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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA)
Steering Committee Meeting

Bureau of Labor Standards
Conference Room

April 11, 2001

Staff present: Lynne Lamstein, Jonathan Lepoff, & Terry Hathaway.

Members Present: Ron Dyer (Maine Department of Environmental Protection), Ruth Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Kim Lim (Maine Bureau of Labor Standards), Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers Compensation Board), Ivan Most (Strategic Occupational Health), Peggy Parsons (Maine Cancer Registry), Peter Snell (Peter Snell & Associates), Tom Ryan (Central Maine Technical College), Jonathan Torres (Workmed) & Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health).

Members Absent: Dan Cote (MEMIC), Peter Doran (MIOHE), Bill Freeman (OSHA), & Denise Dumont (HEALTHSOUTH - maternity leave)

Ivan Most opened the MORA Steering Committee at 9:10 A.M.

Ron Dyer did a presentation on the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) databases. He handed out a listing of his Department’s databases. DEP is working towards "one stop data", providing easier access by the public. DEP has a website "", then click on "maine toxics", where information can be sorted by company name or zip code. The connection between DEP and Labor is that DEP’s hazardous chemicals list is derived from the DOL’s (Department of Labor’s) hazardous chemical list. This provides a connection between DEP and DOL as to where chemicals are being used and the relationship to injuries and illnesses. Mr. Dyer also brought a few copies of "Potential Uses of USEPA’S Risk- Screening Environmental Indicators Model for Prioritizing Toxics Use Reduction and Pollution Prevention Efforts" (there weren’t enough copies for the entire Board; if you are interested in obtaining a copy, contact Terry Hathaway). Mr. Dyer also handed out his business card to committee members.

Ivan Most suggested that the Steering Committee’s Working Group on Data Needs meet with Ron Dyer on "Smart Production" for the MORA 2002 Conference.

The Steering Committee has the following guest speakers for future meetings.

Bill Newkirk - sysdoc. June 20, 2001

Craig Tenbroeck (DEP)- Smart Production August 1, 2001

Paul Dionne - WCB & Dora Mills - Bureau of Health September 12, 2001

The Working Group on Data Needs Subcommittee would like to meet with these folks prior to the Steering Committee Meeting.

Discussion ensued regarding members from labor unions becoming a part of this group. Tom Ryan will contact Ed Gorham.

After a brief break, Peggy Parsons presented an overview of the Maine Cancer Registry database.

The following agenda was set for the next meeting of the MORA Steering Committee to be held on Thursday, May 17th at the University of New England. The Steering Committee will be reporting to the MORA group. Ray Sinclair from NORA has been invited to attend. Also, will invite Steve Shannon of the University of New England.

8:30 A.M. Pre-conference Meeting

1. Peter Doran - Summary of steering meetings.

2. Discussion:

A. Mission Statement/charter

B. Research Topics

C. 2002 Conference

3. Next All MORA meeting scheduled for October 2001. Date to be announced.

Possible funding sources for the 2002 Conference were discussed. CDC funding is not possible as we missed the Letter of Intent Date, April 3, 2001. Possibilities include non- profit organizations, academic, contact private business, unions, using conference fees, etc. Other possibilities include BLS subcontract-funding and align with another 501-C. Ivan will contact Steve Shannon at the University of New England regarding the MORA 2002 Conference; if that doesn’t work out, then he will contact the University of Southern Maine and then, the Muskie Institute.

Our next scheduled meeting will be on Thursday, May 11, 2001 with the larger MORA Group at the MIOHE Conference, University of New England, Biddeford, ME.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry M. Hathaway

Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA)



Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA)
Steering Committee Meeting

Bureau of Labor Standards
Conference Room

October 10, 2001


Staff present: 
Lynne Lamstein & Terry Hathaway.


Members Present:  Brad Brown (Bureau of Insurance), Dan Cote (MEMIC), Peter Crockett (MLGH), Peter Doran (MIOHE), Denise Dumont (U.S. HealthWorks), Ruth Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), 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: 
Ron Dyer (DEP) and Jonathan Lepoff.


Guest:  Norm Anderson (Maine Lung Association).


The meeting began at 9:15 A.M.


The first order of business was each member introduced themselves.


