Ranch hand advisory committee

НазваниеRanch hand advisory committee
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DR. MICHALEK: Since you brought up Dr. Matsamura, for the record I would just like to say that Matsamura didn't know about the study; we approached Matsamura, not the other way around.

The idea was presented to peer review, to Linda Birnbaum at EPA, Mike DeVito, and other scientists that I know in Washington connected with EPA and NIEHS.

DR. HARRISON: That's not peer review.

DR. MICHALEK: I know that.

DR. HARRISON: That's you writing --

DR. MICHALEK: It's not what you described, either. What happened was --

DR. HARRISON: Either way, it's just as bad.

DR. STOTO: Actually, it's even worse that you went and found him. That's one less--

DR. MICHALEK: No, I didn't seek him out; I said who would be the best person to do this job?

DR. HARRISON: It's the same thing.

DR. GOUGH: I think what you're talking about is different. Joel thinks in terms of contracts, you're thinking in terms of grants.

DR. STOTO: Right.

DR. HARRISON: Also what I'm thinking about is in terms of, you know, I'm talking about peer review.

DR. GOUGH: Oh, I completely agree.

DR. HARRISON: And even in the contracts process, it's not sufficient for the contractor    I know you'll consider this overstated    but it is not acceptable for the contractor to call up his buddy and ask his buddy if his buddy thinks that it's okay for them to do it this way.

DR. STOTO: It's even more than peer review; the system we have is that it's investigator-initiated projects that has worked so well, and the way it works is that you allow investigators to come up with ideas based on their understanding of the science.

DR. HARRISON: That surprise you.

DR. STOTO: Yes. And if more people knew about this opportunity, you'd get a lot better --

DR. HARRISON: Now let me say, Joel, that I'm really pleased with what you've done. And the part that I think is really outstanding that you've done is the you've brought the Air Force Health Study into the peer reviewed literature in a consistent way, and I can't help but feel that that's raised the visibility of the project in the scientific world and added to its credibility in a way that you could not have done any other way.

So I want you to understand, I'm real    just because I'm a little unhappy with one side doesn't mean that I'm unhappy with the whole shooting match. I really think that that part of it, I mean, you know, you're a wild man.

DR. MINER: How true, how true.


DR. MICHALEK: All right.

DR. HARRISON: All right, so we're going to meet in April. Really, I didn't want to end on saying that something was not --

DR. MICHALEK: I agree. Yes, there was no peer review of the kind that you and I would like to have on the adipose tissue, and that's true.

DR. HARRISON: And I understand it's the circumstances. I'm just trying to add a little something or suggest that we add a little something.

DR. MICHALEK: I agree with you.

DR. HARRISON: So we're going to meet in March. Do we need to schedule another meeting now?

VOICES: April.

DR. HARRISON: I mean, April.

DR. CAMACHO: By phone or bodies?

DR. HARRISON: Whoever we need by phone we'll do by phone. Whoever can actually come and sit and --

DR. GOUGH: Pontificate is the word you're looking for?


Do we need another meeting date? Is there anything else known about the project schedule now that says that another review would be useful?

DR. OGERSHOK: The only other one I can    and that's sometime in the future    I know we've got to do one, we should do one once we get ready to go into our exams, prior to the exams.

DR. HARRISON: So you're talking about the spring of 2002.

DR. OGERSHOK: Yes. That's quite a bit in the future. Spring of 2002, right.

DR. MICHALEK: Do you want one before we start the exams, or after, or what?

DR. OGERSHOK: Usually we do --

DR. MINER: Usually we like to have them out soon after exams are started so they can actually see the process, and get a good feel for how data are collected and handled.

DR. MICHALEK: So we want the committee to come to Scripps Clinic after the exams start to observe the process.

DR. STOTO: If they've resolved their power problems in California?

MS. JEWELL: Joel, you said something about having a meeting, or somebody did, in six months, though; September or October. Are we not going to do that now?

DR. MICHALEK: Yes. That's my own scientific thing, where I'd like to be able to stand up and show you some new science.

DR. HARRISON: I think we should have a fall meeting.

DR. MICHALEK: When do you want to see that?

DR. HARRISON: I think to wait for one whole year is --

DR. OGERSHOK: That's a good idea; plus we'd already be on contract, and we can give you an update of everything that's going on.

MR. COENE: We also have the VA.

