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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA)
Steering Committee Meeting
Minutes

Bureau of Labor Standards

Third Floor Conference Room

October 9, 2002

Staff present: Terry Hathaway, Lynne Lamstein, & John Rioux.

Members Present): Denise Dumont (U.S. HealthWorks), Carol Eckert (MIOHE), Ruth Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Jonathan Lepoff, Kim Lim (Maine Bureau of Labor Standards), Ivan Most (Strategic Occupational Health), Jonathan Torres (Workmed), & Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health).

Members Absent: Brad Brown (Bureau of Insurance), Peter Doran (MIOHE), Dan Cote (MEMIC), Peter Crockett (MLGH), Ron Dyer (DEP), Brenda Joly (Maine Center for Public Health), David Kern (Health Connections), Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers Compensation Board), Pat Philbrook (Maine State Nurses Association), & Andy Smith (Bureau of Health).

 

Ruth Lawson-Stopps acted as chairperson, as Dr. Doran was absent. The meeting began at 9:15 P.M.

Terry Hathaway will speak with Dr. Doran regarding Danís e-mail resignation from the MORA Steering Committee. The Committee feels that we should have a member from that particular area.

MORA-MIOHE Affiliation - Ivan. Ivan reported on the September 11 th meeting with MIOHE. He shared some of Carolís background as well as MIOHEís background. MIOHE was formed to provide education opportunities for doctors, primarily occupational health. Now, it includes all health professionals. MIOHE and MORA now have formed an affiliation where a certain amount of funds from MIOHE would be available for MORA to use for the 2003 Conference. Carol reported that, in addition to herself, MIOHE now consists of Peter Doran, Ivan Most, Lisa Miller, Helen King-Attallah. $5,000 is dedicated to a fund to run educational programs. MIOHEís 501c3 status is unclear at this time. MORA and MIOHE have a loose affiliation. The money can be transferred to a fund for the 2003 Conference. MIOHEís purpose is education and MORAís purpose is research.

Ruth mentioned that as there is a shortage of State funds, there are no longer refreshments at the MORA meetings. It has been suggested that each person donate a dollar so that refreshments can be provided for our next meeting. Kim Lim is in charge.

Proposed Meeting with Commission on Safety & Health in the Maine Workplace - Lynne. Ivan suggested meeting with the Commission with an agenda. Ivan is to do some research on the Commission and set up a meeting. Hugh Flynn, Chair of the Commission, would be the contact person. Ivan can also check with Linda Nickerson, administrative assistant to the Commission. Lynne explained that the Commission is a Governor-appointment group that is to advise BLS (Bureau of Labor Standards) on occupational safety and health issues. They administer the FAME loan program and give awards for safety and health. MORA wants a relationship with the Commission. Ivan will update us at our meeting on November 13 th.

Press Release Draft - Lynne. A copy of the press release was with membersí agenda and minutes from the September 11th meeting. Lynne sees this as an opportunity to market MORA. A press release could be done once a month until the Conference. Lynne explained the process; after the press release is written, it is submitted to Michael Frett (Director, Bureau of Labor Standards), who has the option to make changes; from Mr. Frett, the press release is sent to the Commissionerís office, where changes may also be made; the Commissionerís office will then distribute the press release to the media outlets. Some of the publications it may appear in are "Maine Biz", "Kennebec Business Monthly", and the "Portland Press Heraldís" business notes, to name a few. Lynne will write up a short summary, which will be newsworthy and will then submit with a fact sheet, which will include our mission, a list of the six priority areas, and a list of the Steering Committee members. Lynne also informed the group that the "Save the Date" card is in the latest issue of the "SafetyWorks! Newsletter", published by BLS.

Lynne noted the website for MORA information: www.state.me.us/labor/bls/MORA.htm < http://www.maine.gov/labor/bls/MORA.htm>

New Steering Committee Members; Pat Philbrook was not present at todayís meeting. The Steering Committee welcomed Carol Eckert as a new member.

2003 Conference Update and Planning - Ivan, Kim, & Lynne. Congratulations were extended to Kim Lim, as BLS received a grant. There will be two keynote speakers, one each day, at the 2003 Conference. Kim will contact NIOSH for a speaker, as NIOSH is providing some funding for the Conference. Ivan will contact the second keynote speaker, who will be independent of NIOSH. They will update us at the November 13th meeting. Kim announced that the Conference speakersí mileage, only if they are driving, and hotel accommodations will be paid for. Lynne announced that BLS has allocated $4,000 for the printing and mailing of the 2003 Conference brochures.

