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Oak Ridge Reservation

Oak Ridge Reservation: Communications & Outreach Work Group

Communications and Outreach Work Group

July 8, 2004 - Meeting Minutes


Attendance

Members attending:
James Lewis (Chair), Karen Galloway, David Johnson, Susan Kaplan, and Charles Washington

ATSDR Staff attending:
Marilyn Horton, Susan Robinson, and Bill Taylor

Others attending:
Jean Shaakir-Ali

ERG Contractor:
Liz Bertelsen (phone)

Purpose

James Lewis called the meeting to order.

The purpose of the meeting was to present and discuss the new ORRHES Web site, and for the COWG to provide feedback to ATSDR on the updated site.

Presentation of the ORRHES Web Site

Presenter: Susan Robinson, ATSDR

Susan Robinson explained that the updated ORRHES Web site would contain more functions and capabilities than the former site, thus enabling the site to be more user-friendly for the community. Ms. Robinson noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had invested a significant amount of funds into creating better "architecture" for these types of sites, and that this technology would benefit the updated ORRHES Web site.

Susan Robinson explained that Phase I of the meeting would include a presentation of the new site and a discussion of migrating the old site to the new site. She added that all of the existing content would be migrated to the new site. The Phase II portion of the presentation would consist of a discussion on site enhancements and exact content for the site. She noted that the community resources section was primarily in need of input from the COWG.

Susan Robinson said that she had presented a "mock-up" Web site to the COWG in April 2004 and she had been providing monthly status reports on the Web site to the COWG. Susan explained that in either late April 2004 or early May 2004, Ms. Robinson received internal approval on the mock-up from ATSDR's Office of Communications. She added that the approval process took about 2 to 3 weeks, which delayed the Web site development. She continued that in May 2004, Wilma López (a member of Ms. Robinson's staff) created an "elaborate" spreadsheet that "mapped" all of the old Web site pages to the new site, a process known as "site mapping." Ms. Robinson said that Ms. López "mapped" out the site categories and then shipped the material to a contractor, ERG. On June 15, 2004, ATSDR reviewed and made changes to the pages created by ERG. ATSDR then "poured" the content onto the site. Although she had hoped for a June 2004 launch of the Web site, Ms. Robinson thought that it would be closer to July 2004 because of the delay in April 2004.

Susan Robinson recommended having the former and new Web sites operating at the same time as "parallel sites" until the updated site was completed. She explained that ERG would burn the Web site onto a CD, ATSDR would put the site onto its production server, and the site would "go live." She added that all of the original links were used; thus, all of the previous indexing would remain the same.

Susan Robinson explained that a lot of work had been conducted to adapt the old Web site to the new site. Wilma López conducted a quality assessment (QA) on the functionality and content of the site; several items were identified that needed to be changed and were sent to ERG for modification. Ms. Robinson noted that part of the time line for the launch depended on ERG.

Susan Robinson said that she wanted to respond to the need for a community-friendly approach to the Web site. She suggested that they could change the positioning of certain items and take other steps to obtain a more user-friendly site. In addition, once Ms. Robinson received feedback on the community resources section, she would be able to change specific details in that section as well.

Susan Robinson referred the group back to the April 2004 time line. She had developed "user scenarios" based on community and ORRHES members, inventoried the content of the site map, revised navigational schemes, and made a prototype mock-up site. Based on the time line, they were currently at the "testing with COWG and community" and "develop content" phases of the process. She informed the COWG that the site would be launched before all of the new content was in place.

Susan Robinson presented the Web site to the COWG. She noted that the site was live, but that it was not currently indexed by Google because it did not have a "www" in front of the address.

Susan Robinson stated that she needed photographs of the surrounding areas for the Web site. Jean Shaakir-Ali suggested contacting The Oak Ridger because it reportedly maintained a library of photographs. James Lewis recommended contacting Paul Parsons and said that Tim Joseph had access to pictures through the US Department of Energy (DOE). David Johnson suggested contacting the Oak Ridge Museum (the American Museum of Science & Energy). Ms. Robinson noted that some of these sources might have copyright and royalty-access issues, and therefore, it was easier to take personal photographs.

Susan Robinson said that the Web site currently contained glitches, but she asked the work group members to go through the site. She requested that the COWG members give her any notes that they had after reviewing the site.

Susan Robinson referred to two bolded items on the agenda: "current questions and concerns" and "possible content of community resources." She asked the group which "enhancements" they wanted to discuss. She recommended that they talk about the community resources section because she did not have much information for this part of the site and wanted feedback from the COWG.