Peter Crockett (Maine Labor Group on Health).  Mr. Crockett told the Steering Committee that he had spoken with Ed Gorham and Ned McCann. They are looking for an update for the MORA Steering Committee.  The MORA Steering Committee is looking for a member from organized labor.  Leslie Walleigh asked what kind of data do labor unions use to track injuries.  Ivan Most said we’re looking for specific interventions for musco-skeletal and ergonomics supported by data and research.  Lynne Lamstein asked what are organized labor’s concerns?  Ruth Lawson-Stopps said that we are looking at sources of data as a beginning stage to make better data available for research.


Meeting Date for Paul Dionne (Executive Director, Workers’ Compensation Board).

Steve Minkowsky is trying to set up a meeting with the Data Committee and Paul Dionne for Tuesday, October 16, 2001.  This will provide the Data Committee a chance to revisit the First Report of Injury and the OSHA mandate for Forms 300 and 301.  Steve Minkowsky said that If the Workers’ Compensation Board amends the current First Report, then it would be acceptable in lieu of the 301 form.  This has been tabled to the October 16th Workers’ Compensation Board Meeting. Steve Minkowsky said that a letter had been written to Steve Laundrie, Bureau of Labor Standards, to explain to the Workers’ Compensation Board the OSHA mandate, which will be in effect January 1, 2002.  Mr. Minkowsky reported on the IIABC (Industrial International Association of Boards and Commissions) Conference.  He presented the Annual Compliance Report at this conference, making insurance carriers public.  Wisconsin and Maine were named “best practice” states.


Dr. Andy Smith, Bureau of Health.  Dr. Smith is a toxicologist with the Bureau of Health.  Peter Doran told the Steering Committee that he had written a letter to Dora Mills inviting her or her representative to meet with us.  He also requested that we were looking forward to having a regular representative appointed to this Committee.  Dr. Doran received a phone call from Ms. Mills stating that Dr. Smith would be the designated representative.  Dr. Smith gave a brief history of his office, stating that in 1997 or 1998, the occupational health registry and the cancer registry were moved to another division.  The Occupational Health Registry is doing an outreach to hospitals to let them know that the Occupational Health Registry is still there. The first quarter is to get the program up and running; the second quarter will be establishing the database. Dr. Smith prefers to reach out and is willing to accept recommendations from the MORA Steering Committee.  Ruth Lawson-Stopps is willing to bring Dr. Smith up to speed with the Steering committee.  Data could be missing as Workers’ Compensation only does claims for lost work time.  The Bureau of Labor Standards and Workers’ Compensation has a cooperative agreement as does the Bureau of Labor Standards and the Bureau of Health.


Norm Anderson (American Lung Association).  Mr. Anderson spoke about the initiatives of the American Lung Association of Maine (ALAM). He handed out a report entitled, “Lung Health Indicator Report”.  Mr. Anderson reviewed the material in the report.  The American Lung Association has a strong commitment to occupational health.  In Maine, there is a high prevalence of adult asthma.  Mr. Anderson pointed out some of risk factors, i.e., behavioral, environmental, and occupations.  There is an ALAM website,  Maine schools have indoor air quality problems.  There is a revolving renovation fund, through Department of Education, to correct roof leaks, indoor air quality, etc.  Out of 700 schools in Maine, 300 to 400 have applied. The concern is how to put data together in a meaningful way to include risk factors and prevention education and policy.


Data Committee Meeting with Labor Committee - Steve Minkowsky.  Mr. Minkowsky has set up a meeting with Senator Beth Edmonds, Senator George Bunker, Senator Beverly Daggett, Pat Damon (Chief of Staff for Representative Patrick Colwell), and Andrea Quaid advisor for Representative Mike Michaud).  The meeting will be this Friday, October 12, 2001 from 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM at the State House.  Peter Doran will introduce everyone present and will describe MORA, its rationale and why we feel data is important.  Mr. Minkowsky further explained that it would be difficult to get bills into the Legislature’s short session.


Final Plans for the MEMIC Comp Summit, November 9th Presentation.  Dan Cote explained that this is a two-day symposium for their customer base, 20,000 policy-holders.  There will be 350 to 400 people present.  Lynne Lamstein suggested a one-page flier with information from the MORA brochure, printed on MORA letterhead, for a handout.  The panel will consist of Barber Foods, City of Portland, and Sugarloaf.  They will be before the entire group for 45 minutes, with no opportunity for questions; however, the panel and MORA Steering Committee (Peter Snell, Lynne, Ivan Most, Denise Dumont, and Peter Doran) will be around during the day to answer any questions. 


