ABSA Update

ABSA Orlando 2012

The 55th Annual Biological Safety Conference will be in Orlando, FL, October 18-24, 2012. Meetings and Exhibits will be at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort and the banquet will be at Sea World.

The Call for Papers is available at www.absaconference.org. The deadline is April 13.

Exhibit and Sponsor opportunities for 2012 are also available. We are looking forward to an outstanding 55th Annual Biological Safety Conference!

ABSA Council

President: LouAnn Burnett

On behalf of the ABSA Council, I wish to again extend sincere thanks for all of the hard work by the ABSA teams, committees, and task forces. ABSA is fueled by the passion and dedication of our members and their volunteer efforts. For a summary of the work that is occurring, please read the articles below and also the Minutes of the March 5, 2012 Leadership call in the ABSA members only site (https://my.absa.org/) where each team, committee, and task force reported their most recent activities.

One of the major activities on the part of Council, teams, and committees has been to work through the issues identified by the Member Engagement Initiative in Anaheim. Our members identified many things that they feel ABSA does well and some things that we can improve upon and should begin to do. The Credentialing Maintenance Board, chaired by Krista Murray, has responded to the Initiative feedback by placing free or low-cost training events that qualify for CM points on the ABSA Calendar. The Defining the Profession Team has also recommended, and I have appointed, a Task Force to create an online learning verification process that will award CM points for reading Applied Biosafety articles, among other options.

For all of Council's activities, please see the Minutes from our meetings posted in the ABSA members only site at https://my.absa.org/.

At the end of this week, Council will be involved in a strategic planning session designed to evaluate and build on our current strengths and plan for the future direction of ABSA and of the biological safety and security profession. Please stay tuned for a report from this significant activity.

Again, thanks to each of you for your dedication to the community, commitment, and content that is ABSA. Each one of you brings a unique and valuable perspective to our organization - the organization and our profession is better because of your participation.

Warm Regards,
LouAnn Burnett
President, ABSA

ABSA Distance Learning Committee

Chair: MaryJo Lanzillotta

Upcoming Distance Learning Opportunities

Selecting the Right Decontamination Agent for Facilities and Equipment Decontamination Webinar will be April 5, 2012. To register, please visit http://www.absa.org/edudecon.html.

The Basic Disinfection Webinar will be held June 7 and 14, 2012. To register, please visit http://www.absa.org/edudisinfection.html. This is a blended learning opportunity.

The Effective Biosafety Training Webinar will be held August 21 and September 11, 2012. To register, please visit http://absa.org/edubstraining.html. This is a blended learning opportunity.

Call for Webinars!

If you would like to propose a webinar or distance learning course, please go to [link deleted]. The DLC is developing new webinars and distance learning opportunities for 2012 to meet member needs.

ABSA Principles & Practices of Biosafety

Co-Chairs: Paul Jennette & Paul Meechan

The next Principles & Practices of Biosafety (PPB) will be July 8-13, 2012, Embassy Suites, St. Paul, Minnesota. There are still openings for the July course. Additional information and registration can be found at http://www.absa.org/eduppb.html.

The PPB is a comprehensive, interactive 5-day course. Principles & Practices of Biosafety will introduce the essential elements of biosafety and provide extensive resource lists for use after the course. Interactive exercises will be used throughout to provide hands-on experience, encourage networking, and problem-solving among participants and instructors.

Leadership Institute and Review Course 

Chair: Rita D'Angelo 

The Leadership Institute and Review Course will be April 22-27, 2012 at the Embassy Suites in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The Leadership Institute: Doing More with Less, in a partnership with the Elizabeth R. Griffin Research Foundation and Emory University will begin in the afternoon of April 22 and will conclude the afternoon of April 25. The Review Course will start the morning of April 26 and conclude on the afternoon of April 27. The Embassy Suites Hotel rate is $135; which includes breakfast, internet, and a nightly managers reception. More details can be found at http://absa.org/eduleadership.html.

