By Dr. Romesh Gautom, Director of the Washington State Public Health Laboratories
Welcome to the 2012 APHL Annual Meeting and 6th Environmental Laboratory Conference in what we now call WashYourHandsingTon! Just to make our laboratorian colleagues feel at home, we’re experiencing Washington’s worst outbreak of Bordetella Pertussis in decades at this time. So, anyone with free time after sessions is expected down at the state lab to assist with accessioning of specimens. We’ll bus you over.
And take the hint — wash your hands frequently and cover your cough — and enjoy Seattle. If you haven’t been here before, I think you’ll find it to be a friendly, highly walkable city where there is no shortage of good restaurants, interesting attractions and, of course, great coffee. Seattle also offers a fine public transportation system.
The Westin Hotel is located in the center of downtown close to Pike Place Market, the waterfront and ferry terminal, and the Olympic Sculpture Park. The Space Needle and the EMP Museum (Rock on, Jimi!) are minutes away on the monorail. If you are staying in the city after the conference, I highly recommend a trip to Deception Pass, a large state park where the saltwater flows like a river and the views of Puget Sound are stunning. To get there, you can rent a car or join a bus tour. No, we will not divert the bus to the lab, despite the pertussis outbreak. I’m available to provide additional recommendations of local sites should you want them.
I look forward to talking with my long-time colleagues and meeting attendees who are here at the APHL Annual Meeting for the first time. Speaking of which, give a special welcome to the delegates attending from Japan and the US Associated Pacific Islands.