Ruth suggested that before our next meeting, the priority groups need to meet to decide what is most important so they are able to tell the speakers what they want and decide on the best way to present the information. It does not have to be the same for all breakout sessions.

By November 15th, Lynne needs a description of each breakout session and a list of speakers in order for the information to be included in the 2003 Conference brochure.

Ivan suggested that we contact the larger MORA group for input. Lynne and Terry will work on that.

Kim will be meeting with Bill Peabody (BLS Deputy Director), Leslie Ingraham (UNE), and Carol Eckert (MIOHE) to discuss finances for upcoming MORA conferences.

Funding for the Conference includes: $24,110 NIOSH

$4,000 BLS

$5,000 MIOHE

Lynne is still seeking sponsors for the lobster bake and the social before the lobster bake as well as the Earl Dodder luncheon and the hospitality suite. Kim also suggested a sponsor for a social Tuesday evening for the speakers.

Lynne and Kim have been working on a Conference Schedule, which was handed out to Steering Committee members. The Breakout Sessions need facilitators as well as speakers. The names marked with question marks are ideas and not confirmed. If Steering Committee members have additional ideas, they need to contact Kim or Lynne. Once elections have taken place, legislators will be contacted regarding the MORA Conference.

Lynne has prepared a speaker sheet to be filled out by the facilitator for each speaker. The facilitator will send the sheets to Leslie Ingraham at UNE. Leslie will send each speaker a packet and will take care of the bios and expense information.

Research Priorities in Process and Planning - Reports on Priority Areas and Action Plans - Ruth.

MSDís - Denise Dumont and Ivan Most. Denise reviewed the information, MSD MORA Research Priority Area, submitted to the Steering Committee. They are focusing on back injuries in the health care industry. Leslie mentioned that there is an OSHA initiative for nursing home, so Skip Hoyt will be contacted. A suggestion was made that the priority area subcommittees do not need to stay within the Steering Committee for contacts.

Cost Drivers - Jonathan Lepoff and John Rioux. Jonathan said that there has been an analysis of workersí compensation data. John Rioux added that 17,000 reported lost time cases occurred between 1993 and 1998. He has contacted Peter Snell (a former member of the Steering Committee) regarding the use of incurred costs for insurers.

Fatalities - Kim Lim and John Rioux. Kim explained that BLS received an opportunity to do a FACE (Fatality Assessment Control Evaluation), using in-kind services to start up. This involves choosing and talking to employers in NIOSH target areas, talking to workers on what happened, and writing up a fact sheet. This information will be combined with other states for focus on fatalities. This does not involved federal money, but will have available data from other FACE states. This program will start in 2003. The data will be available to MORA and employers.

Aging Workforce - Lynne Lamstein and Ruth Lawson-Stopps. This is a new area that NIOSH is very interested in. Lynne has a list of references. Educating ourselves deems what the research needs would be, making accommodations for the older work. Denise Dumont offered her presentation notebook. Ivan is going to check with Swedenís National Institute of Health.

Toxic Exposures - Leslie Raleigh. Leslie will be meeting with Ron Dyer. Carol Eckert volunteered to be a part of this group.

Occupational Asthma - Jonathan Torres. This research priority group will be reaching out to Norm Anderson regarding lung/health indicators as well as the International Center for Studying Environmental Effects on Asthma, which includes the New Brunswick Lung Association and al New England lung associations.

Other. Ivan suggested that for a future agenda that the Steering Committee discuss how we want to recognize and show ourselves to the outside world, what other levels do we want to go to, will we be talking about RFPís, seeking funds? A while back some of the Steering Committee members met with Ron Dyer and Ronís PR person. The Steering Committee is now ready.

Summary.

Ivan will take a look at the Commission on Safety and Health in the Maine Workplace and possibly meet with them.

All research priority groups will be meeting within the next month to discuss how to put together programs for the conference and notify Lynne before our next meeting. Also, the research priority groups need to determine their actions and their plans, including who, time frame, and what can be expected in the next three to six months.

We will be looking at the MORA structure.

Next meeting. Wednesday, November 13, 2002, 9:00 AM - Noon, Bureau of Labor Standards Third Floor Conference Room.