Up Close with Dr. Shawn Gibbs and Ms. Aurora Le

The MESH Coalition is thrilled to announce a newly featured segment: INsight. Through INsight, MESH highlights Partners, People and Programs of significance to our Coalition and its mission.

In its initial INsight, MESH is pleased to focus on our Partners Dr. Shawn Gibbs PhD, MBA, CIH and Ms. Aurora Le, MPH, CPH, and their exciting work on the Biosafety and Infectious Disease Training Initiative (BIDTI).

Dr. Gibbs, who is the Principal Investigator of BIDTI, served as the Director of Research for the Nebraska Patient Care Biocontainment Unit (NBU) from 2009-2015. During the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Dr. Gibbs worked with the NBU, Hospital, and University of Nebraska Medical Center Leadership, as well as other external stakeholders including the U.S. Department of State regarding the activation of the NBU to serve American citizens returning from overseas. Dr. Gibbs also helped design the institutional and national protocols and personally conducted the preparation of the transport vehicles, transport personnel, their subsequent decontamination, and remains handling procedures. In mid-2015, Dr. Gibbs left Nebraska to take on the position of Executive Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Indiana University School of Public Health – Bloomington.

Ms. Le is an Academic Specialist at the IU School of Public Health and Project Coordinator of BIDTI. Ms. Le was previously part of Dr. Gibbs’ research group in Nebraska, and joined Dr. Gibbs in Bloomington, Indiana when BIDTI became funded.

BIDTI is a consortium of Indiana University School of Public Health - Bloomington, The University of Nebraska Medical Center & Nebraska Biocontainment Unit, The University of Texas Health Sciences Center (UTHealth) at Houston School of Public Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Dillard University Deep South Center for Environmental Justice. As of June 2016, BIDTI is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program (WTP) Ebola Biosafety and Infectious Disease Response Program (UH4 ES027055-01).

BIDTI’s purpose is to positively and meaningfully impact the health of communities by providing well-designed, well-delivered and practical hands-on health, environmental infection control, and safety training to mitigate exposures to Ebola virus disease (EVD) and other infectious diseases of public health significance to workers at greater risk for occupational exposures.

BIDTI is offering NIEHS-sponsored trainings at no cost on industry-specific infectious disease mitigation and management throughout the state of Indiana, and nationwide. Several of these trainings will be co-sponsored by the MESH Coalition. BIDTI’s target training populations include: law enforcement, first responders, the death care sector, environmental services/custodial services, mass transportation, waste management, occupational health and safety activists, and vulnerable populations. BIDTI trainings are offered at three different course levels—Community, Awareness, and Operations—ranging from basic information on infectious diseases to in-depth education and hands-on skills practice, respectively. 

In collaborating with and supporting Dr.Gibbs and Ms. Le, MESH is working to identify potential audiences who are interested in receiving at-your-site BIDTI training. We ask that you contact MESH at info@meshcoalition.org  or Ms. Le at able@indiana.edu if you are interested in scheduling the training or would like more information.

Stefanie SullivanComment