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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA) Meeting

Bureau of Labor Standards

Third Floor Conference Room

November 9, 2005



Staff Present:  Steve Greeley & Terry Hathaway


Staff Absent: Ted Bradstreet, Leslie Manning, & John Rioux


Members Present: Sharon D’Orsie (USM), Carol Eckert (MIOHE), Ginger Jordan-Hillier (DEP), Jonathan Lepoff (Consultant), Kim Lim (Bureau of Labor Standards), Desi-Rae Mason (Maine Asthma Program), Ivan Most (Strategic Occupational Health), Michael Rowland (Maine Migrant Health Program), Cathy Schultz (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), & Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health/Bureau of Health)


Members Absent: Peter Crockett (MLGH), Peter Doran (ALAM), Saskia Janes (Maine Public Health Association), Ruth Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), & John Newton (OSHA)


Guest: Bill Freeman (OSHA)



Jonathan Lepoff, Chair, called the meeting to order at 10:34 A.M.


Introductions were made.


Approval of October 12, 2005 Minutes.  Ivan Most made a motion to accept the minutes of October 12th as written. Carol Eckert seconded the motion. Vote, unanimous.


Committee Updates:


            Finance Committee: Carol Eckert reported that the Finance Committee did not meet as Leslie Manning was not present. Carol sat in on the Program Committee meeting. Carol did announce that she has polled the MIOHE Board with five (5) out of the nine (9) members agreeing that their funds, approximately $4,000, be given to MORA for research and education. Dependent upon if Carol hears from the remaining MIOHE Board members, there is a possibility some of the $4,000 may be given to the New England College of Occupational Medicine Physicians.


            Program Committee: Desi-Rae summarized the first meeting of the Program Committee. They decided to use the handout from the last MORA meeting as a guide and have designated three (3) specific research topics, which are all important to Maine:


1.                   Occupational Asthma

a.      Sharon D’Orsie and Desi-Rae Mason will be the “champions”

b.      Researchable through collaboration and MORA

c.      Within the MORA network conducting the research

2.                   Cost Drivers

a.      Ivan Most and Jonathan Lepoff will be the “champions”

b.      Researchable as there is a lot of data

c.      Within the MORA network for conducting research

3.                   Better characterization of pesticide-related illnesses

a.      Carol Eckert, Mike Rowland, and Leslie Walleigh will be the “champions”

b.      Researchable with farmers, migrant workers, and fishermen

c.      No one specific at this time; within the MORA network and, possibly, the University of Maine

Making the Connection – Human Health and Environmental Exposures. Kim Lim had handouts from portions of “Making the Connection”, a joint project between the Physicians for Social Responsibility/Maine and The Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine. Also, a CD was passed around.


PDAG Update – Leslie Walleigh. Leslie presented a summary of the last work group meeting. There are two subgroups, Data and Prevention, who held their first meetings prior to the work group meeting. Leslie stated that the Prevention group plans to catalog what kind of prevention programs and activities are available throughout the state. Also, they would like to survey large employers and the insurance companies regarding how they use data to develop their programs. Bill Peabody suggested that the group look at the MOD-2 rate from the Bureau of Insurance.


The report is still going through the Maine Department of Labor approval process.


Also, at the PDAG meeting, Al May, chair of the Data subgroup, spoke about the CSTE Indicators Program. Kim Lim passed around a copy of “CSTE: Putting Data to Work”, which is available at; there is also a link to NIOSH.


Leslie announced that two new members are to join the PDAG work group. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, November 16, 2005.


Other. Leslie Walleigh resigned as vice-Chair; therefore, being unable to fill the Chair position. Between now and the next MORA meeting, Jonathan asked members to consider volunteering for Vice Chair, who could then be Chair for the next term, which starts with the March meeting. When asked if Jonathan would consider continuing another year as Chair, he said he prefers to step down; if necessary, Jonathan could continue as Chair.


Ivan Most reported on “Lump Sum Payments to Workers at the Workers’ Compensation Commission” which he is working on with his daughter, Sylvia Most. A survey has been developed. The survey would not be mailed out as the return rate would be low, so worker advocates and lawyers who represent them are being targeting (Phase II). They are looking for those workers who received lump sum payments and returned to the work force. Confidentiality of workers is important.


Michael Rowland spoke about immigration reform as the wreath season is starting. There is growing panic about where the work force will come within the next six months, especially concerning H2B, forestry and hotel and restaurant workers. H2A is Agriculture. There are two bills in Congress concerning immigration control and enforcement.


Maine Migrant Forum. Leslie Manning was to provide an update. In her absence, Bill Freeman spoke briefly about the Forum, saying that it provides good contacts for building alliances. Commissioner Fortman attended all day.


Regarding PDAG, Bill Freeman said he would be interested in attending the Prevention Subgroup meeting and will contact Dave Wacker.


Next Meeting – Wednesday, December 14, 2005. The two committees, Program and Finance, will meet at from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM. At 10:30 AM, the MORA meeting will convene.


Adjournment. The meeting was adjourned at 11:29 A.M.


Respectfully submitted,


Terry M. Hathaway