction directly between the Laboratories Administration
             and its customers on a secure network (e.g., inventory supplies, order tests, input
             demographic information, view test results, etc.).
                    DHMH, Laboratories Administration
Laboratory Emergency Preparedness and Response Advisory Committee (LEPRAC)

                                    MINUTES
                                   March 9, 2006


      Art Thacher mentioned that NEDSS (National Electronic Disease Surveillance System)
      should be on line later this month, and that a Food Protection System is also being
      developed. Mr. Montgomery mentioned that STARLIMS also has an environmental
      sample report component, and MyLIMS will have the capability to interface with
      NEDSS. This will allow direct reporting between Epidemiology and Surveillance. Mr.
      Montgomery also stated that each participant must receive CDC certification before they
      are allowed to use the system.

3.    MDA STARLIMS Update – Donald Lewis told the committee that his workgroup is still
      waiting to hear from Dr. Prince Kassim from DHMH, Laboratories Administration,
      Division of Environmental Chemistry. Jim Svrjcek will send Dr. Kassim a reminder to
      contact Mr. Lewis.

      Dr. Jack DeBoy stated that the Division of Environmental Chemistry is on schedule with
      installing STARLIMS, and the “go live” date is set for June 15, 2006. Dr. Asoka
      Katumuluwa informed that they have begun testing the system and have already
      encountered problems and have several questions. They are working with Mr.
      Montgomery and CDC to address these issues.

4.    HB 666 Regulations Update – Jim Svrjcek gave the committee an update on the
      regulations for HB 666 (Biological Agents Registry). A final draft has been submitted to
      the Assistant Attorney General’s Office for a final review. This was done after receiving
      final input from representatives from local health departments, first responders, and Dr.
      Casani’s group in DHMH’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. Once
      approved, the regulations will be submitted to the Joint Committee on Administrative,
      Executive and Legislative Review (AELR).

      The main issues that remain are:
      a)     how information in the Maryland’s Biological Agents Registry (BAR) will be
             shared with local jurisdictions;
      b)     how MDE, MEMA, MIEMSS, and the Physician On-Call System will obtain
             access to this information during off-hours; and
      c)     how to ensure that each Maryland facility possessing, maintaining, receiving, or
             transferring Select Agents submit an Emergency Response Plan to their local
             jurisdiction’s Emergency Manager.

      Reginald Booker asked the committee how are penalties levied against Maryland
      facilities possessing, maintaining, receiving, or transferring Select Agents when
      infractions are found. Mr. Svrjcek stated that the OLEPR refers those situations directly
      to the APHIS/CDC Select Agent Program.

5.    Laboratory Emergency Preparedness (LEP) Newsletter – Jill Santacroce solicited the
      committee members for articles for the upcoming issue of the LEP Newsletter. Dr. Tom
      Jacobs has volunteered to contribute an article for the upcoming issue. Helen McQuay
      will submit an article for a future issue. The Office of Laboratory Emergency
                    DHMH, Laboratories Administration
Laboratory Emergency Preparedness and Response Advisory Committee (LEPRAC)

                                    MINUTES
                                   March 9, 2006


      Preparedness and Response (OLEPR) is always looking for articles, notices, or
      suggestions for articles.

6.    CDC Select Agent Program, Facility Registration – Jim Svrjcek stated that since the
      committee’s last meeting, the DHMH Laboratories Administration received notification
      of approval for registration under 42 CFR 73 (Select Agent Program). The certificate
      became effective on December 8, 2005 and expires on November 16, 2008. This
      maintains the DHMH Laboratories Administration as Maryland’s Laboratory Response
      Network (LRN) Laboratory.

7.    Challenge Set Sub-Committee – Jim Svrjcek stated that as a result of the sub-committee’s
      work searching for an alternative to the College of American Pathologist (CAP)
      Laboratory Preparedness Survey (LPS), he has been invited to serve on an Association of
      Public Health Laboratories (APHL) workgroup looking into revamping the CAP LPS.

      Dr. Maurice Knuckles (Director, DC Public Health Laboratory) has applied to the
      Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for a grant to pay for the surveys for the
      Sentinel Labs. The grant will cover the National Capitol Region (NCR) which includes
      Virginia’s approximate 120 labs, the District of Columbia’s 20 labs, and Maryland’s 56
      labs.

