In this issue, we congratulate Dr. Paul Eldridge, FACT Standards Chair, and the Common Standards Steering Committee on publishing the Second Edition of the FACT Common Standards for Cellular Therapies. The Standards become effective on June 15, 2019. Read more regarding the publication of the Common Standards and accessing the Summary of Changes, Crosswalks, and Document Submission Requirements form below.
The draft Seventh Edition Cord Blood Standards public comment period has been extended to April 1, 2019. All comments submitted will be reviewed by the Standards Committee to ensure the Standards represent the voice of the Cord Blood community.
FACT recognizes that one of the most important roles in our program is that of the inspector. FACT thanks its inspectors for their time and expertise. As the number of FACT-accredited programs increases, our needs for inspectors increase and we want our inspectors to know how grateful we are for their service.
As always, there are many educational events throughout the year. Review FACT’s educational calendar and register for an event today.
Articles in this volume include:
- FACT Common Standards Second Edition Published
- Draft Seventh Edition Cord Blood Standards Public Comment Period Extended
- Thank you FACT Inspectors
- FACT Events at the 2019 TCT Meetings Were a Success
- FACT International Headquarters New Staff
- Dr. Helen Heslop Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
- Cellular Therapy Community Corner
Dennis A. Gastineau, MD
By Andra Moehring, FACT Standards Development Manager
Congratulations to Dr. Paul Eldridge, FACT Standards Chair, and the FACT Common Standards Steering Committee on publishing the Second Edition FACT Common Standards for Cellular Therapies on March 15, 2019. The Standards will become effective on June 15, 2019.
The Second Edition FACT Common Standards Steering Committee is comprised of 12 representatives who worked for 23 months on the development of the Standards. The committee’s commitment, expertise, and experience is invaluable to the development of these Standards.
The Standards contain important additions and changes to requirements to reflect current processes typical in a cellular therapy program. These changes maintain the relevance of the Standards in the field of cellular therapy.
Public Comment Period
During the 60-day public comment period, 240 comments were submitted by 19 contributors. The committee was responsive to public comments and requests made on behalf of related organizations.
FACT greatly appreciates contributors taking the time to review the draft Standards and submit comments.
Accessing the Standards and Other Resources
The Standards, summary of changes, and crosswalks are available on the FACT website at http://www.factwebsite.org or by using the links provided below:
FACT Common Standards, Second Edition
Purchase Printed Copies
Summary of Changes to FACT Common Standards, Second Edition
FACT Common Standards Crosswalk First to Second Edition
FACT Common Standards Crosswalk Second to First Edition
If you have questions related to the Second Edition FACT Common Standards, contact your FACT Coordinator or submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for all of your contributions!
By Andra Moehring, FACT Standards Development Manager
The draft Seventh Edition NetCord-FACT Cord Blood Standards and accompanying Accreditation Manual were published for public review and comment for a 90-day period on November 30, 2018. To ensure that members of the cord blood community have reviewed the proposed significant changes in the draft Standards, and have had an opportunity to provide their input, the comment period is extended for an additional 30 days. Comments will now be accepted through April 1, 2019. Links are provided below to the draft Standards, Accreditation Manual, and comment form.
These Standards apply to all phases of cord blood collection, banking, and release for administration, including donor management, collection, processing, testing, cryopreservation, storage, listing, search, selection, reservation, release, and distribution to clinical programs.
Comments on any aspect of the draft are welcome. However, members of the cord blood community are strongly encouraged to specifically review and provide comment on three significant changes proposed in the draft Seventh Edition:
- ISBT 128 and Eurocode Coding and Labeling (B6.1.2, Appendix II)
- Supplies and Reagents of the Appropriate Grade (B8.4.1)
- Viability of CD45 Testing and Specification Requirements (Appendix IV, Appendix V)
Comments regarding the draft Seventh Edition NetCord-FACT Cord Blood Standards can be submitted by accessing the Comment Form.
Comments will be accepted through April 1, 2019.
For questions or assistance, please contact Andra Moehring.
