Sunday, May 3, 2015

Assessment Continues of VA Burn Pit Registry Data

The Institute of Medicine IOM) convened an ad hoc committee to provide recommendations on collecting, maintaining, and monitoring information collected by the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA's) Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry (AH &  OBPR). 

The committee is assessing the effectiveness of the VA’s information gathering efforts and provide recommendations for addressing the future medical needs of the affected groups. The study will be conducted in two phases. 
  1. Phase 1 will be a review of the data collection methods and outcomes, as well as an analysis of the self-reported veteran experience data gathered in the registry. 
  2. Phase 2 will focus on the assessment of the effectiveness of the actions taken by the VA and Department of Defense and provide recommendations for improving the methods enacted.
The Committee on the Assessment of the Department of Veterans Affairs Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry meet on Friday, May 1, 2015. The following was the announced agenda:

10:00am Welcome | Notes on the conduct of the open session | Introduction of participants
David Savitz, PhD
Committee Chair

10:15 am Ambient Air Monitoring at Deployment Locations in the Middle East
John E. Kolivosky, PE
Lead, Deployment Occupational and Environmental Health Surveillance, Army Institute of Public Health

10:45 am Balad Air Base Burn Pit Study Observations (Boots on the Ground)
Charlie Toth, Major, USAF; PE
Defense Fellow – Office of Senator Patty Murray, United States Senate

11:15 am Retrospective Geospacial Modeling of PM10 Exposures from Open Burning at Joint Base Balad, Iraq
John Rinker, CIH
Industrial Hygienist, Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic

11:45am General discussion of open burn pit emissions data and modeling issues
David Savitz, PhD

12:00 pm Lunch break – Keck Center Atrium

1:00 pm Lessons Learned from Other Registries and The Millennium Cohort Study
Gary Gackstetter, DVM, MPH, PhD
Associate Professor, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Tomoko I. Hooper, MD, MPH
Professor, Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

1:40 pm Analysis of VA Burn Pits Registry: Testimony at National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine Workshop
Adjunct Professor, Department of Technology & Society, College of Engineering & Applied Science, Stony Brook University; Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine at Hofstra University [via teleconference]

2:20 pm break [10 minutes]

2:30 pm Roundtable—Comments and Perspectives on the Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry
Adrian Atizado, Disabled American Veterans [via teleconference]
Thomas Berger, PhD, Vietnam Veterans of America
Carlos Fuentes, Veterans of Foreign Wars
Daniel Sullivan, The Thomas Joseph Sergeant Sullivan Center
Rosie Torres, BURNPITS 360°
Rick Weidman, Vietnam Veterans of America

4:00 pm General discussion of issues raised in the workshop
David Savitz, PhD

4:30 pm Workshop adjourns

The next meeting is scheduled for August 13, 2015 - August 15, 2015
J. Erik Jonsson Woods Hole Center 314 Quissett Ave. Woods Hole, Massachusetts


Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman 1.973.696.7900 He has been representing Burn Pit victims and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

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