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UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield Hall 218
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
Environmental Health Symposium
Slated For April 30 in Eau Claire
phone (715) 836-4741
fax (715) 836-2900

MAILED: March 25, 1999

EAU CLAIRE — The 10th Environmental Health Symposium titled "Biological Terrorism: An Environmental & Public Health Perspective" is scheduled for April 30 at the Midway Hotel in Eau Claire.
Today's headlines talk about anthrax threats and the possibility of small pox returning. Iraq acknowledges having a sophisticated bioweapons program, a Japanese terrorist group released a chemical agent that resulted in considerable civilian casualties and Russian defectors have documented the existence of an extensive Soviet bioweapons program. Simply put, such a terrorist attack could initiate an epidemic that could sicken or kill large numbers of U.S. citizens.
While concerns about bioterrorism are substantial, extensive work on preparedness is under way. This symposium will address the most pressing issues of bioterrorism and present the latest information from the state and national levels.
The symposium is designed for environmental and public health professionals and others who might be called upon to respond in the event of a bioterrorist attack.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Ginger Gist of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Gist is the senior environmental health scientist for the National Exposure Registry of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She is a diplomat of the American Academy of Sanitarians and serves on its board of directors. She is an active member of the National Environmental Health Association, currently serving as its president. Gist also serves on the Environmental and Public Health Council, established by Underwriters Laboratories, and the Governing Council of the International Federation of Environmental Health. She has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed articles, reports and case studies in the areas of environmental health and hazardous materials.
The featured speaker and symposium co-coordinator is Dr. Peter A. Shult, who currently serves as director of the Communicable Disease Division for the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. He received his Ph.D. in medical microbiology from UW-Madison. He has more than 20 years experience in clinical and public health microbiology with service in the private, university and public health sectors. Shult's current focus is the coordination of a bioterrorism preparedness response plan for the State Laboratory.
Other speakers include John Pfister of the Epidemiologist/Microbiologist, Communicable Disease Division of the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene; Dr. John Mathew, GCMS Laboratory, Environmental Health Division, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene; and Dr. Ronald H. Laessig, Wisconsin State Laboratory.
The program will begin at 9 a.m. with Gist's keynote address, titled "Counter-terrorism: The Environmental health Professional's Developing Role." This presentation will examine the current state of planning and preparedness regarding biological terrorism from the perspective of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Following the keynote address, discussion topics will include "Anthrax: A Possible Case History" and "Biological and Chemical Terrorism and Warfare: A Historical Perspective." Speakers will include Shult, Pfister, Mathew and Laessig.
Topics during the afternoon session include "The Agents and Microbiology of Biological Terrorism," "Epidemiology of Biological Terrorism," "The Agents of Chemical Terrorism," "Epidemiology of Chemical Terrorism," "Bioterrorism: An Emerging Infectious Disease Threat" and "Biological and Chemical Terrorism Preparedness: National, State and Local Plans and Concerns." Speakers include Shult, Pfister, Mathew and Laessig.
Participants will receive .6 CEUs for six hours of instruction from UW-Eau Claire Human Sciences & Services Outreach in cooperation with UW-Extension.
The symposium will be held at the Midway Hotel, 2851 Hendrickson Drive, Eau Claire. A block of rooms has been set aside for symposium participants. To reserve rooms, call the Midway Hotel at (800) 528-1234 or (715) 835-2242 and mention the Environmental & Public Health Symposium. A map will be sent with registration confirmation.
The symposium will be co-sponsored by University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire environmental and public health program, UW-Eau Claire Human Sciences & Services Outreach, UW-Extension and Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene in Madison.
For additional information, call the Human Sciences and Services Outreach office at (715) 836-3990.

UWEC [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 218
(715) 836-4741

Updated: March 25, 1999