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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA) Meeting

Bureau of Labor Standards

Third Floor Conference Room

November 10, 2004



Staff Present: Ted Bradstreet, Terry Hathaway, Desi-Rae Mason, & John Rioux.


Members Present: Sharon D’Orsie (USM), Peter Doran (ALAM), Carol Eckert (MIOHE), Ginger Jordan-Hillier (DEP), Jonathan Lepoff (Consultant), Ruth   Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Dwight Littlefield (Maine Bureau of Health), Ivan Most (Strategic Occupational Health), John Newton (OSHA) & Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health).


Members Absent: Brad Brown (Bureau of Insurance), Valerie Carter (Bureau of Labor Education), Peter Crockett (MLGH), Denise Dumont (U.S. HealthWorks), Saskia Janes (Maine Public Health Association), Jeff Levesque (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Kim Lim (Bureau of Labor Standards), Heather Mason (Maine Safety Council), Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers’ Compensation Board), Louise Morang (MAOHN), & Pat Philbrook (Maine State Nurses Association).


Guests:  Leslie Manning (Deputy Director, Bureau of Labor Standards), John LaCasse (Medical Care Development), Sandi Butler (UMO), & Len Kaye (UMO)



Ivan Most, Chair, opened the meeting at 9:01 A.M.



Approval of October 13, 2004 Minutes.  Peter Doran made a motion to accept the minutes. Jonathan Lepoff, seconded. Vote, unanimous.


John LaCasse, Medical Care Development. John handed out a copy of Medical Care Development Annual Report 2003. Medical Care Development (MCD) is a not-for-profit Maine company that carries out programs to improve health and healthcare in Maine and in developing countries. The board consists of 19 members. MCD is involved with several different health-related agencies. They also provide administrative support and help in funding for groups. MORA members asked John several questions regarding how MCD could benefit MORA. One of the ways is that of a fiscal agent; MCD is flexible. MCD is home for the Maine Coalition for Advocacy for Health, using an indirect cost rate (10 percent for off-site programs; 20 percent for regular programs. Also, MCD provides account auditing. They are willing to work with groups to apply for grants.


Discussion involved the disbanding of MIOHE and the transfer of their funds to MORA, which is an advisory committee of the Maine Department of Labor. MORA should have a MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) with the Department of Labor. Dr. LaCasse said that it was possible to have matching funds from state government. The University of New England is starting a program on public health and the University of Southern Maine has a Center for Environmental Toxicology.


The next step will be for MORA to discuss its alternatives. Dr. LaCasse was given a copy of the Operative document to review and he will get back to the group. Ivan handed out a sample copy of a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding).


In summary, John Rioux and Ivan Most will discuss a MOU between MORA and the Maine Department of Labor. Jonathan Lepoff and Saskia Janes will meet and start to develop the MOU with Medical Care Development. Ivan will review NIOSH funding requirements for organizations and continue contact with UNE.


Ivan shared a letter from Lyman Cousens, Safety & Health Council of Northern New England. MORA will invite Mr. Cousens to a future meeting. MORA would like to have a representative of the safety council sit on MORA.


Operative Document. After review of the Operative Document, it was decided to add the vision statement and to delete the dates. The major review included the Goals and Objectives. A copy of the revised Operative Document is included with these minutes. Ivan is looking for volunteers to be on a subcommittee to develop the action plan.


Ivan asked the membership to consider if they are interested in becoming the vice chair. If so, they can contact either Ivan or Jonathan.


Ivan will not be at the January meeting, so Jonathan will preside.


2005 Conference Update. Desi-Rae stated that there are currently 25 abstracts, with five or six more expected.  Leslie Ingraham, UNE, and Kim Lim will notify those who are accepted by the end of this month. Ivan asked that Kim summarize the abstracts, names, and organizations. This should be available at the December meeting.


Confidentiality Plan for February.  Leslie Walleigh provided an update. The purpose is to have access to workers’ compensation data for occupational health surveillance testing.  She e-mailed several states. She will coordinate with Jeff Levesque for a report at the February meeting. Leslie will bring this up to the Prevention Data Advisory Work Group.


Prevention Data Advisory Work Group Update. Leslie reported that the work group is in the process of reviewing the identified data sources for a report, due in January, to the Legislature.


Open Forum. Sharon D’Orsie handed out regarding the role of environmental factors in determining the prevalence of asthma in Maine. Sharon is researching the impact of outdoor pollutants on indoor air quality. Ginger said that both the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Education are concerned with the air quality in schools. Sharon asked that members either call or e-mail her with any input.


Aging Report – Sandy Butler and Len Kaye. Ruth Lawson-Stopps explained that, along with Lynne Lamstein and Peter Crockett, she was on a MORA subcommittee on aging. This group formed a partnership with Sandy Butler and Len Kaye. Together they got funding for a pilot study on the aging worker from the Harvard School of Public Health.


Sandi presented a power point presentation on the Maine Older Worker Pilot Study. The definition of an older worker is 55 plus. She explained the background, perceptions about occupational health, pilot study in Maine , method, sample distribution, and a comparison of older workers to younger workers based on interviews with employers and employees. Sandi and Len requested input from the group as they are presenting this to Commissioner Fortman.


Next Meeting – December 8, 2004 - Agenda – Ivan Most. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, December 8, 2004 from 9:00 AM to Noon, Third Floor Conference Room, Bureau of Labor Standards.  Ivan and Terry will work on the agenda for the next meeting.


Chair Ivan Most adjourned the meeting at 12:13 PM.

Respectfully submitted,


Terry M. Hathaway