DR. STOTO: Yes, I was going to ask about that.

MR. COENE: Han Kang just doesn't --

DR. HARRISON: They don't want to meet with us.

DR. MICHALEK: We need to coordinate with the Army Chemical Corps study.

MR. COENE: We'll probably bring Han Kang in in March, to get a report.

DR. HARRISON: So let's do this. Len, can we put out an e-mail calendar with "cannot meet" "can meet" dates in September - October?

MR. SCHECHTMAN: It will be September for me; October is gone. I'm sorry.

DR. MICHALEK: September is fine with us.

[Simultaneous discussion]

DR. HARRISON: Let's do September.

DR. MICHALEK: The end of September is out.

DR. STOTO: Right now September looks good for me.

MS. JEWELL: First two weeks, we're talking, then, Joel?

DR. MICHALEK: The week of the 10th I'll be at the Dioxin Conference the whole week. So can't do that.

MS. JEWELL: Is that the only week?

DR. MICHALEK: That's the only week I know of.

MS. JEWELL: Can we get back to this April meeting? What about the VA? Am I to invite the VA?

DR. HARRISON: If the VA has something to present, then that changes the whole schedule. Not only that, but it also changes -- see, if we're just going to meet to review four projects, we could do that with one or even two people on speakerphone. But if we're going to have the VA present slides and try to review their project, then we are actually going to need to have a quorum present.

I don't think we can do it remotely.

MR. COENE: Maybe just limit it to an update, and then get him scheduled into September.

DR. HARRISON: Okay, I'm amenable to whatever you all think is fair.

MR. COENE: Well, it's up to you. Do you want to know what's going on? You can ask him to come front and center.

DR. HARRISON: So we'll invite the VA to update us in April, and we'll expect a full two day meeting in September that will include a detailed presentation by the VA.

DR. STOTO: You can also, if they need to have a Powerpoint presentation for their update, they can e mail that to the people who are going to be on the phone.

DR. HARRISON: That's true. The other thing, though, is what we're seeing right now is that the September meeting, that the Air Force presentation will essentially be science. Joel's going to present what new things they've written and published, and so that's kind of consistent that the VA then will be presenting their nuts and bolts of the Chemical Corps study.


DR. MICHALEK: Did we settle on a day in September yet?


DR. HARRISON: I don't know    we can settle on a day that we can't. I mean, you've said that we can't do the week of the 10th. But I think that so many members of the committee are not here, that we should at least make an attempt to contact them and see when they can --

MS. JEWELL: I'll do it tomorrow, this afternoon or tomorrow, I'll try to opinion the date down.

DR. HARRISON: Sounds good. Sounds good to me. That will work for me.

What else do we need?

DR. GOUGH: Is there any possibility of replacing Dr. Favata?

DR. HARRISON: I don't think we could ever replace Dr. Favata.

DR. GOUGH: No, I know that; but as I said ten years ago, this committee needs more clinicians.

MS. JEWELL: The proposal right now is to try to reinstate Dr. Terwyn for four years.

DR. HARRISON: Oh, from Kansas?

MS. JEWELL: He's been off a year, and the veterans organization hadn't suggested that we try to bring him back for four years. And I talked yesterday to    what was her name, the new person    Captain Caldwell, and she thought that would be a good idea.

So that's kind of where we are.

DR. HARRISON: What's Ron's expertise? Wasn't he an epidemiologist as well?

MR. COENE: Toxicologist. You ought to know, we're not obligated to do that.

MS. JEWELL: No, and she'll take --

MR. COENE: Because we've got three members from the veterans organizations on the committee now.

LTC BURNHAM: You mean Lambert?


LTC BURNHAM: Who did you talk to? You mean Mary lambert?

MS. JEWELL: Lambert. She just replaced Peter Mazella. And she said that would be fine with her; she had no problem. But I'm sure if you had someone else in mind, we could send both down and they can select.

DR. GOUGH: I don't have anybody in mind. But it's just a deficit.

DR. STOTO: I think the clinical is important.


MS. JEWELL: And we do have three veteran reps on; this would have been a fourth. So it's not going to be a problem if you want--

DR. STOTO: And Trewyn really is not a clinical person.

LTC BURNHAM: No, he's not a physician.

DR. HARRISON: I didn't think he was.

LTC BURNHAM: He's not.

DR. HARRISON: It's not so much whether you're a physician as much as whether--



DR. GOUGH: I really think so, Bob.