As a non-profit organization, the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) relies on dedicated volunteers to achieve its vision of being the premiere organization in setting standards and awarding accreditation to programs in the evolving field of cellular therapy. We consider our inspectors “the heart and soul” of FACT and are committed to showing our appreciation for their continued service.
Inspector Recognition Packets
Our volunteer inspectors play an instrumental role in FACT’s success by devoting their time and expertise to complete more than one hundred FACT inspections each year.
In December 2018 we distributed inspector recognition packets containing a thank you letter, a certificate acknowledging the year in which the inspector started performing FACT inspections, and the total number of inspections performed to date, as well as a FACT Inspector lapel pin.
Inspector Photo Banners
FACT Inspectors take care to professionally represent FACT when performing inspections. We are proud of the service they provide to FACT and our accredited organizations. To showcase this amazing group of individuals, we compiled portrait photos of inspectors into display banners for cord blood and cellular therapy inspectors. The banners were exhibited at the FACT workhops during the 2018 Cord Blood Connect international congress September 14-16, 2018, in Miami Beach, Florida, and the 2019 TCT Meetings, February 19-23, 2019 in Houston, Texas. Not only are the banner displays an excellent opportunity for us to recognize our inspectors, but it has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and we could not agree more! Be sure to watch for the banners at future FACT workshops.
Inspector Social Hour
FACT hosted its first Inspector Social Hour during the TCT Meetings in Houston on February 22, 2019. Attendees enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while networking and socializing with peers after a long week of meetings.
FACT Inspector Directory
A list of active FACT inspectors is published on the FACT Website. The FACT Inspector Directory is updated quarterly and lists inspectors in order of country of residence and last name.
Interested in becoming a FACT inspector? Visit the FACT Inspector Application page on the FACT website for more information.
The achievements of FACT are attributed to the generosity of our volunteers in lending their time and expertise to the accreditation process.
A sincere thank you to all our volunteers. Your excellence drives our success!
FACT hosted several popular events at the 2019 TCT | Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Meetings of ASBMT and CIBMTR in Houston, Texas. Over 150 people joined FACT on February 19 for the Cellular Therapy Inspection and Accreditation Workshop, which included topics such as building quality into clinical immune effector cell programs, risk evaluation and mitigation strategies, using the Tracer Methodology to assess compliance with standards, common citations, reviewing clinical outcomes, and improving data management through follow-up. Also on February 19, FACT hosted two cellular therapy leadership courses for anyone who has, or aspires to, a leadership position in cell therapy.
On February 20, FACT teamed up with ASBMT to host the 4th annual Quality Boot Camp. Over 130 people participated in the boot camp. This year’s agenda focused on topics such as dashboards and scorecards, record retention, risk assessment, integrating IECs into your HCT program, and evaluating the quality of your program through auditing. Quality experts presented core concepts, led roundtables, and answered questions to help others reach their quality management goals.
Special invitations were extended to all international delegates attending the TCT Meetings for a wine and cheese reception on February 21. The FACT Global Affairs: International Accreditation session provided attendees information about the international accreditation program featuring a stepwise certification approach. The new program was developed to assist transplant centers in emerging economies who may require additional assistance and education in developing quality systems and adhering to global accreditation requirements.
On February 21, in the session titled, Quality in HCT: Center-Specific Outcomes, Dr. Dennis Gastineau, FACT President and member of the FACT Clinical Outcomes Improvement Committee, shared guidelines for corrective action plans, and trends noted in the plans reviewed, including causes of death, challenges in root cause analysis, and ideas for improving one-year survival.
On February 22, FACT hosted a social hour for all FACT inspectors and inspector trainees in honor of their dedication and service provided to the cell therapy community. FACT relies on volunteer inspectors and appreciates their superior service, time, and expertise.
In addition to these events, FACT welcomed visitors to its exhibit booth to provide information about accreditation and educational activities.
All events were successful and FACT looks forward to the 2020 Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Meetings in Orlando, Florida!
