Online Program

Leveraging the US Laboratory Response Network Model to Develop the African Public Health Laboratory Network

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tyler Wolford, MS, Public Health Preparedness and Response, Association of Public Health Laboratories, Silver Spring, MD
Chris Mangal, MPH, Public Health Programs, Association of Public Health Laboratories, Silver Spring, MD
In February 2014, the United States released the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a multilateral, multi-agency effort to create a world safer and more secure from infectious diseases and emerging threats. This five year venture commits at least 30 partner countries, including the U.S., to work toward nine specific objectives to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases. As the U.S. moves forward with specific objectives, it will be crucial to assess what resources are currently in place and understand how to better leverage those.

This session will focus on the laboratory aspect of global health security and how building and sustaining laboratory infrastructure and capacity are critical for assuring preparation for, detection of, and rapid response to emerging threats. Specifically, attendees will learn about both the domestic and international public health laboratory systems and their roles in preparing for and responding to a variety of public health events, including Ebola. Presenters will discuss current domestic resources that can be utilized to advance the mission and objectives of the GHSA. These include standardized laboratory network models, such as that of the Laboratory Response Network for Biological Threats Preparedness (LRN-B) and its associated characteristics and twinning, which is a mentorship initiative where an international laboratory is paired with a US domestic laboratory to encourage information transfer and mentoring.

This session will provide a thorough overview of the work public health laboratories do both domestically and internationally to ensure a world safer from infectious diseases and emerging threats. Additionally, the session will show attendees how US domestic laboratories are not only assets for the safety of the U.S. but also models for international laboratories and a critical asset of any health systems strengthening initiatives.

Learning Areas:

Program planning
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the US Laboratory Response Network, its membership structure and how it strengthened the US public health system. Explain how the US Laboratory Response Network was utilized to respond to emerging threats such as Ebola. Discuss the characteristics of the Laboratory Response Network model and how this approach can serve as a foundation to develop the African Public Health Laboratory Network and strengthen healthcare systems globally.

Keyword(s): International Health, Emergency Preparedness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of Public Health Preparedness and Response at the Association of Public Health Laboratories where I provide programmatic and scientific leadership for preparedness. I have over twelve years of experience working to improve laboratory practice and policy for the detection of public health threats, and to enhance the relationships among governmental laboratories and federal agencies. In 2014, I began collaborating with partners to leverage US laboratory capacity to strengthen global health security.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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