DR. HARRISON: Okay. I mean, I don't know anyone personally that I would   .

One of the universities in Texas was interested at one point in archiving the, in being the repository for --

VOICES: Texas Tech.

DR. MICHALEK: Wait a minute, there's a guy at UT health science center, Michael Weiss, who's really good, and he's a physician. He's also on the IOM or was on the IOM, and reviewed our diabetes material. I think he's off the IOM now, so he's a really good clinician, I think.

DR. HARRISON: I was thinking that surely, wherever there was an institutional interest in this, there might well be a physician with an interest as well. So that might be someone to at least    Joel, do you know him?


DR. HARRISON: Do you know him well enough to ask him if he would send his c.v.?

DR. MICHALEK: Yes, I do. I can send him an e mail and ask him to communicate.

DR. HARRISON: You know, if he wouldn't feel insulted by being asked to submit a    not submit a c.v., but just so that we've got some idea --

MR. COENE: Put his name in nomination for appointment to this committee.

DR. HARRISON: I was thinking you could send it to you.

LTC BURNHAM: Mike, do you know of other people --


[Simultaneous discussion]

DR. HARRISON: I would just like to at least get an idea of who we're talking about.

MR. COENE: By the first of February they need to be moving ahead.

DR. HARRISON: The other thing you might ask him in that e mail message is, that if he knew of any other physicians who would have an interest in various organo-whatever those things are called.

DR. MICHALEK: I think a good place to go would be the SAB, for example, for the EPA, is filled with clinicians and pathologists who are interested in dioxin, and they already know the issue. And they're up to speed.

DR. HARRISON: You know something? Now that I think about it again, I'm not sure that's a good idea.

DR. MICHALEK: You don't think so? And the IOM.

DR. HARRISON: Because everybody there has got an attitude.


DR. MICHALEK: You want somebody fresh.

DR. HARRISON: Well, seriously.

DR. MICHALEK: I agree with you.

LTC BURNHAM: I think the group that Mike was on at the IOM back when is perfect. Because those people were picked because they didn't have an attitude.

DR. MINER: They quickly develop one.

DR. MICHALEK: Is that true?

DR. STOTO: Yes. It's hard to find people like that.


DR. HARRISON: You know, to some extent I'm not really worried, because the way committees operate, you tend to knock off the corners on people; you know, a person with an attitude doesn't really last very long, doesn't really keep their attitude very long once they're on a committee that    you know, unless the committee --

DR. STOTO: It helps to get fresh people, I think, on these committees.


LTC BURNHAM: They were picked because they were leading experts, no conflicts of interest, and have taken no public position concerning the potential health effects of herbicides in Vietnam veterans.

DR. MICHALEK: Very good. So who is the IOM point of contact?

DR. STOTO: David Butler.

DR. MICHALEK: David Butler may know some people.

DR. HARRISON: Mike, you could look into that, couldn't you?

DR. STOTO: I could look at the list, too. I mean, he came up with me, I think last time somebody asked him.

MS. JEWELL: I was just going to say, that's how we got you.

DR. HARRISON: You could also just    I mean, you know people over there; you could call and say --

DR. STOTO: I'm going to touch bases with them to see about this thing we're writing the Secretary about, too.

So if I could ask at that time.

DR. HARRISON: Try to do it sooner.

DR. STOTO: Okay.

DR. HARRISON: What else?

Oh, I'm sorry. Ma'am, I'm afraid I don't recognize you.

MS. McCARTHY: Mary Ellen McCarthy, House Veterans Committee.

DR. HARRISON: Glad to meet you. This is obviously not a real, formal thing here. You're the lady that Rick Weidman mentioned yesterday was planning to dome today.

We're ahead of time and really done. Is there any question that you have?

MS. McCARTHY: One question I had is did the issue of the dioxin measurement on the cycle get resolved, and do you need to try and get funding from the Department in order to do that?

DR. HARRISON: Yes, and yes.

MS. McCARTHY: And the amount is about $2 million?

DR. MICHALEK: $2 million would cover it, I believe.

DR. MINER: But don't say from Department of Defense.

LTC BURNHAM: The point that you missed out was that we would rather the funds go to CDC. Because what traditionally happens is, they tell the Air Force to do it, without any funding, and then it gets shifted from bombs to research, makes everybody mad at us.
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