MORA Letterhead.  Terry Hathaway presented a draft of the MORA letterhead; the letterhead is in blue. The Steering Committee approved the letterhead, MORA centered on the top of the page, and the Steering Committee member’s names, affiliations, and phone numbers (also in blue) are listed on the left hand-of the stationery.  Also, Ms. Hathaway presented a draft of the letter that will be going out to MORA Interested Parties for the big MORA meeting to be held on November 14, 2001, 9:00 AM - Noon, at MEMIC in Portland.   She will go ahead and send that out, along with a map and written directions to MEMIC.


Agenda for MORA Group Meeting on November 14th. Scheduled agenda items include representation, Report at UNE O/H meeting, Data driven work with subcommittee, Data Committee Report (Ruth Lawson-Stopps), and Conference 2003 Committee (Ivan Most).


Consultant for Feasibility Study.  Peter Doran sent a letter to Janet Waldron, Commissioner of the Department of Administrative & Financial Services regarding the consultant selected to do the $125,000 Feasibility Study.  The MORA Data Committee would like to meet with the consultant.  The consultant chosen is Jacqueline Carson of Berry, Dunn, Neill & Parker.


Overview of Data Committee - Ruth Lawson-Stopps.  Ms. Lawson-Stopps presented the following overview:       

1.   There’s a big hole in that we only have data and lost time injuries and want to see medical only First Reports.

2.   Recommendation that information be transferred electronically could capture a lot.

3.   51/52 are two questions on the First Report when and how injuries happened. There’s no checks and balances.

4.   Occupational disease:  will be meeting with Dr. Andy Smith.

5.   Maine Cancer Registry - to see what the person’s employment is (Margaret Parsons).

6.   Prevention - resources further down the road.

7.   Meetings with Michael Frett (Bureau of Labor Standards) and Eric Cioppa (Bureau of Insurance).


The next meeting of the MORA Steering Committee will be Wednesday, November 14, 2001 from 9:00 AM - Noon at MEMIC in Portland.


Meeting adjourned at 12:05.


Respectfully Submitted,


Terry M. Hathaway





Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA)



Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA)
Steering Committee Meeting

MEMIC Conference Room

November 14, 2001

Staff present: 
Lynne Lamstein & Terry Hathaway.


Members Present:  Brad Brown (Bureau of Insurance), Dan Cote (MEMIC), Peter Crockett (MLGH), Peter Doran (MIOHE), Denise Dumont (U.S. HealthWorks), Ruth Lawson-Stopps (Occupational Health Associates), Jonathan Lepoff, Steve Minkowsky (Maine Workers Compensation Board), Ivan Most (Strategic Occupational Health), Andy Smith (Bureau of Health), Peter Snell (Peter Snell & Associates), Jonathan Torres (Workmed) & Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health).

Members Absent: 
Ron Dyer (DEP), Kim Lim (Maine Bureau of Labor Standards), and. Peggy Parsons (Maine Cancer Registry).


Full MORA Group Present: Peter Gore (Maine Chamber of Commerce), Brenda Joly (Maine Center for Public Health), and Suanne Singer (Maine Health Information Center).


Guests:  John Leonard,(President and CEO, MEMIC) and Paul Dionne (Executive Director, Maine Workers’ Compensation Board).


Handouts included the Agenda for today’s meeting, the one-page MORA flier, “Best Practices:  Evaluating the Safety Impact of Business Changes” (presentation at MEMIC Comp. Summit on November 9th), and the final draft of the NORA “Employers’ Manual”.


Peter Doran welcomed the MORA Steering Committee and others to the meeting.  He introduced John Leonard, who presented the history of MEMIC, which was started on January 1, 1993 and was created by the Legislature.  MEMIC hired Dan Cote, Loss Control; then, hired folks who were not insurance professionals.


Afterwards, each person introduced themselves.


