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Your Environment. Your Health.

Duke University

Principal Investigator / Institution

Sempowski, Gregory D.
Gregory D. Sempowski, Ph.D.
Tel 919-684-4386
909 S. Lasalle Street
Rm 1005 Global Health Research
Durham, NC 27705

Program Description

Consistent with the overall goal of the NIEHS Worker Training Program, Duke proposes to use a subset of the NIAID - Regional Biocontainment Laboratories (RBLs) with a mandate to support local and national responses to infectious disease emergencies at Duke University, Colorado State University, the University of Chicago, George Mason University, and the University of Louisville to establish a multistate partnership to provide training in occupational settings that carry the potential for increased exposure to contaminated materials or infected individuals. The Duke Infectious Disease Response Training (DIDRT) will achieve this goal by accomplishing the following three Specific Aims:

  1. Develop a multistate consortium of biosafety professionals within the NIAID RBL network to provide comprehensive infectious disease response training;
  2. Train worker populations (first responders, custodial service, travel/air transport, and healthcare/clinical lab) with important roles in infectious disease response; and
  3. Evaluate the efficacy of preparedness training, incorporating the results in a continuous quality improvement cycle,

The DIDRT consortium is uniquely qualified to achieve these three Aims. They will reach four target worker groups: first responders (police, fire, and emergency medical services); custodial service workers (including biohazard waste handlers); travel/air transport workers (screeners, customs officers, baggage/cargo handlers); and healthcare and clinical laboratory workers. Each year, they will train approximately 805 workers for a total of 2,415 over three years. Their five-state consortium includes key leaders in the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA), including two former ABSA presidents (Hunt and Ellis), three former/current ABSA board members (Hunt, Alderman, and Ellis), five Certified Biological Safety Professionals (Hunt, Frothingham, Alderman, Ellis, and Blair), and five Registered Biosafety Professionals (Burch, Blair, Zobel, Bivona, Quenee). The RBL consortium members provide regular biosafety training (over 110,000 in the past five years) in formats ranging from short online modules to five-day courses. The collective knowledge of their team and the strategic geographic locations of the DIDRT consortium members will enable the development of a nationwide program.

Project Duration

  • June 1, 2016 - May 31, 2019 (Ebola Biosafety and Infectious Disease Response)

Grant Numbers

  • UH4 ES027072-01 (Ebola Biosafety and Infectious Disease Response)

Other Participating Organizations

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