Woodstock consultant counsels globally
by Kara Kiefer
August 31, 2014 12:45 AM | 3013 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Woodstock resident Sean Kaufman testifies in front of Congress in Washington, D.C. in July about safety lapses at the Centers for Disease Control and provides future recommendations.  <br>Special to the Tribune
Woodstock resident Sean Kaufman testifies in front of Congress in Washington, D.C. in July about safety lapses at the Centers for Disease Control and provides future recommendations.
Special to the Tribune
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Through his business, Behavioral-Based Improvement Solutions, and his part-time position at Emory University Environmental Health and Safety Office, Woodstock resident Sean Kaufman was called upon to lend his expertise to those involved in some of this year’s most gripping news stories.

As founding partner of Behavioral-Based Improvement Solutions LLC, Kaufman provides consulting, behavioral-based training and intrinsic coaching services to individuals and organizations worldwide.

Additionally, Kaufman is the director of Safety Training, where he provides biosafety training to specific work forces looking to minimize risks when working with infectious substances.

In June, he was invited to provide leadership training in Malaysia.

While there, he was asked by the wife of a missing crew member of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 to meet with passengers’ families and provide grief counseling.

“Society expected these family members to move on, but they were stuck. No one wants to quit on those they love,” Kaufman said.

While there, he had everyone in the group write on a sticky-note what they wanted most and displayed the sticky-notes around the room.

“I took each one of those notes home with me, and I refer to them to remind myself how special life is. Live life with no regrets and never miss an opportunity to tell loved ones what they mean to you,” he said.

In June, the Center for Disease Control had a safety lapse in one of its labs resulting in an anthrax scare.

Kaufman has been providing bio-safety training to the CDC for the past nine years, and in July, this expertise led to an invitation to testify in front of the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C.

In addition to testifying about current safety lapses at the CDC, he provided future recommendations.

“Here I was, just a guy from Woodstock, Ga., testifying in front of Congress,” he recalled.

When Ebola patients Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol arrived at Emory University Hospital for treatment in August, Kaufman was asked to provide training and protocols for the medical staff that would have direct contact with the two patients.

His expertise with his own behavioral training company made him the natural choice for this type of training.

“I arrived on a Thursday, and Dr. Brantly arrived the following Saturday, followed a few days later by Nancy. Because that wasn’t enough time to do proper training, I stayed for the next two weeks, often 15 hours a day, to work with the nurses to ensure everything was done correctly and safely,” he said.

Kaufman worked with them until the risk was deemed no longer substantial. In addition to working with the medical team, he worked with each patient and their families, and continues to keep in touch with them.

Kaufman’s recent experiences led to a trip to Belgium, where he trained and observed members of the organization Doctors Without Borders.

“I learned that several western African countries are at a breaking point. I believe several government and health care systems are on the verge of collapse in these countries. The need is tremendous for money, resources, trainers and clinical staff. The people currently helping in these countries are the heroes on the front line. They have a great passion for serving others in under-resourced countries that are hurting and facing death, and they do it at a substantial risk to themselves,” Kaufman said.

While in Belgium, Kaufman had the opportunity to meet with members of the charitable organization, Samaritan’s Purse, the same organization Dr. Brantly volunteered for. The meeting led to another meeting in Boone, N.C., to attend a planning session for Samaritan’s Purse’s initiatives going forward.

Kaufman is passionate about the work Samaritan’s Purse is doing overseas, and he encourages people to become involved by donating to the organization or volunteering.

“This organization is making a difference in the countries it serves,” he said.

Next, Kaufman will be traveling to Liberia to help with the roll out of the second phase of the Ebola response, and he hopes it will be with Samaritan’s Purse.

For more information on Samaritan’s Purse, visit www.samaritanspurse.org. To learn more about Kaufman, visit www.seankaufman.com.

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