Virtual Quality Assurance Reviews (PAMS), Webinar

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Webinar Objectives The objective of each webinar is to provide participants the opportunity to hold engaging discussions on practical tried tested animal program management/operations techniques to achieve a desired goal. To help initiate discussions, a member of the IACUC administrative community will present ideas that focus on the topic of choice. Colleagues from OLAW and the USDA will also participate in our discussions and help to refine and validate proposed practices. Participants are encouraged to submit ( questions regarding the defined topic PRIOR TO the webinar. During each session, attendees will be encouraged to interact to discuss their own institutions practices and ideas.

Topic Summary

The regulations governing the use of animals for research, instruction and testing purposes requires institutions’ IACUCs to oversee approved animal activities.  For example, The Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide) indicates, “the oversight of animal activities is required by federal laws, regulations, and policies”.  In addition, the Animal Welfare Act Regulations (AWAR) requires the continuing review of approved animal activities “not less than annually”.  The idea that “a variety of mechanisms can be used to facilitate” (Guide) prompted some institutions to develop Quality Assurance Programs (i.e., PAMS) to facilitate the oversight of approved animal activities. 

Since COVID pandemic restrictions limit the ability to perform in person PAM reviews, institutions looked to their peers and the flexibility inherent to regulatory requirements for new and acceptable processes for performing the reviews.  Considering the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Policy) indicates that “The IACUC may, at its discretion, determine the best means of conducting an evaluation of the institution's programs and facilities(footnote 8), institutions used this flexibility to developed virtual PAM processes.

During this webinar, Erin Czarniak will present some “tried and tested” processes for performing virtual quality assurance assessments (depending on the institution – PAM reviews).  She will present some of details of the processes that she and her team have been using to ensure the ongoing review of IACUC approved animal activities.  Following Erin’s presentation (and during is OK too), collectively attendees discuss the topic by, for example, posing questions to the speaker and other attendees, offering “other” effective ideas, and ultimately identify compliant processes for performing the reviews.     

Meeting Co-Facilitators

Ron E. Banks, DVM:  received his veterinary degree from Auburn University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, and retired a Colonel from the United States Army Veterinary Corps.  After postings as the Director, Center for Comparative Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado; and Director, Office of Animal Welfare Assurance at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; he currently serves as the Director, Division of Comparative Medicine, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Along his professional journey he has contributed as Council Member on AAALAC’s Council on Accreditation; Chairman of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee; Board Member for the IACUC Administrator’s Association; and Fellow of the National Academies of Practice.  Dr. Banks is board certified with the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine; the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine; and he is a Charter Diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare.

Bill Greer, BS:  received his Bachelor’s in Microbiology from Penn State University in 1985.  He currently serves as the Assistant Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan.  His previous roles included Associate Director for Research Compliance at the Pennsylvania State University, and research technician, production manager and Safety Officer at Intervet, State College, PA (Formally Tri Bio Laboratories).  In 2005, he organized and held the first IACUC Administrators’ Best Practices Meeting, which establish a venue for administrators meet informally and discuss programmatic concerns.  He continues to facilitate at least three annual Best Practice meetings.  In 2007, he initiated the process of establishing the IACUC Administrators Association (IAA), which is a professional organization of IACUC Administrators.  In 2010, he chaired the founding committee for the non-profit education based IAA organization.  He now serves as the president and chair of the IAA board of directors.  Since 2007, Bill has served as ad hoc specialist to AAALAC Council where he participates in institutional program reviews, assessments, and status determinations.  He served as a member of the Council of Certified Professional IACUC Administrators (CCPIA).  He continues to facilitate training activities at multiple venues including PRIM&R, AALAS, BTAA, C3, and both IACUC and IBC Administrators Best Practice Meetings.

Presenters and Guest Faculty Biographies

Erin Czarniak, BS:  has been the Assistant Director of Quality Assurance in the Animal Care and Use Office (ACUO) since 2018. She joined the ACUO in 2016 as a Quality Assurance Specialist and played an integral part in the program’s development. She previously worked as a Controlled Substance Monitor for the U-M Office of Research from 2015-2016 where she launched the highly successful Controlled Substance Monitoring Program. From 2009-2015 she work for the U-M Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine where she gained husbandry and leadership experience. Czarniak has strong management and program development skills. She received her Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University in 2008 and has since completed the ALAT, LAT, LATg and CPIA certifications.

Robert Gibbens:  Dr. Gibbens (Bob) currently serves as the Director, Animal Welfare Operations, USDA, APHIS, Animal Care.  Bob received his Bachelor’s in Zoology from Oklahoma State University in 1980.  He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984.  He worked for 6+ years in a small animal practice in Oklahoma before becoming a Veterinary Medical Officer with USDA in 1990.  He became a field supervisor with USDA, APHIS, Animal Care in 1995, and Regional Director in 1997.  He is currently the National Director of Animal Welfare Operations for Animal Care in Fort Collins, CO.

Neera V. Gopee, D.V.M., Ph.D. is the Director, Division of Policy and Education in the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda Maryland.  Dr. Gopee earned her veterinary degree at the University of the West Indies, and she holds a doctoral degree in Toxicology from the University of Georgia.  Prior to her appointment at OLAW, she served as a Veterinary Medical Officer at the National Center for Toxicological Research, US Food and Drug Administration in Jefferson, AR.  Dr. Gopee is board certified in toxicology and laboratory animal medicine.

Programs Support

The IACUC Administrators Association (IAA) and related activities are supported through OLAW and IAA memberships.  Membership fees through ongoing involvement from the community allow the IAA to keep activities fees at a minimum.  We ask that you please become a new member, or maintain your membership status (memberships are renewed annually).  If you are a current member of the IAA, you are free to attend webinars at no charge.  Individuals that are non-members or those with expired memberships will be asked to provide $30 in support for each webinar they attend.

Meeting times are Eastern Standard Time

February 25th, 2021 3:00 PM through  4:30 PM
Event Fee(s)
* IACUC Administrators Association NON-Members $ 30.00
Please ensure your membership is current. IACUC Administrators Association Associates $ 0.00