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Maine Occupational Research Agenda (MORA)
Steering Committee Meeting

Bureau of Labor Standards

Third Floor Conference Room

September 11, 2002

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

Members Present: : Brad Brown (Bureau of Insurance), Peter Doran (MIOHE), Denise Dumont (U.S. HealthWorks), Brenda Joly (Maine Center for Public Health), David Kern (Health Connections), 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), & Leslie Walleigh (Workplace Health).

Members Absent: Dan Cote (MEMIC), Peter Crockett (MLGH), Ron Dyer (DEP), Andy Smith (Bureau of Health), & Jonathan Torres (Workmed).

Guests: Skip Hoyt, OSHA; Barbara Ginley, Maine Migrant Health Program; Pat Philbrook, Executive director, Maine State Nurses Association; & Norm Anderson, American Lung Association of Maine.

Dr. Doran opened the meeting at 9:10 A.M.

Dr. Doran congratulated those who will be receiving the Governor’s Teamwork Award on State Employee Recognition Day to be held Thursday, September 19, 2002.

Dr. Doran identified the following handouts: Agenda, MORA Steering Committee Minutes of June 12, 2002; Status of MORA Workgroup on Aging Workforce, photographs and newspaper article on Earl Dotter, letter to Mr. Dotter, "Occupational Injury and Illness Surveillance: Conceptual Filters Explain Underreporting, and "Improving the Health of Workers in Indoor Environments: Priority Research Needs for a National Occupational Research Agenda", both articles from American Public Health Journal. September issue.

NORA - Ivan Most. Dr. Most, who is on the Intervention Effectiveness Research Committee for NORA, will be attending a meeting in Baltimore, Maryland at the end of October. This meeting is in conjunction with the Best Practices Conference on Education (NIOSH). He will be taking a copy of the MORA agenda to share.

Barbara Ginley, RHCM Maine Migrant Health Program. Ms. Ginley handed out a fact sheet on the Maine Migrant Health Program, explaining their mission, who they are, what they do, and who they serve. She will be sharing data with Kim. The Steering Committee had several questions and agreed to revisit migrant occupational health and safety in determining priorities.

Pat Philbrook, Executive Director, Maine State Nurses Association. Ms. Philbrook stated that the Maine State Nurses Association has tried to expand beyond nurses to include all health care professionals. Some of the issues the Association is dealing with are indoor air quality, latex allergies, education for the public as well as health care providers, safer needles, mandatory overtime (causes increased accidents), ergonomics, hygiene, safety, and violence. C N A’s (Certified Nursing Assistants) require 150 hours of training whereas P C A’s (Personal Care Assistants) require less training & receive less money, but are expected to do the same as a C N A. There could be collaboration regarding Cost Drivers as well as Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD’s). The need for increased representation of nurses on the Steering Committee was noted, and Pat Philbrook will be invited to join.

MORA - MIOHE Affiliation Outcome - Peter Doran. Peter and Ivan will be attending a meeting of MIOHE at 1:00 PM regarding the MORA - MIOHE Affiliation arrangement that would be helpful in our conference planning and act as a fiscal agent. There will be three (3) possible models of affiliation.

2003 Conference Planning Committee Report - Kim, Lynne, Denise, & Ivan. Lynne explained that we had sent out, via e-mail, a "Save the Date" card for the 2003 Conference. The dates should be May 21 and May 22, 2003 (the card listed May 23). However, some folks were not able to receive the "Save the Date" card; another one will be sent in the mail around the first of January if we have not heard from folks. Members of the Steering Committee listed how many cards they would need sent out. Also, members are to send Lynne names and addresses for a mail out of registration materials. Lynne handed out a Draft Schedule of the 2003 Conference and a Projected Budget. The target audience will include the UNE (University of New England) Continuing Education Program, health care professionals, health care providers, employer safety professionals, and safety committees, to name a few.