Susan Robinson wanted to demonstrate "usability testing" for the work group. Ms. Robinson recommended that the group provide her with a list of the top five items that people would want to know so that she could include them on the Web site. Ms. Robinson noted that she would review the Hanford Web site to identify items that could be included on the ORRHES Web site.

Susan Robinson suggested the following action item: ATSDR would e-mail a list of critical content gaps to the COWG. In turn, the COWG would suggest information for the Web site pages that could be easily obtained and placed onto the site without difficulty.

Susan Robinson noted the following action item: The packet provided to COWG members during this meeting included a sheet to write names and phone numbers for people to test the Web site. COWG members should fax, mail, or e-mail the form to Wilma López at ATSDR.

Discussion

In response to Susan Robinson stating that she had provided the COWG with monthly status reports, James Lewis said that the group had not been receiving status reports. Ms. Robinson replied that the last Needs Assessment Work Group (NAWG) meeting minutes (April 12, 2004) contained a status report. Mr. Lewis reiterated that they had not been receiving monthly status reports. Ms. Robinson explained that she had been creating updates and forwarding them within ATSDR.

James Lewis said that they should add the Web site as a task line to the project plan. He thought that they needed to update the project plan in order to track Susan Robinson's progress on the Web site. He noted that as an item was completed, it should be placed into the project plan and presented to ORRHES. He thought that this should be included on the site and not "rolled to the project manager." Mr. Lewis added that this was where they should have been 6 months to 1 year after they started this process, not after 3 ½ years of work.

Susan Kaplan asked Susan Robinson about her background and experience. Ms. Robinson replied that she had been the primary Web analyst for CDC's Office of Communication where she ran an extensive evaluation project based on user needs. She recently finished her master's degree at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to working at CDC, she was contracted by IBM for CD-ROM development.

Susan Kaplan asked Susan Robinson if she had made a bulleted list of the items discussed during the April 2004, COWG meeting. Ms. Robinson responded that she had created a substantial list and that the included items needed to be prioritized. She had set an aggressive schedule, but said that she would rather miss a deadline than to drag the project out with a long time-line.

James Lewis suggested that they use the Hanford Web site as a reference for the ORRHES Web site.

Susan Kaplan suggested listing all of ATSDR's public health assessments (PHAs) on the Web site. Susan Robinson said that she could make a fact sheet that listed all of the [Oak Ridge] PHAs. Bill Taylor noted that a list [of all ATSDR PHA's] was already on ATSDR's Web site. Ms. Robinson said that they could provide a brief summary under the public health activities section of the site. Ms. Kaplan thought that this would be beneficial because it would show a national perspective; she thought that they should also provide a list of resources. Ms. Robinson asked if Ms. Kaplan wanted a list of PHAs in the Oak Ridge area. Ms. Kaplan said that she wanted a list of national PHAs. Dr. Taylor reiterated that this was already available on ATSDR's Web site. David Johnson asked how the PHAs were listed; Dr. Taylor replied that these were listed by state. Ms. Robinson suggested that they could include a fact sheet that contained a brief summary for each [Oak Ridge] PHA under the selected resources section of the site. Ms. Kaplan explained that although people may be conducting work in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, they could provide a different perspective by supplying resource links that showed projects in other areas.

James Lewis suggested putting a list of Oak Ridge PHAs and the status of each PHA under the public health activities portion of the site. Susan Robinson said that she could include that information. Mr. Lewis thought that the material should have the target date, status, and general areas for each PHA. Marilyn Horton asked if Mr. Lewis was referring to a time line. Ms. Robinson asked if he wanted a chart of project deliverable dates for all of ATSDR's [Oak Ridge] PHAs. Mr. Lewis said that Ms. Robinson was correct, and that the PHAs should be separated by past and current.

James Lewis thought that they also needed to include any activities of major significance, such as the cancer incidence review. Susan Robinson said that this could go under "current activities." She informed the COWG that there would have to be limits to the amount of information added to the site, but that they could provide links to numerous resources.

James Lewis recommended that the site include a "3-month look ahead" calendar. Susan Robinson said that they could include this type of calendar and that they could make a "look ahead" content area. Mr. Lewis thought that this area would be beneficial for isolating ORRHES and work group meetings, key concerns, and a brief history of "hot topics."

