by Brianna Crandall — June 28, 2019 — ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, just announced that it and the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) have agreed to merge. Effective immediately, GBAC will be known officially as “GBAC, a Division of ISSA.”
GBAC is a recognized leader in training, education, and certification in Forensic Restoration biorisk management, decontamination, and infection-control disciplines. The merger of GBAC into ISSA addresses a market need for advanced knowledge and application of science-based cleaning, disinfection, and infection-control practices worldwide.
ISSA Executive Director John Barrett remarked:
ISSA and GBAC have come together to make the world a safer, healthier, and better place. The merger clearly complements ISSA’s mission to change the way the world views cleaning and advance the professionalism of the cleaning industry. We are incredibly excited about the positive impact GBAC will have on our members and our industry overall.
As part of the agreement, GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger will become a full-time ISSA staff member September 1. Olinger, a Registered Biosafety Professional, a Certified Forensic Operator, and Certified Bio-Forensic Restoration Specialist, has held board and committee leadership positions with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Biological Safety Association, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Campus Safety Health and Environmental Management Association. Most recently, she was an assistant vice president in the Office of Research Administration and the executive director of the Environmental Health and Safety Office at Emory University in Atlanta.
Upon her formal start date, Olinger will lead the GBAC division and its advisory council members while developing and delivering new training, certification programs, company accreditation, and licensing programs under ISSA’s worldwide platform.
Merging with ISSA is a truly exciting milestone for GBAC. Being able to augment GBAC programs with ISSA’s global network will allow us to increase awareness, interface with industry leaders, and deliver biorisk management services. The merger is especially timely as facilities and cleaning professionals face challenges in preparing for and preventing public health outbreaks such as measles, influenza, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, and more.
As a division of ISSA, GBAC will not only expand its formal training and certification offerings but will continue to serve as a trusted resource to government, commercial, and private entities to help them prepare for, respond to, and recover from public health outbreaks and crisis situations. Through GBAC’s global health preparedness platform, its experienced network of experts and certified partners prescribe best practices for public health response, including how to assess, contain, monitor and eradicate pathogenic and microbial threats in emergency medical services, school campuses, hospitals, airports, corporate offices, and beyond.
GBAC Director of Forensic Operations Jeff Jones stated:
ISSA and GBAC will prepare cleaning professionals to become “microbial warriors” for public health preparedness. Together, we will drive awareness, educate, and accelerate adoption of best practices, proper protocols, and procedures in preparation, response, and recovery to biological incidents.
ISSA plans to host specific GBAC events this calendar year, with the first workshop to take place in Dallas in October. Additionally, Olinger and the GBAC division will present education sessions and exhibit at ISSA Show North America 2019, November 18-21, in Las Vegas. Details will be available this summer on the show website; registration for the show is open now.
Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response, and recovery, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, certification, crisis management assistance, and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address, and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. The organization’s services include biorisk management program assessment and training, Forensic Restoration response and remediation, training and certification of individuals, accreditation of companies, and consulting for building owners and facilities managers.
With more than 9,300 members — including distributors, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, wholesalers, building service contractors, in-house service providers, residential cleaners, and associated service members — ISSA is a worldwide trade association for the cleaning industry. The association is committed to changing the way the world views cleaning by providing its members with the business tools they need to promote cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment, and an improved bottom line. Headquartered in Northbrook, IL, ISSA has regional offices in Mainz, Germany; Parramatta, Australia; Whitby, Canada; Seoul, South Korea; and Shanghai, China.