Ivan is open for suggestions for keynote speakers and will follow-up for them. The keynote speakers can be either management or labor.

Kim suggested that the next card that is sent out should be specific to get a target audience. Kim has been talking with Green Mountain Coffee, a company in Vermont, who is working with OSHA and providing training. NIOSH funding for the Conference did not come through; however, Kim has contacted the head of NIOSH asking for representation. He will be attending the NIOSH Conference in West Virginia.

Lynne created a list of planning tasks and needs a lead person each one to be responsible for coordination. So far, Ivan is responsible for the keynote speakers; Kim - budget; Brenda - posters; Peter Doran - MIOHE and Earl Dotter. Contact Lynne to let her know.

Ruth suggested getting sponsors for the Lobster Bake and for Earl Dotter. Much discussion followed with members urging further clarification and focus of the program.

The Steering Committee needs to focus on the Conference at our October 9 th meeting. The Conference Subcommittee will be meeting before the next Steering Committee meeting. This meeting is open for all Steering Committee members.

After the MIOHE meeting this afternoon, Peter will know if we will have $5,000 towards the Conference. (This was approved to be forwarded to UNE and a letter of affiliation will be composed by Carol Eckert, M.D., MIOHE President, who will also be joining the MORA Steering Committee.)

Occupational Asthma Research Initiatives in Maine - Norm Anderson, Research Director, American Lung Association of Maine. Mr. Anderson supplied the Steering Committee with three (3) handouts: An invitation to attend the Respiratory Health Indicator Preview at 2:30 PM on Friday, September 27, 2003; RHIME (Respiratory Health Indicators for Maine) system; and a summary of the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program Application for Funding. Mr. Anderson provided us with a summary of the handouts. ALAM will be the lead agency for promoting research on occupational asthma in our priority action plan.

Status of Research Priorities Planning - Brief Reports. Ruth requested that all groups could start to firm up their research priorities using the Process sheet (copies were made & handed out to attending members - a copy is attached to the hard copy of these minutes).

Occupational Asthma - Peter Doran, Jonathan Torres, and David Kern. Peter reported the need to identify the most important questions. Leslie asked that indoor air quality be grouped under occupational asthma.

Cost Drivers - Steve Minkowsky and Jonathan Lepoff. Steve reported that the selection of criteria involves dates of injury from 1994 to 1998 with data focusing on the benefits paid. John Rioux will be working the data. Jonathan noted than one percent of claims is responsible for 40 percent of the cost.

Fatalities - John Rioux and Kim Lim. John explained that they are doing specific research on fatalities, similar to the FACE program. The Steering Committee received a handout, outlining the proposal for the FAR (Fatality Assessment Research) Project. Kim will be sent to Morgantown, West Virginia for training in conducting research-oriented evaluations.

Aging - Lynne Lamstein, Ruth Lawson-Stopps, and Peter Crockett. Lynne summarized the handout, Status of MORA Workgroup on Aging Workforce. This group is planning to meet with more interested parties in the Fall.

MSD’s - Ivan Most and Denise Dumont. No report, but will pick up on this in October.

Toxic Exposures - Leslie Walleigh, Andy Smith, and Ron Dyer. Leslie reported that this is a wide topic, including chemicals, noise, blood-borne pathogen exposures, and multiple chemical sensitivities. Leslie will get together with her group to decide which issue they should focus on.

By the Steering Committee’s next meeting, the priority groups should draft a solid action plan for the Committee to consider.

Advocacy - Ruth Lawson-Stopps. Should advocacy still be a continuing effort? This is regarding the legislation that MORA tried to promote last year. This will be discussed further as elections take place this fall.

Next Meeting. Wednesday, October 9, 2002 from 9:00 AM - Noon in the third floor conference room at the Bureau of Labor Standards, Hallowell, Maine. Major agenda items will be:

1. Conference 2003 plans

2. Priorities - action plans.

Respectfully Submitted,

Terry M. Hathaway