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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA)
Steering Committee Meeting
Minutes

Bureau of Labor Standards

Third Floor Conference Room

December 19, 2001


Staff present:
Lynne Lamstein & Terry Hathaway.

Members Present: Peter Doran (MIOHE), Ron Dyer (DEP), Brenda Joly (Maine Center for Public Health),Ruth Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Jonathan Lepoff, Kim Lim (Maine Bureau of Labor Standards), Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers Compensation Board), Ivan Most (Strategic Occupational Health), Peggy Parsons (Maine Cancer Registry), Andy Smith (Bureau of Health), Peter Snell (Peter Snell & Associates), Jonathan Torres (Workmed) & Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health).


Members Absent:
Brad Brown (Bureau of Insurance), Dan Cote (MEMIC), Peter Crockett (MLGH). and Denise Dumont (U.S. HealthWorks),

Handouts included the Agenda for today’s meeting, minutes from the November 14th meeting, the MORA Steering Committee List, a legislative Draft proposal (An Act to Improve Collection of Information about Work-related Injuries and to Enhance Injury-prevention Efforts), and a Draft Letter of Intent applying for a Center for Disease Control and Prevention & Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry Public Health Conference Support Grant.

Peter Doran welcomed the MORA Steering Committee. Introductions were made.

Announcements. Peter Doran noted that a sympathy card had been sent to Bill Freeman as Bill lost his wife to cancer. He also spoke about the Workers’ Compensation Board meeting and how the MORA Steering Committee would like to form a partnership to create an information exchange and recommendations. Dr. Doran thanked Steve Minkowsky for allowing this to happen. On November 28th, some of the MORA Steering Committee attended the Commission on Safety and Health in the Maine Workplace meeting. As a result of this meeting, Ivan Most will be the liaison between the Steering Committee and the Commission. Peter Doran will follow-up with the Commission Chair to find out the Commission’s contact person. Kim Lim explained that the Commission is appointed by the Governor and is intended to be an advisory group to the Director of the Bureau of Labor Standards and the Governor. Peter Doran will also get a listing of the Commission members for the Steering Committee. Ruth Lawson-Stopps told the Steering Committee than the Commission makes low- interest loans to business; however, there has been no follow-up regarding the affects of the loans.

WCB Governance Study Report - Steven Minkowsky. Mr. Minkowsky presented an overview of this report prepared by Berry, Dunn, & McNeil. The report is forty pages long. The report states that the Workers’ Compensation Board is not governing properly. The recommendation is to add a ninth member, possibly a health care professional. Another recommendation was to make the Board advisory and to merge the rest of the agency with the Department of Labor. Also, the Report recommended that EDI is the way to go. Workers’ Compensation and Department of Labor have regional offices, usually located in the same town. There are two studies by the Labor Committee: Government Evaluation Study (accomplishments) and Monitoring and Enforcement Program. The NOC (Notice of Controversy) time frame has gone from 32 months to eight months. Twenty-five percent of the claims still go to formal hearing; Wisconsin is eight percent and Texas is five percent. There will be hearings on these three reports; perhaps members of the Steering Committee could attend these hearings.

Legislative Labor Committee Draft: Ruth Lawson-Stopps and Dan Cote. Ms. Lawson-Stopps handed out a Draft Proposal, "An Act to Improve Collection of Information about Work-related Injuries and to Enhance Injury-prevention Efforts", written by Deb Friedman (Legislative Analyst) at the request of Senator Beth Edmonds and Representative George Bunker (Labor Committee Chairs). Lynne Lamstein suggested that Ruth Lawson-Stopps and Dan Cote could meet with Michael Frett and William Peabody.

Research Priorities; Brainstorming process and criteria. Dr. Torres suggested that we brainstorm research priorities, why, and prioritize the list. Educating the providers, behavioral change and expected outcomes; connections between public health and occupational health; partnering; identify problem disease areas; going forward rather than looking at historical data; identification of data sets using a systemic approach; environmental health; respiratory, chemical; partnership with University of Massachusetts - Lowell; backs and upper extremities; hospital discharges regarding toxic exposures; look at NORA Model; other areas include Bureau of Health, private sector, DEP, MEMIC, WCB.. Leslie Walleigh suggested "assignments" for the next meeting and restructure where the MORA Steering Committee is going from here.

2003 MROA Symposium Design - Ivan Most. Dr. Most will check with Leslie Ingraham of the University of New England (UNE) to set up the Conference. It will be scheduled the third week of May 2003; most likely, Thursday and Friday. If the attendance is 150 or less, then could be held at the Alfond Center at UNE. If the attendance would be over 150, then other possibilities for locations would include Sunday River, Samoset, or Castine. The symposium design would consist of agenda items that MORA is working on, use of Federal model and models from other states and other countries (i.e., New Brunswick and Sweden).

Kim Lim handed out a draft of "Letter of Intent to apply for a Center of Disease Control and Prevention & Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry Public Health Conference Support Grant" for funding for the 2003 Conference. This letter is due in January 2002. The Steering Committee agreed to change the Symposium title from "Prevention & Advocacy Through Research" to "Using Research to Develop Occupational Safety and Health Prevention Strategies and Policy Initiatives".

Dr. Most said the Conference Committee would report at our next meeting regarding keynote speakers and the symposium design

Safety Conference Proposal - Lynne Lamstein. Ms. Lamstein reported to the Steering Committee that she, along with Peter Doran, wrote a letter to the Maine Safety Council for a proposal to be included at the Maine Safety Council’s annual Conference.

Steering Committee Membership: At our next meeting, the Steering Committee will discuss the membership as we are moving into our second year.

Other: The next meeting of the MORA Steering Committee will take place on Wednesday, January 9, 2002 at 9:00 A.M. in the Third Floor conference Room, Bureau of Labor Standards. The Data Committee will be meeting prior to the Steering Committee at 8:30 A.M.

Lynne Lamstein will be updating the MORA website.

Ron Dyer invited the Steering Committee to a Boat Building Repair Program being held on January 16th.

Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

Terry M. Hathaway

Secretary