Annual Report Annual Report 2015 : Page 4

G L O BAL H EAL TH / PR E P AR E D N E SS “ I have had a chance to learn about APHL’s expertise in laboratory systems, and I welcome its engagement with the GHSA Nongovern-mental Sector Consortium, which is doing such good work to promote global health security.” Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, US Department of State The newly established Biosafety and Biosecurity Committee convenes for the first time at APHL Headquarters Washington, DC 38.9047° N, 77.0164° W In an interconnected world, it is impossible to separate domestic and global biosecurity; dangerous pathogens move about as easily as tainted food or infected travelers or mosquitos. Thus, while strengthening laboratory systems abroad, APHL has also been attending to state and local laboratories in the US to assure laboratory biosafety and public biosecurity. While the Ebola crisis was escalating and out-comes uncertain, APHL provided crucial input to national health officials regarding laboratory needs — especially laboratorians’ request for enhanced biosafety training. CDC subsequently asked the US Congress for supplemental preparedness funding for this and other priori-ties. Ultimately, federal legislators in Wash-ington, DC, appropriated an Ebola response package of over $5 billion, including $250 million in new public health spending. A total of $105 million went, through the CDC Epidemiol -ogy and Laboratory Capacity program, to the 50 state health departments and to health agen-cies in the six largest US cities and eight US territories or freely associated states (FAS). At the same time, via the Hospital Prepared-ness Program and Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreements, CDC awarded $145 million, divided among health departments in the 50 states, four major US metro areas and eight US territories and FAS. The funding comes with the stipulation that “public health agencies must ensure their jurisdictions have the ability to quickly, safely and accurately perform laboratory testing on suspected Ebola virus speci-mens, as well as manage any surges of specimen testing and analysis.” APHL received a $2.2 million CDC coop-erative agreement to provide biosafety/ biosecurity expertise and training to the newly funded state and local government laboratories and to develop guidance and tools to assist those laboratories with out-reach and biosafety training for the sentinel clinical labs in their jurisdictions. APHL’s newly established Biosafety and Biosecurity Committee — chaired by Michael Pentella, PhD, director of the William A. Hinton State Laboratory Institute — is overseeing this work as well as related policy matters. Already, APHL’s membership has approved a position statement on the need for rigorous biosafety practices, which the committee will be implementing. A big concern, for example, is the safe packaging and shipping of suspect specimens going from clinical laboratories to reference laboratories for confirmatory testing. Among many ongoing activities are develop-ment of virtual communities of practice to facilitate information sharing among laboratory biosafety officers and development of an online repository of risk assessment templates and training courses. Data manager explains electronic aggregate reporting system to Hien Thu Bui, Kenneth Landgraf and Reshma Kakkar at Nam Tu Liem Health District Health Center outside Hanoi, Vietnam 4 2015 APHL ANNUAL REPORT 4 2015 APHL ANNUAL REPORT

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