ABSA Denver Conference
We would like to thank the hundreds of volunteers that contributed to the success of the ABSA Annual Conference in Denver! We hope that everyone enjoyed the courses, presentations, exhibits, and networking. We posted some of the conference presentations, and videos of the President's Address and Griffin Lecture at http://www.absaconference.org/pastcon53program.html.
ABSA hosted its first "Affiliate and Biosafety Association Workshop" in Denver. The presentations and resources from the workshop can be viewed at http://www.absa.org/affresources.html.
If you would like to purchase any recordings of the ABSA Denver conference presentations you can go to http://www.dcprovidersonline.com/absa/.
President: Karen Byers
The ABSA Council had a productive meeting at the ABSA Annual Conference in Denver, below are some highlights:
- The ABSA Treasurer reported that the Finance Committee has worked with ABSA Teams and Committees to decrease expenses by 10%, which is extremely helpful in the current economic downturn that has affected ABSA. Fortunately, current and past ABSA Councils have been fiscally responsible in building financial reserves to help ABSA's sustainability in economic downturns such as this. In 2011, the ABSA Financial Report will be presented in a format that is easier to read.
- The ABSA Council approved the recommendation of the Griffin Grant Committee to award the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation Grant to Tanya Dvorak, from the Biosecurity Research Institute at Kansas State University titled "Development and Efficacy of a Livestock Handling Safety Video".
- The ABSA Council approved a proposal for the Accreditation Task Force to begin test site visits in early 2011. There will be two test site visits to help finalize the standards, checklists, procedures for site visits, and training.
- ABSA will partner with the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation and Sean Kaufman in continuing to offer the successful Leadership Institute. The Leadership Institute will be April 3-6, 2011 at the Hyatt in Austin, Texas. It will be during the same week and location as the Review Course. More information can be found at http://www.absa.org/eduleadership.html.
- For the past couple of years all ABSA volunteers have been required to fill out conflict of interest disclosure forms to make sure if they have a conflict that it is known. These conflict of interest forms will be sent out to all volunteers within the next week.
- New ABSA Task Forces were appointed to review current issues:
- ANSI BSL-3 Standard Task Force: Paul Jennette, Chair. Paul will represent ABSA on the ANSI BSL-3 Standard. Ethics Task Force: Barbara Johnson, Chair. The Task Force will evaluate whether "dual use" is adequately addressed in the ABSA ethics policy.
- International Credentialing Task Force: Rich Rebar, Chair. This task force will look at international needs and challenges with ABSA credentials and come up with recommendations on how to meet them.
Defining the Profession Team
Team Leader: Ray Hackney
Credentialing Maintenance Board
Chair: Krista Murray
Those CBSPs and RBPs who are scheduled to recertify at the end of 2010 should begin gathering their certification maintenance documentation. The lists of recertification cycles are available on the CBSP and RBP ABSA webpages at http://www.absa.org/biomenu.html if you need to check your recertification date. Please also submit any courses or activities which must be reviewed for Certification Maintenance points as soon as possible, but prior to the end of this year. The applications for CM course review and for recertification are available on the website. A new version of Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Recertification have been posted. If you have any questions regarding the recertification process, please contact the Credentialing Maintenance Board Chair, Krista Murray, at [email protected] or 302-831-1433.
Team Leader: John Balog
Chair: Judy LaDuc
The Wedum and Hanel Honor Awards were presented at the Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, October 6, in Denver, Colorado. The Knudsen and Gross Awards were given to the winners on the podium and they presented their topics as a portion of the Symposium. If you are interesting in joining the ABSA Awards Committee, contact the ABSA Office at [email protected]. Also, the Awards webpage was recently updated and can be viewed at http://www.absa.org/bioawards.html.
- Wedum Honor Award: Jack Keene
- Hanel Honor Award: Joe Kanabrocki
- Gross Award: "Hand Hygiene in the Biosafety Level 2 Lab: Is it a Matter of Training?" James Johnston, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
- Knudsen Award: "Contained Use of Bacteriophages: Risk Assessment and Biosafety Recommendations" by Céline Verheust, Katia Pauwels, Jacques Mahillon, Donald R. Helinski, and Philippe Herman (Philiipe Herman presented and accepted award for group)
- Richardson Honor Award was not awarded this year.
Chair: Bob Ellis
We had an excellent ballot; ABSA was going to win no matter who was elected. This is as it should be, in an organization like ours. Electronic ballots worked very well, there were not any complaints and many positive comments about the electronic ballots. If there was some way to get members to vote, all would be well! I doubt that the outcome would be different, it just would look better if even 40% instead of less than 25% voted. Please email the ABSA Office at [email protected] if you have any suggestions on increasing voter turnout.
Bob Ellis reports that chairing the Nominating Committee is a fun experience. Diane Johnson from the ABSA Office does a great job of keeping the Nominating Committee moving forward and following the policies and procedures. Ben Fontes will be the 2011 Nominating Committee Chair.