Susan Kaplan asked if there was a link to the Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) and any studies conducted by this agency. David Johnson asked if the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) would be linked to the site. Susan Robinson noted that any links from the former Web site would be included on the updated site, and any other links could be added.

James Lewis asked about the series of articles published in the Nashville Tennessean in 1997. Susan Robinson replied that they might be able to gain permission to these articles, but that the CDC had certain policies that could potentially limit linking to specific sites. Mr. Lewis thought that the articles were critical to the Web site because they provided a historical overview for the community. Ms. Robinson suggested that they could post a disclaimer on the site.

Charles Washington suggested putting items in chronological order.

James Lewis thought that this updated Web site showed that they were listening to their "customers" in surrounding counties. Susan Robinson said that this demonstrated that they were listening to the public's issues and concerns. She added that she could not make a promise, but that she would investigate if they could add open-ended text boxes for a "question and answer" (Q and A) section of the Web site. Mr. Lewis said that they had not asked for anything that was not part of the ATSDR-endorsed needs assessment.

Karen Galloway asked if there was a place on the Web site where people could read about health effects without too much exploration of the site. She wanted to know if there was a section that explained possible health effects from past releases for people living in certain areas. She brought up a point made previously by Tim Joseph that you do not realize what people do not know. Susan Robinson suggested creating an index of issues to discuss and creating maps. Susan Kaplan thought that they should take a community map and overlay it with the different plumes in the area. Bill Taylor replied that they did not have that type of health-specific information. Ms. Kaplan said that they knew that there was a trichloroethene (TCE) plume that traveled from Y-12 and that they knew TCE was a contaminant of concern (COC). Ms. Robinson asked if they wanted to show pathways that had been identified for certain health effects. Charles Washington noted that meteorological data from Y-12 for the past 15 to 20 years had shown that these plumes were under the plant. Ms. Robinson explained that because she was not a toxicologist or a health assessor, she would need information already created in order to adapt the data for the Web site.

James Lewis said that they were obtaining cancer data by census tract. He thought that they should put this onto the Web site so that the community could link to the information. Susan Kaplan asked Mr. Lewis if he knew his census tract; she said that most people would not know this type of information. Mr. Lewis thought that they could include a map to examine the "downstreamers." Susan Robinson said that they needed to "walk before they run." She thought that they could start with basic maps from the PHA study areas. Ms. Kaplan noted that the PHAs were by COC, not by area. Mr. Lewis said that Gordon Blaylock had drawn the plumes onto maps. Ms. Robinson stated that if the group felt that this was critical information to include, then the COWG could make a recommendation to put this material on the Web site.

Jean Shaakir-Ali asked if Susan Robinson was familiar with the Oak Ridge Environmental Information System (OREIS). Bill Taylor said that ATSDR had these data and added that the geographical information system (GIS) staff at ATSDR was creating maps for the PHAs.

Karen Galloway thought that information about health concerns would gain the public's attention. She said that ATSDR was "quick to say" that every health concern could not be associated with exposures and releases. She asked how average people would know the types of health effects that could occur from possible historical releases and exposures. Susan Kaplan summarized Ms. Galloway's comment. She thought that Ms. Galloway wanted the Web site to provide information on potential health effects; for example, the possible effects for someone who lived downstream of Y-12 along East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC) where mercury and uranium might have been released. Susan Robinson said that this information could be extracted for the Web site if it was included in the PHA.

James Lewis said that Karen Galloway wanted the Web site to list different areas, contamination found in these areas, and possible health effects as a result of the contamination. Susan Kaplan said that Ms. Galloway did not want to only say what was found because "ATSDR wants to say that there are no possible health effects from anything" even though there are still "possible health effects to you as one person." She said that they needed to describe the health effects that were caused by various exposures; they should not say that "no possible health effects" would occur to the general public.

Karen Galloway suggested that they use the Oak Ridge Dose Reconstruction because it contained summaries for many surrounding communities (e.g., Bradbury, Kingston) and potential exposures for each community. Susan Robinson asked if they had an idea of the types of examples that they would want included for the site. Susan Kaplan suggested that Ms. Robinson document the COWG's comments. She also recommended that Ms. Robinson put a link or a picture on the Web site and write "under construction" until they could obtain the necessary information. Ms. Robinson thought that she understood the concept and read the following: "If you lived downstream of Y-12 along EFPC, these are the potential health effects as a result of the COCs." Bill Taylor noted that Ms. Robinson was correct, except that her statement did not place the area geographically. Ms. Robinson then stated, "Here is the map of Oak Ridge and here are the plumes of TCE." She noted that they could provide an overlay map to present the information visually. She summarized that the group wanted a Web section to include location, multiple overlays, contaminants, exposures over time, and potential diseases. Ms. Robinson said that this was a complicated task, but that it has been done through the use of "information visualization" techniques.

