Protecting the Bottom Line: The Financial Advantage to Planning for Employee & Facility Safety Early

Tuesday, September 24 2013
8:00 am – 10:00 am

Location: MassBio, 300 Technology Square, 8th Floor, Cambridge, MA

Please join us as we investigate the role of Worker Safety, Facility Safety and Compliance in the successful launch and sustainable growth of any business.  Our panel of seasoned professionals will present case studies highlighting the potential pitfalls of Safety/Environment/Facilities-related concerns and the benefits of effectively addressing them early in the lifecycle of an enterprise.  We invite you to bring your questions, share your own experiences and participate in what promises to be a lively discussion.

Come learn:

  • How to identify what regulatory requirements are applicable and strategies for compliance
  • What are the SEF risks that could negatively impact the launch and operation of your organization
  • What descriptive/predictive Safety, Health and Environmental statistics are available to help anticipate threats to successfully building your business 
  • How to collect the appropriate data to develop the metrics needed to measure and track your SEF program implementation


  • Jennifer Bravo, MS, RQAP-GLP, Associate Director Quality Assurance and Safety, Agilux Laboratories
  • Diane Chen, MD MPH, Senior Resident, Harvard School of Public Health Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • Jim Jersey, Ph.D. Co-Founder, President & CEO, Agilux Laboratories
  • Rhonda O’Keefe, Director, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and Biosafety Officer, the Broad Institute


  • Denise Aronson, Founder and President, Safety Partners, Inc.



This Forum is presented by the Safety, Environmental and Facility Operations Working Group.  


Speaker Bios


Denise Aronson, Founder and President, Safety Partners, Inc.

Denise Aronson is a pioneer in the life science health and safety industry. In 1992, Denise founded Safety Partners, Inc., the leading provider of hands-on environmental, health, and safety (EHS) services and training to New England’s expanding life sciences and technology industries.  Since then, Denise and her team have developed and implemented safety programs for more than 275 top life science companies. Prior to founding Safety Partners, Denise served as EHS manager at T Cell Sciences, and managed a clinical prenatal diagnostics laboratory. She began her career as a research associate at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, after receiving a BS in Biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire.

Today Denise is active in more than 20 professional societies and trade organizations, and was a founding member of four leads groups. She is a co-chair of the MassBio SEF Working Group, a member of the Steering Committee for Massachusetts Life Sciences Innovation Day, a member of the Advisory Committee for the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Department of Work Environments and serves on the Boards of The Bioscience Network and The Waldorf High School of Massachusetts Bay.

Jennifer Bravo, MS, RQAP-GLP, Associate Director Quality Assurance and Safety, Agilux Laboratories

Jen has over 10 years of experience working in GLP and GMP regulated laboratories, including Charles River Laboratories, Biovest International and Avatar Pharmaceuticals.  Jen is a Registered Quality Assurance Professional in GLP (RQAP-GLP). She received her MS degree from Brown University.  

Diane Chen, MD MPH, Senior Resident, Harvard School of Public Health Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Diane Chen, MD MPH, is currently a senior resident at Harvard School of Public
Health Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency program, and a research fellow at the Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health.  She was a chemistry major at Haverford College, received her MD degree from Harvard Medical School (HST program with Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and obtained her MPH in environmental and occupational health from Harvard School of Public Health. She was a Harvard University Sheldon Fellow investigating phthalate exposure in Taiwanese children. She is also a board certified anesthesiologist, trained at Massachusetts General Hospital and concentrating in cardiac and thoracic anesthesia with training at Cornell Medical Center and Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Her professional interests include occupational safety in healthcare, academic, and
commercial sectors as well as environmental exposure issues facing the general public.

Jim Jersey, Ph.D. Co-Founder, President & CEO, Agilux Laboratories

Jim has 20 years of experience as a bioanalytical scientist and senior manager in contract research services, including General Manager, Tandem Labs New England; founder and President of Charles River Proteomic Services and Senior Director, Bioanalysis at Charles River Laboratories and Primedica Corporation. Jim received his Ph.D. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and MS and BS degrees from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Rhonda O’Keefe, Director, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and Biosafety Officer, the Broad Institute

Rhonda O’Keefe has been Director, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and Biosafety Officer at the Broad Institute (“the Broad”) in Cambridge MA since 2008.  In this role she is responsible for all aspects of EHS within the Broad’s 5 facilities, including EHS program, policy and training development and implementation, regulatory compliance and permitting.  She administers the Institutional Biosafety Committee and works closely with Principal Investigators and researchers in the BSL-3 laboratory.  Prior to coming to the Broad Rhonda was an EHS Officer in MIT’s EHS Office for 5 years, where she worked closely with research personnel in several MIT departments, particularly in the areas of biosafety and safety.  Prior to coming to MIT, Rhonda worked as a “one person show” EHS generalist at a number of small Cambridge biotech companies, including Variagenics, LeukoSite,  and Cambridge NeuroScience.

Rhonda has an MA in biochemistry from Brandeis University and undergrad degrees in chemistry and biology from MIT.  Prior to entering the EHS field she worked for 5 years at a startup biotech company as a scientist doing molecular biology and virology research and development.

Rhonda is certified as a Certified Biological Safety Professional (CBSP) through the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists and also as a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. 

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