Preconference Course Committee

Co-Chairs: JeT' Newton & David Harbourt

David Harbourt, PhD, has accepted the position of Co-Chair of the Preconference Course Committee.

Call for Course Proposals for the 55th Annual Biological Safety Association Conference, from October 18-24, 2012, where due on March 16, 2012. The Committee is now reviewing the proposals and putting together a diverse course schedule to meet our members needs.

Professional Development Team Survey Results and Request for Volunteers!

Team Leader: Kelly Flint

The results of ABSA's Training Needs Survey conducted in October of 2011 are available at:

Please review the results of the top areas of need throughout our membership. If you are interested in being a part of the development of a specific course or be the instructor, please send KariAnn DeServi at the ABSA office an email at [email protected].  We appreciate your time and talent in offering members high-quality professional development opportunities.

Technical and Regulatory Review Committee

Chair: Bill Homovec

The Technical and Regulatory Review Committee completed its review of the October 3, 2011 Federal Register announcement regarding the proposed revisions to the CDC/APHIS Select Agents and Toxins Program. Comments were prepared, reviewed, and approved by the committee and forwarded to council for consideration. Council did review and submit comments to the CDC.

The Technical and Regulatory Review Committee completed its review of the October 14, 2011 Federal Register announcement regarding the proposed revisions to the CDC Foreign Quarantine; Etiological Agents, Hosts, and Vectors standards. Comments were prepared, reviewed, and approved by the committee and forwarded to Council for consideration. Council did review and submit comments to the CDC.

Credentialing Maintenance Board

Chair: Krista Murray

ABSA understands the concern of members to identify free or low-cost options for certification maintenance points. The Certification Maintenance Board has identified online opportunities to earn points that have already been approved. A list of these courses is available at http://www.absa.org/eduonline.html. In addition, upcoming courses that may qualify for points are posted on the ABSA calendar at https://my.absa.org/tiki-calendar.php. If you or your agency are sponsoring any courses, or know of any upcoming affiliate meeting, please submit them for CM review and posting on the ABSA calendar. Please check back at these websites regularly as the board will continue to add to the lists as more activities are identified.

Publications Committee

Chair: Joany Jackman

If you are interested in presenting a submission for Applied Biosafety: Journal of ABSA International, please visit http://apb.sagepub.com/. Applied Biosafety has prepublished a timely Editorial entitled "Balancing Research Capability, Oversight, and Communication Post the H5N1 Controversy" at http://absa.org/pdf/H5N1editorial.pdf

Anthology XIII: Animal Production and Protection-Challenges, Risks, and Best Practices, should be available this Spring.

There will be a special Anthology promotion for ABSA Members in the near future. Discounts will be offered on single and multiple book purchases. Keep an eye out for an email and information on the ABSA website.

ABSA Anthology page: http://www.absa.org/pubanth.html.

Resources for Biosafety Professionals Committee

Co-Chairs: Hallie Heaney & Angela Ragan

The Training Tools Committee has been renamed Resources for Biosafety Professionals. If you would like to submit a resource to the committee for the website, please follow this link: http://www.absa.org/trainingtools.html.

ABSA Anaheim Conference Recordings and Presentations

If you would like to purchase any recordings of the ABSA Anaheim Conference presentations, you can go to http://www.dcprovidersonline.com/absa/.

Visit [link deleted] to view PowerPoint presentations and videos from the ABSA Anaheim Conference. 

ABSA Membership Site

Did you know that through the ABSA Store, not only can you access the ABSA Members Directory, you can update your contact information under the "My Information" link; view events you have registered for under "My Events"; access your educational credits under the "My Professional Development" link (still being updated); print a copy of past invoices under "My Transactions." You could also purchase ABSA publications, NEW ABSA shirts, and other ABSA products. The ABSA office is working hard to make managing your membership more intuitive and friendly.

ABSA on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

You can keep up with ABSA activities, announcements, and network with other ABSA members through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Click on the icon of your favorite social media on the ABSA home page and never miss a thing.

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