This past month the BCU hosted its first quarterly staff meeting of the new academic year. During the meeting, BCU team members received a global update on highly infectious diseases as well as a summary of recent BCU activities. We rounded out the quarterly staff activities with crabs at Nick’s Fish House in celebration of Mallory Reimers’ time as BCU nurse educator.

BCU Mallory

The BCU is working with Occupational Health, the Office of Health, Safety and the Environment and the Department of Medicine to become a model for how to improve staff compliance with routine health screenings and vaccinations. The BCU team is working to improve team members’ PPD screening completion, as well as N-95 fit testing, and will incorporate elements of both into the next quarterly training and validation sessions.

We are excited to announce that our research on understanding the movement of aerosolized infectious particles has continued to evolve. Last week, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL), we conducted our first series of experiments in which healthcare workers wore sensors underneath their PPE. This will help us to detect potential contamination events and identify possible failure points in equipment as well as protocols. This work promises to greatly improve our understanding of the safety of the biocontainment environment and will help us to ensure the safety of our team, our patients and the surrounding community when caring for a patient infected with a high consequence pathogen.

The National Ebola Training and Education Center is offering in-person training and simulation courses on how to effectively care for patients with highly infectious diseases. The JHH BCU team will be sending at least two staff members to each of the upcoming trainings. Please contact Chris Sulmonte (csulmon1@jhmi.edu) if you are interested in attending, as space is extremely limited. Priority will be given to BCU team members who have not previously attended a NETEC-sponsored event.

If you are interested in learning more about the BCU, or would like to become part of the team, please contact Brian Garibaldi (bgariba1@jhmi.edu).

Happy Fall everyone!

-Brian T. Garibaldi, Medical Director of the BCU

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