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National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) - Texas


<OL> <LI> Enhancing the TVMDL Quality System. TVMDL will work to enhance the quality system by creating more "user friendly" corrective action requests and calibration databases. New training and tracking software will be implemented and standard operating procedures will be aligned. <LI>Additional Staff Training for Foreign and Emerging Animal Diseases. TVMDL will work to identify, train, and proficiency test additional staff at TVMDL, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), the College of Veterinary Medicine and others to serve as part of a high consequence disease response. <LI> Enhancing our information technology capabilities to include implementation of a new laboratory information management system. TVMDL will complete purchase of COTS StarLims laboratory information management system and continue to enhance Nahln messaging capabilities. <LI>Enhancing TVMDL sample handling, processing and testing capacities. TVMDL will complete sample receiving renovations and IT upgrades at the College Station, Gonzales (new laboratory), Amarillo (renovation project) and Center. TVMDL will also complete biosecurity and biosafety upgrades at the College Station facility and complete Amarillo renovation project that will result in complete renovation of the sample receiving area and the addition of a BSL-3 laboratory. <LI> Enhancing collaborations with Texas AgriLife Extention, the College of Veterinary Medicine and Texas AgriLife Research. TVMDL will continue to foster joint diagnostic development/validation projects/collaborations with Texas AgriLife Research and the College of Veterinary Medicine. TVMDL will work to add additional joint TVMDL-AgriLife Extension appointments to enhance laboratory outreach.

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NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: During FY09, The Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) will continue to enhance many of our diagnostic laboratory systems. For example, we will focus on enhancement of our quality and safety systems through the addition of new databases, new information management systems and renovations to currently existing facilities. In addition, we will work to train and certify additional staff for responding to emerging and/or high consequence disease events. Results of our activities in FY?09 will result in enhanced quality, information management, sample receipt and processing, testing capacity and outreach activities. Outcomes of this project will include an enhanced quality assurance system, with greater accountability; an enhanced information management system that is capable of handling and analyzing large quantities of data; facility renovations that will enhance biosafety and biosecurity within the laboratories.


APPROACH: In order to accomplish the FY'09 goals, TVMDL will invest significantly in staff, infrastructure and IT resources. First, TVMDL will invest in staff by training and proficiency testing additional personnel for high consequence disease response. These personnel will originate both from within TVMDL and outside of our Agency. There are a tremendous amount of personnel resources within TVMDL, the TAHC and the TAMU CVM that can be utilized to better prepare ourselves for responding to a high consequence or emerging disease. Next, TVMDL will continue to enhance its' information management resources. In the past few months, TVMDL has embarked on purchase of a new laboratory information management system (LIMS). This new system will be installed and customized to enhance sample receiving, tracking and reporting procedures. In addition, TVMDL has upgraded all servers and will be moving to a Microsoft environment which will allow for the implementation of CAR, SOP and other quality system tracking and training databases. Staff will be trained on new information management systems and these new systems will streamline our current processes. TVMDL has made great strides in messaging to the NAHLN database and in FY'09 TVMDL will continue to develop and enhance our messaging skills. We are currently sending automated messages through our Rhapsody server for BSE and AI. We are also participating in a pilot Swine Influenza Virus pilot messaging program. TVMDL's sample receipt, handling and processing will also be enhanced by renovations and new facility construction that is currently underway. Renovations at the College Station laboratory include a new sample drop-off area, a new sample-receiving/processing area and other biosafety/biosecurity enhancements. At the Amarillo laboratory, design is well underway for the new sample receiving/processing and biosafety level-3 facility (BSL-3). The Amarillo sample receipt and drop-off renovations and new BSL-3 is scheduled to be completed in August of 2010. The renovations at College Station and in Amarillo will enhance biosafety/biosecurity surrounding all of these critical processes within our Agency. A new poultry laboratory will be constructed in Gonzales during FY'09. The A&E firm for this project has been chosen and this project is well underway. This new laboratory will also contain enhanced sample receiving /drop off areas and provide additional space for molecular based testing for AI, END and other emerging diseases. Lastly, TVMDL will work to continue to enhance relationships and integrate activities with our System Agencies (Texas AgriLife Extension, Texas AgriLife Research) and the College of Veterinary Medicine. TVMDL has and is currently creating joint appointments with our system partners to enhance our outreach capabilities and our diagnostic development, validation and applied research capacity.

Beckham, Tammy
Texas A&M University
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