Paul Dionne, Executive Director, Maine Workers’ Compensation Board.  Mr. Dionne emphasized the importance of MAE (Monitoring, Auditing, and Enforcement) Program in compliance with the Maine Workers’ Compensation Act.  As a result of budgetary problems in the Workers’ Compensation Board, the Legislature granted them $700,000 and a study by Berry, Dunn, McNeil, and Parker.  The study has been completed and the results will be out by the end of this month.  Mr. Dionne then asked for questions and comments.  Ruth Lawson-Stopps said that the MORA Steering Committee wanted to see what data is available in this State as this is research - Bureau of Labor Standards (BLS), Maine Health Information Center (MHIC), etc. There’s no easily available data for all injuries in the State, only for lost time.  Mr. Dionne responded that the data is much cleaner as a result of the Coopers-Lybrand study.  EDI is the way of the future and saves keypunching, but it is not mandated. Mr. Dionne emphasized that the goals are a safer workplace and getting people back to work.  This can be accomplished by having good safety programs, return to work programs, and the MAE program.  The missing piece is risk management in safety.  Peter Gore stated that the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board is at an important crossroads and the direction of the Board will be based on the study.


Workers’ Compensation Board Meeting, November 20, 2001. Dan Cote attended the last Board meeting to sit in and listen.  Mr. Minkowsky stated that MORA’s presence would let the Board know that there is a group who values data and how to use it to form decisions.  The following members are planning to be attending the next Workers’ Compensation Board Meeting:  Peter Doran, Leslie Walleigh, Ruth Lawson-Stopps, Dan Cote, Peter Crockett, Brad Brown, Jonathan Lepoff, and Steve Minkowsky.  Peter Doran will be sending the other members some information. 


Legislative Labor Committee Leadership Meeting.  Peter Doran summarized the meeting by stating that they were interested.  Ms. Lawson-Stopps observed that they were ready to listen and appeared ready to sponsor legislation.  Mr. Minkowsky said that bi-partisan support is a good sign.  Ms. Lawson-Stopps and Mr. Cote are going to carry on further discussions.  They have already met with Deborah Friedman, Legislative Analyst, at the request of the Labor Committee Chairs.


Dan Cote brought up the fact that the MORA Steering Committee is not political.  The Steering Committee may need to look into having a business representative on the Steering Committee.  Members are to send their suggestions to Peter Doran or bring them up at the next meeting.


MEMIC Workers’ Compensation Summit - Best Practice Panel - Sunday River - November 9, 2001.  Ivan Most, Denise Dumont, and Peter Snell made the presentation.  The Steering Committee was in agreement that this should be presented at the Maine Safety Conference next year. Lynne Lamstein said that she would submit the presentation as well as the draft of the NORA manual to the Safety Council’s Committee by the end of this year.


Steering Committee Status; future objectives and direction. Much discussion ensued on this topic.  The following questions were brought up:  To what extent do we want to be involved with change?  What about the Data Subcommittee?  Is there a continuing need? Is there a need for an advocacy group or should they be closely entwined in our work?  Leslie Walleigh expressed a concern regarding the appropriateness due to a conflict of interest as it relates to legislation. Steve Minkowsky suggested that ex officio could be placed after any names listed on the letterhead if those folks felt they had a conflict of interest.  Dan Cote suggested that Peter Doran speak to Michael Frett regarding basic issues.  Lynne Lamstein is going to check with Kim Lim regarding NORA, which is comprised of private sector and federal employees.


Dr. Torres suggested that it’s time for priorities for research in Maine.  He suggested that the Steering Committee could brainstorm on how to move ahead.  The group agreed that this should be the major agenda item at the next scheduled Steering Committee meeting.


Ms. Lawson-Stopps suggested regional Steering Committee meetings around the State.  Mr. Cote suggested that the Steering Committee add a business representative and go to the Associations.  Further discussion ensued.  Mr. Cote wants the Steering Committee to emphasize that the group is emphasizing prevention and take the politics out.  Ms. Lawson-Stopps suggested that we start with the Maine Chamber of Commerce.  Ms. Dumont said that private business would have the same priorities and that a survey asking their priorities be done through the business associations.  She offered to help identify business representatives to the Steering Committee.


The meeting ended at 12:15 with Peter Doran thanking Dan Cote and MEMIC for hosting the MORA Steering Committee.


Respectfully Submitted,




Terry M. Hathaway