Fifty-five years ago, newborn screening was born. At the time, though, that little heel prick was performed to screen for only one condition: phenylketonuria (PKU). Without early intervention, babies born with PKU faced severe cognitive, behavioral and other neurological disorders. The advent of PKU newborn screening allowed health care providers and families to make critical changes to a baby’s diet to prevent those consequences.
Today, December 3, is PKU Awareness Day. It’s hard to say where newborn screening would be without that first PKU test. And 55 years later, it’s hard to say where newborn screening would be without the families and individuals living with PKU who have shared their stories to convey the value of this simple test. One of those individuals is Kevin Alexander.
Kevin has been a leader in the PKU community simply by sharing his story and his experiences living with PKU. He has spoken at conferences and events around the world, created a video documentary about his life, served as a leader and friend to others living with PKU, and now he shares his voice in a new podcast.
For this PKU Awareness Day, we are sharing Kevin’s podcast, PKU Life Podcast with Kevin Alexander. We are so appreciative of Kevin’s willingness to both share with and listen to those in the newborn screening community. Kevin, thank you for your leadership, friendship and generosity!
Joanne Bartkus, APHL's board president and director of the Public Health Laboratory at the Minnesota Department of Health, sat down with Scott Becker, our executive director, and Gynene Sullivan, editor of Lab Matters magazine, to talk about priorities for the year. Their conversation ranged from informatics to health equity to... snuggling with a bat?!
Scott J. Becker, MS
Executive director, Association Public Health Laboratories
Day 3 of the APHL Annual Meeting was a big one! We had several captivating sessions including this year's Katherine Kelley Distinguished Lecturer, Maryn McKenna, renowned journalist and author. Listen to today's episode to hear a few attendees share what they took away from the day.
A huge component of any APHL Annual Meeting is the exhibit hall. This year we were joined by 68 exhibitors, all of whom were sharing new and interesting products, services and technologies with meeting attendees. In today's episode, we chat with representatives from Roche, Bio-Rad Laboratories and Hologic.
Learn more about APHL's corporate membership and other opportunities.
We are in sunny Pasadena, California for the 2018 APHL Annual Meeting! Here is a little look at what we did on the first day. Stay tuned for updates every day through June 5.
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The people who work in public health laboratories make a difference in your community daily. In this third episode, members of the Emerging Leader Program cohort 10 sit down with their peers to hear how their public health laboratory careers have made an impact.
ELP cohort 10 members featured in this episode:
Are you thinking about a career in a public health laboratory?
Maybe the saying is true: you don’t know what you had until it is gone. For the families in this episode, the absence of public health laboratories turned their worlds upside down and negatively impacted both the present and future. These families represent us all and highlight the vulnerabilities that would exist if there were no public health laboratories working continuously to keep our communities and populations safe.
This is the second episode in the series produced by members of the Emerging Leader Program cohort 10.
Emerging Infectious Disease Response:
Interviewer: Kate Wainwright, PhD, D(ABMM), HCLD (ABB), MPH, MSN, RN, deputy director, Public Health Protection and Laboratory Services, Indiana State Department of Health
Interviewer: Josh Rowland, MBA, MT(ASCP), manager, Training and Workforce Development, Association of Public Health Laboratories
Expert: Miriam Schachter, PhD, research scientist 3, New Jersey Department of Health, Newborn Screening Laboratory
Interviewer: Samir Patel, PhD, FCCM, (D)ABMM, clinical microbiologist, Public Health Ontario; Toronto, Canada
Expert: Vanessa Allen, MD, MPH, medical microbiologist, chief of microbiology, Public Health Ontario; Toronto, Canada
Narrator: Erin Bowles, B.S., MT(ASCP), Wisconsin Clinical Laboratory Network coordinator and co-biosafety officer, Communicable Disease Division, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Contributor: Emily Travanty, PhD, scientific director, Laboratory Services Division, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Special thanks to Jim Hermanson at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene for his help in recording this episode.
Public health laboratories do a great deal of work that impacts the daily lives of everyone in America. Do you know exactly how much they’re doing? The first episode produced by members of the Emerging Leader Program cohort 10 looks at some of the work performed by public health lab scientists.
(*indicates ELP cohort 10 member)
Water Quality Testing
Interviewer: *Amanda Hughes, program manager of ambient air quality monitoring, State Hygienic Lab at the University of Iowa
Michael Schueller, assistant director of operations, State Hygienic Lab at the University of Iowa
Nancy Hall, program manager, Environmental Microbiology, State Hygienic Lab at the University of Iowa
Interviewer: *Gitika Panicker, microbiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Expert: Laura Bailey, director, Office of Alcohol Testing, Arkansas State Public Health Laboratory
Interviewer: *Shondra Johnson, laboratory information management system administrator, Missouri State Public Health Laboratory
Expert: Jessica Bauer, molecular unit manager, Missouri State Public Health Laboratory
Interviewer: Avi Singh, food lab lead microbiologist, Washington State Public Health Laboratory
Expert: *Denny Russell, bioterrorism coordinator, Washington State Public Health Laboratory
Foodborne Outbreak Linked to Flour
Interviewer: *Rebecca Lindsey, Whole Genome Sequence Project lead, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Heather A. Carleton, bioinformatics team lead, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Samuel J. Crowe, National Outbreak Reporting System team lead, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
What is the Emerging Leader Program (ELP)? APHL staff, Pandora Ray and Kajari Shah, share how the ELP got its start and how it has progressed. This year's ELP cohort is producing three episodes for Lab Culture that will be released over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
Every year on March 24, APHL recognizes World TB Day, a day to focus on the valuable work of our members and partners. While tuberculosis is often considered a disease of the past, it is resurging and presenting significant new public health challenges including drug resistance. This World TB Day, we are sharing an insightful conversation between two TB laboratory leaders: Dr. Marie-Claire Rowlinson, assistant laboratory director, Bureau of Public Health Laboratories, Florida Department of Health and Dr. Beverly Metchock, team lead, TB Reference Laboratory, CDC Division of Tuberculosis Elimination.
The Tenacity of Tuberculosis: MDR-TB (blog post)