Trainings & Workshops Brought to you by:
The Biosafety and Infectious Disease Training Initiative

A Collaboration Between The Texas-Utah Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training,
The Indiana University School of Public Health - Bloomington,
The University of Nebraska Medical Center, and UTHealth

Our Mission

The mission of the Biosafety and Infectious Disease Training Initiative (BIDTI) is to positively and meaningfully impact the health of our communities by providing well-designed, well-delivered and practical hands-on health and safety training to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases of public health significance, such as Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and other emerging infections.

Training Courses

Community Level
These courses are designed for the general public and workers concerned about infectious diseases of public health significance due to their places of employment. These online learning modules are brief and contain basic information about communicable diseases. Courses are available in English and Spanish.

Awareness Level
These one-day courses are designed for workers who may experience elevated risk of exposure to infectious diseases of public health significance. Course topics include an introduction to infectious diseases of public health significance; surveillance and reporting systems, global health security, tools to identify likely exposure scenarios within the participant's industry, organization, and community; techniques to select appropriate exposure controls; the donning, doffing and limitations of personal protective equipment; decontamination; waste management; risk assessment methodology; communications strategies; and, most importantly, when and who to call for help. The BIDTI offers two levels of this course: a direct training version and a version for individuals who desire to become trainers. BIDTI-approved trainers must successfully complete an end-of-course examination and complete refresher training.

Operations Level
This multi-day course is aimed at workers with a great likelihood of exposure to serious communicable diseases. This course is delivered as an immersive competency-based workshop and includes intensive hands-on activities and emphasizes a team approach to preventing the transmission of infectious diseases of public health significance.

Who Should Attend Our Workshops
Groups that may find the information in this training particularly useful include:

  • Emergency Managers
  • Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Environmental Health and Safety Professionals
  • Mortuary Workers
  • Public Health Officials
  • Waste Transporters and Processors
  • Healthcare Workers
  • Transportation Workers
  • Infection Preventionists

Of course, the general public will also find information of interest in this training.

Continuing Education Units Available

*CEU Applications have been submitted but have not yet been approved.

Our training workshops should meet the requirements for continuing education credits for a number of professions:

  • Continuing Medical Education
  • Continuing Nursing Education (Texas)
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Emergency Medical Service Providers (Texas)
  • American Biological Safety Association Credentialing Maintenance Points


Fundamentals of Infectious Diseases of Public Health Significance:
Ebola Virus, MERS, and Other Emerging Diseases

Two Sessions - July 15th or July 16th, 8:30 AM to 5 PM
UTHealth Operations Center Building, 1851 Crosspoint Avenue, Houston, TX 77054 (Map) 

This awareness-level Train-the-Trainer Workshop will explore the fundamentals of identifying, preventing, and containing well known serious communicable diseases. For this session, Ebola Virus Disease and MERS will be used to illustrate many of the points discussed. Topics will include:

  • Introduction to Diseases of Public Health Significance
  • Introduction to the Global Health Security Initiative
  • Overview of Surveillance and Reporting Systems
  • Introductions to Risk Assessments
  • The Hierarchy of Exposure Controls
  • Basic Tools for Identifying Potential Routes of Exposure
  • Donning, Doffing, and Limitations of Personal Protective Equipment
  • An Audience-Specific Discussion of Potential Exposure Scenarios
  • Personal Protective Equipment: Selection Exercise and Hands-On Practicum
  • Decontamination with Hands-on Practicum
  • Waste Management
  • Knowing and Understanding Your Role
  • Communication Strategies

Click here to download the full agenda, presentations, and handouts.

This session ends with an exam to certify that attendees have met the requirements to propagate the information they've learned during this session as trainers.

The registration fee for each session is only $24. Please click below to register.

Register For the July 15th Session - CLOSED

Register for the July 16th Session - CLOSED


Project Leadership

Robert J. Emery, DrPH, CHP, CIH, CBSP, CSP, CHMM, CPP, ARM is a Professor of Occupational Health at The University of Texas School of Public Health and Vice President for Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. 

Shawn G. Gibbs, PhD, MBA, CIH, until recently, was a Professor with the University of Nebraska Medical Center's Department of Environmental, Agricultural & Occupational Health in the College of Public Health where he served as the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Director of Prevention/Intervention Core for the Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health, and Director of Research for the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit.  Dr. Gibbs now serves as a Professor of Environmental Health and the Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Indiana University School of Public Health in Bloomington. 

John Lowe, PhD, MS, is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He serves as the Director of Research for the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit and the Director of Public Health Exercise and Training Programs for the Center for Preparedness Education at the Nebraska Medical Center.

Scott J. Patlovich, DrPH, CBSP, CHMM is the Director of Environmental Health and Safety for UTHealth.  Dr. Patlovich holds a doctorate in public health in occupational and environmental health with a concentration in epidemiology and disease control and he holds a master’s degree in public health in occupational and environmental health sciences with a concentration in industrial hygiene. 

Nancy Crider, DrPH, RN is an assistant professor at The University of Texas School of Nursing.  Dr. Crider is a registered nurse and holds a doctorate in public health management and policy science. 

Janelle Rios, PhD holds a Faculty Associate appointment with The University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston.  Dr. Rios is the Deputy Director of the Southwest Center for Occupational and Environmental Health where she directs the Continuing Education and Outreach Programs.

For More Information

If you would like more information about any of our trainings or programs, please contact Ms. Pamela Phillips at or at 713-500-9448.