      In the meantime, Maryland has money in the CDC Cooperative Agreement earmarked for
      testing the Sentinel Labs to ascertain their readiness and what training would benefit
      them. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the challenge sets used this year will be
      the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH) Bioterrorism Preparedness
      Education Exercise. WSLH will ship (two samples, twice a year – September & March)
      directly to the Sentinel Labs. Once the testing is completed, the Sentinel Labs will send
      their responses back to WSLH. WSLH will then provide copies of each Sentinel Labs
      report and a cumulative analysis of all participating labs to the appropriate jurisdiction
      (MD, VA, or DC).

      The OLEPR will send out a letter to the Maryland Sentinel Labs in the near future
      explaining the registration and testing procedure, and requesting shipping information
      (specific to receive the kits)

8.    Blast E-Mail & Blast Fax Lists (and Sentinel Lab Survey) – Jim Svrjcek updated the
      committee on the status of the Blast E-Mail/Fax System (BEFS). Currently there are 56
      Sentinel Labs registered in the Maryland Laboratory Response Network (MLRN). The
      OLEPR has updated their contact information, and has used the BEFS twice in the past
      six months: in September during the Washington Mall event and in February to notify
      the Sentinel Labs of a training opportunity.

      The National Laboratory Training Network (NLTN) and the Microbial Diseases
      Laboratory of the California Department of Health Services is offering free access to
      their on-line course Bioterrorism Preparedness Training for LRN Sentinel Laboratories.
                    DHMH, Laboratories Administration
Laboratory Emergency Preparedness and Response Advisory Committee (LEPRAC)

                                    MINUTES
                                   March 9, 2006


      The course is offered monthly. Once a participant is registered, they have a month to
      complete the course, and they will be awarded a P.A.C.E.® CEU certificate for 1.5 credit
      hours if their score is 70% or above on the post test for each module.

NEW BUSINESS

1.    Parking Policy – Jim Svrjcek informed the committee members that the two-hour parking
      lot across from the DHMH building on Preston Street is no longer a free lot. He also
      informed the committee of the recent changes in DHMH's Parking Policy. In order to
      request a visitor-parking slot in the garage, Central Services requires the make, model,
      and tag number of the vehicle, in advance.

      In order to streamline the process, committee members not located in the State Office
      Complex, should e-mail the OLEPR at least two weeks prior to each LEPRAC meeting if
      they are planning to attend, and would like to apply for a garage parking space for that
      time. They will need to include the make, model, and tag number of the vehicle they will
      be driving to the meeting in their request for a parking space. The OLEPR will submit
      the request to Central Services. Parking in the garage is not guaranteed, so the member
      will be contacted by the OLEPR if a parking space has been procured. Otherwise, the
      member will have to use either a pay lot or a metered spot on the street.

2.    CT Workshop – Dr. Asoka Katumuluwa announced that the DHMH, Laboratories
      Administration, Division of Environmental Chemistry will be conducting a training
      workshop, entitled “LRN Level 3 Chemical Terrorism Preparedness: A training
      workshop in specimen collection and laboratory analysis for sanitarians, local health
      professional and first responders,” on May 17, 2006 at the Hilton in Columbia, Maryland.

      This conference will provide participants with hands-on experience in packing clinical
      samples. Topics covered will included: 1) an introduction to environmental chemistry
      laboratory services; 2) an overview of chemical terrorism agents; 3) the roles and
      responsibilities in preparation and response to chemical terrorism; 4) regulations affecting
      diagnostic specimen transportation for chemical analysis; and 5) packing and shipping
      diagnostic specimen for chemical analysis. The conference will target local health
      departments, hospitals, MDE, DHMH, and first responders.

      Brochures will be mailed out soon. Dr. Katumuluwa extended an invitation to the
      committee members. She asked that they contact the Division of Environmental
      Chemistry (phone: 410-767-5839; fax: 410-333-5237) if they are interested in attending
      or sending people.

3.    Automated External Defibrillator Re-Certification and Training – Reginald Booker stated
      that DHMH lost its Automated External Defibrillator (AED) certification last year. The
      Office of Preparedness and Response is now in the process of applying for re-
      certification, and will be providing training on March 15, 2006 in Room L-1 and March
      17, 2006 in Room L-2.
                            DHMH, Laboratories Administration
        Laboratory Emergency Preparedness and Response Advisory Committee (LEPRAC)

                                              MINUTES
                                             March 9, 2006



NEXT MEETING

        Thursday, June 8, 2006, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon, Lab Tower, Room L-37

        Please let us know as soon as possible if you cannot attend the meeting.

ADJOURNMENT: 11:45 a.m.


Note:   Please submit any items you would like placed on the agenda to Michele Piorek
        (piorekm@dhmh.state.md.us) as soon as possible prior to next meeting. ).

				
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