James Lewis said that the Oak Ride Dose Reconstruction contained a section called "Overall Timelines of Operations and Releases Important to the Oak Ridge Dose Reconstruction." He noted that this section listed operations that took place at the Oak Ridge facilities, some of the related contaminants, and years of the biggest releases. Mr. Lewis added that people would also want to know about latency periods. Bill Taylor replied that there were not many diseases with latency periods, except for some inherited disorders and cancers. Susan Kaplan noted that all COCs had certain latency periods.

James Lewis said that they needed to "package science" into a user-friendly graphic form on the Web site so that community members could identify the areas where they lived. Susan Robinson said that the data existed in different sources, then they needed to gather the content sources to create this portion of the Web site. Mr. Lewis thought that the content would come from the assessments. Susan Kaplan thought that they needed to discuss this at a different meeting. She said that they needed to bring all of the health assessors together because they might have evaluated data sources that were not discussed in the PHA. Bill Taylor agreed that health assessors might evaluate certain data, but that they did not necessarily write about the data if they were not used in the PHA. Ms. Robinson noted that they might have data gaps, but that it is a good step to create a prototype to show the concept of the Web site section.

James Lewis thought that the COWG members should review the Web site individually and return as a group to discuss the site.

James Lewis asked Susan Robinson for the meaning of "community resources." Ms. Robinson said that the category referred to various resources that the work group wanted to include on the Web site for the community, such as the definition of a PHA and presentations given at work group meetings.

James Lewis asked if they could look at the Hanford Web site and Susan Robinson directed the COWG to this site. Mr. Lewis pointed out that the Hanford site had information on health effects and questions and answers related to the thyroid. He thought that the ORRHES Web site should contain this type of material. Mr. Lewis added that the site should include information from presentations for people who did not attend those meetings; Susan Kaplan added that all of the handouts from the speakers should be available as well. She added that the site should contain frequently asked questions, such as questions related to iodine and uranium. Mr. Lewis suggested evaluating the Hanford Web site to learn more about environmental health programs and types of information that would benefit the ORRHES Web site. Ms. Robinson suggested that such a section would begin with an overview and then provide more detail for people who wanted to investigate further. She suggested putting an overview at the top of the site and presenting more specific details further down the page.

David Johnson suggested looking at the nine-county study for community resources. He noted that the study was started by the community and funded on a national and local level. Susan Robinson asked for the Web site link; Mr. Johnson said that it was www.ninecountiesonevision.org Exiting ATSDR Website.

James Lewis thanked Susan Robinson for her presentation. He noted that they should "leave a legacy here" and make the Web site user-friendly for the public.

Susan Kaplan asked about the search engine. Susan Robinson replied that it was not created yet, but that she could begin the development process. The COWG asked her to generate the search engine before she developed the index for the Web site.

James Lewis thought that "interactive graphing" was extremely important and that this should be at the top of their priority list.

Susan Kaplan asked if "interactive graphical mapping" would be included as an "enhancement." Susan Robinson said that graphical mapping would take a long time and that they should identify different parts of the Web site development by short- and long-term processes.

James Lewis wanted to list issues and concerns that would be evaluated, and also include frequently asked questions. Susan Robinson said that this could be incorporated into the "top issues" section of the Web site.

Charles Washington said that if a site had plumes, they might not know the fallout area. He suggested that they look at the meteorological data. Jean Shaakir-Ali stated that they might have a video simulation for the Oak Ridge facilities. Susan Robinson noted that they had to have the content in order to put the information on the Web site.

James Lewis adjourned the meeting at 7:30 pm.

Please see the last page of these minutes for the action items developed during the meeting.

Susan Robinson suggested the following action item: ATSDR would e-mail a list of critical content gaps to the COWG. In turn, the COWG would suggest information for the Web site pages that could be easily obtained and placed onto the site without difficulty.

Susan Robinson noted the following action item: The packet provided to COWG members during this meeting included a sheet to write names and phone numbers for people to test the Web site. COWG members should fax, mail, or e-mail the form to Wilma López at ATSDR.


 
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