FACT’s training and development program’s purpose is to respond to the current needs of inspectors and organizations, providing extensive opportunities for all skill levels in all corners of the world. Recognizing that education is as important as standards and accreditation within FACT’s mission to promote quality in cellular therapy, the office has welcomed Roxanne Alter, M.S., MLS (ASCP)cm as the Director of Education.
Roxanne received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and continued her education in the Medical Technologist Program at Research Medical Center in Kansas City. She worked as a medical technologist in Blood Bank and Hematology for several years. In 1985, she took a position at UNMC working for Dr. James Armitage in the Autologous Bone Marrow Transplantation designing a laboratory to evaluate products for transplant. She received her Masters of Science Degree under the direction of Dr. Dennis Wiesenberger publishing the thesis “In-Vitro Clonogenic Monitoring Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Collections following Interleukin-3 administration.” Ms. Alter was offered a faculty position as an Assistant Professor in the School of Allied health, designing curriculum and evaluating educational outcomes for Medical Laboratory Scientists and other health professionals. After twenty years in education, she became the Nebraska State Biosafety Officer and inspected clinical laboratories across the state. Roxanne Alter has a wealth of experience, which will serve her well in her new role as Director of Education.
FACT-accredited organizations continue to grow by number, geography, and complexity. To maintain and build upon the support provided by FACT since its inception 23 years ago, the office has welcomed three talented individuals to the accreditation office.
Nicole Gallardo joins FACT as an Administrative Associate. Originally from Germany, Nicole completed Vocational Training in Wholesale and Foreign Trade in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1992. Shortly after, Nicole moved to the United States and worked at the Richdale Property Management Group as an auditor. In 2007, Nicole accepted a position at UNMC’s College of Pharmacy as an Office Associate where she worked until joining the FACT team in the summer of 2018. In 2015, Nicole graduated from the University of Nebraska – Omaha (UNO) with a certificate in Public Management, and in May 2019, Nicole will graduate from UNO with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies with a concentration in General Administration, a milestone accomplishment.
Sue Peters joins FACT as an Accreditation Coordinator. Sue is an ASCP certified Medical Laboratory Scientist, with extensive experience at the clinical microbiology laboratory at Nebraska Medicine, where cultures from cellular therapy products are performed, as well as cultures from transplant patients. She has also worked in the Microbiology/Molecular Department at the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory, where she gained experience in identifying strains of influenza, foodborne pathogens, and bioterrorism organisms. There, she also had the unique experience of working in the Biocontainment Unit with Ebola patients. Sue then transitioned to the role as an Infection Preventionist at Nebraska Medicine, and from there as a microbiology supervisor at a biotechnology company before joining the FACT team in October 2018.
Elda Nazario joins FACT as an Accreditation Coordinator. Originally from Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico, Elda attended college at the Interamerican University in Puerto Rico, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2002. In 2007, Elda graduated from Medical Technology School and worked as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in Puerto Rico for approximately ten years. In 2016, Elda moved to Omaha, Nebraska and worked as a Medical Laboratory Scientist at the Nebraska Medicine Laboratory at the Oakview Medical Building, and in October 2018, Elda accepted a position at FACT. As a fluent Spanish-speaking Accreditation Coordinator, Elda will be integral to FACT’s initiatives in Latin America.
Director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy Dr. Helen Heslop was recently recognized with the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Lifetime Achievement Award at the Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Meetings of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) and the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research.
The ASBMT Lifetime Achievement Award is presented annually and recognizes an individual who has made continuing contributions to the field of blood and marrow transplantation.
Dr. Heslop is Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine and Director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Methodist Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital. She serves on the FACT Cellular Therapy Accreditation Committee, the Immune Effector Cellular Therapy Task Force, and various other FACT committees. Dr. Heslop is a member of the FACT Board of Directors, and served as the President of FACT from 2012 to 2016.
FACT Cellular Therapy Collection Workshop at 2019 Annual ASFA Meeting
May 15, 2019
Join FACT on Wednesday, May 15, at the Hilton Portland Downtown in Portland, OR, for a workshop designed to explain the requirements for FACT accreditation of cellular therapy programs, with special emphasis on apheresis collection facilities.
