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Kent State Named Designated Training Facility in Biosafety

Posted Oct, 26, 2009

Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, has been named a Designated Training Facility of the National Institutes of Health’s National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP), becoming only the second facility in the country to receive this designation. As such, the university’s Biosafety Training Lab becomes a continuing education training site for the NBBTP, whose mission is to prepare biosafety and biocontainment professionals of the highest caliber to meet the needs of the biomedical, emerging disease and civilian biodefense research communities through the 21st century.  

A ceremony to recognize this special designation will take place on Friday, Oct. 30, at 11 a.m. in the Samsung Auditorium, located on the first floor of the Liquid Crystal and Materials Sciences Building on the Kent campus. Speakers include Kent State President Lester A. Lefton; former Ohio Congressman Ralph Regula; Dr. Deborah Wilson, director of the Division of Occupational Health and Safety at the National Institutes of Health; Dr. Murray L. Cohen, president and chairman of Frontline Healthcare Workers Safety Foundation, Ltd., which administers the NBBTP; and Dr. Chris Woolverton, Kent State professor and director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness. Following the short program, a plaque certifying the Designated Training Facility status will be unveiled and tours of the university’s Biosafety Training Lab will be given.  

“This program provides the latest in professional education to those who operate, maintain and work in biocontainment laboratories, and Kent State went through a rigorous and thorough process to be selected as only the second Designated Training Facility in the country,” Lefton said. “This achievement is another feather in our cap as Kent State demonstrates its excellence in research and our facilities.”

 “Because of the increasing number of high-containment laboratories and the constant threat from emerging diseases and bioterrorism, there is a perpetual and desperate need for biosafety training of the highest caliber and the facilities in which to offer that training,” Cohen said. “Kent State University’s commitment to biosafety has been demonstrated by its swift courses of action to be deemed an NBBTP Designated Training Facility.”

The title NBBTP Designated Training Facility is reserved for training sites able to provide instructional space in an actual or simulated high-containment (BSL-3 or BSL-4) laboratory. The first facility to receive the designation was Kansas State University’s Biosecurity Research Institute in May 2008. The NBBTP courses at Kent State will be offered starting in June 2010.

Frontline Healthcare Workers Safety Foundation, Ltd., is the platinum standard in accredited biocontainment training and the only organization providing biosafety and biosecurity training programs specifically tailored to the unique needs of high-containment professionals in academia, industry, government and international organizations.

The NBBTP courses are nationally and internationally recognized for their content and delivery by instructors who are themselves nationally and internationally recognized experts in the fields of biosafety, biocontainment, biosecurity and instructional design. Frontline Healthcare Workers Safety Foundation, Ltd., has been approved as an Authorized Provider of Continuing Education Units by the International Association for Continuing Education & Training (IACET), 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, VA 22102. As an IACET Authorized Provider, Frontline Healthcare Workers Safety Foundation, Ltd., offers continuing education units (CEUs) for its programs that qualify under IACET guidelines.  

The NBBTP is a partnership between the Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health. DOHS is part of the Office of Research Services (ORS) at NIH. For more information on the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program, visit www.nbbtp.org.

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Media Contacts:

Chris Woolverton, cwoolver@kent.edu, 330-672-4648
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kent.edu, 330-672-8595
Jennifer Cole, jcole@frontlinefoundation.org, 678-781-5241