FACT representatives will be in attendance to discuss cellular therapy collection challenges, provide examples on how to maintain quality when faced with different collection protocols, and present a common citations overview. This workshop also includes inspector trainee sessions on how to perform a FACT inspection from start to finish.
FACT Cellular Therapy & Cord Blood Inspection at Accreditation Workshop at the 2019 Annual ISCT Meeting
May 28, 2019
This workshop incorporates instruction on the process of accreditation, FACT Standards requirements, and practical applications such as risk assessment and transportation issues related to cellular therapy and cord blood banking. Several hot topics include quality management in novel cell therapies, written agreements, and occurrence management. These sessions are designed to help applicants navigate the evolving changes in the field. The agenda also includes training for new inspectors with real-world examples and exercises to guide them through the inspection process. This is a must-see event for the following audiences:
• Blood and marrow transplant (BMT) programs
• Cord blood banks
• Cell processing laboratories
• Physicians, scientists, and principal investigators
• Unit supervisors, laboratory managers, administrators, nurses, and medical technologists
• Quality managers
The day includes a general track for attendees with separate breakout sessions for cellular therapy and cord blood participants. Inspector trainees are required to attend the inspector orientation track.
ISCT-FACT Quality Boot Camp at 2019 ISCT Annual Meeting Pre-Conference Day
May 29, 2019
Is your cell processing facility FACT accredited or looking to comply to FACT standards? Strengthen your quality assurance program through this interactive workshop with FACT experts and real world applications.
Focused on issues identified by FACT-compliant transplant programs, these sessions will include activities and discussion in four main topic areas. Come prepared with your quality program questions and leverage quality experts to identify process improvement opportunities you can apply at your organization.
FACT Cellular Therapy Inspection and Accreditation Workshop at CBMTG Annual Meeting
June 5, 2019
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
The blood and marrow transplantation field has been a leader in voluntarily improving quality through FACT accreditation. This workshop will address important topics in the cellular therapy field including:
• Overview of FACT Accreditation Processes
• Common Citations Overview
• Building Quality into Clinical Immune Effector Cell Therapy Programs
• Using the Tracer Methodology to Assess Compliance with FACT Standards
• How to Prepare for and Conduct Inspections
• Improving Data Management Through Follow-Up
• FACT Process for Reviewing Clinical Outcomes
New Webinar Announced in Quality Management Series 9: Auditing
The Quality Management Series Module 9 includes four sessions focused on auditing. The first session, Auditing: Planning and Executing, was held on January 23, 2019. Leigh Poston, BMT Program Quality Management Coordinator at UF Health Shands Hospital, discussed designing audit strategies, identifying specific audits to perform, creating an audit schedule, determining the scope of the audit, and executing the audit. View on-demand webinar
The second session, Auditing: Summarizing and Evaluating the Data, was live on March 6, 2019. Ed Brindle MSc, MLT, Quality Manager at UHN Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, discusses writing the audit report, determining WHY the errors occurred, and assigning appropriate corrective action and preventive action. View on-demand webinar
The third webinar in the QM series 9: Audits, titled Performing follow-up to assess the effectiveness of the actions implemented on correcting the errors, will be on June 11, 2019 at 11:00 am ET. Gordana Svajger, Quality Compliance Program Manager at The Hospital for Sick Children Blood & Marrow Transplant / Cellular Therapy Program, will identify methods for verification of corrective actions, interpret when corrective actions are effective, and determine when to close an audit. View webinar details and register
Register for the entire module to receive a 15% discount! QM Series Module 9: Auditing
Upcoming sessions in the series include: A Program’s Perspective: Auditing
WMDA-NetCord & FACT Cord Blood Day at 2019 Cord Blood Connect International Congress
September 12, 2019
Join your cord blood colleagues for a day of presentations from renowned cord blood experts at the 2019 WMDA-NetCord & FACT Cord Blood Day! The event will be held in Miami, Florida on September 12, 2019, in conjunction with the Cord Blood Connect International Congress.
The WMDA-NetCord & FACT Cord Blood Day will highlight recent advances in cord blood transplantation and include global perspectives of cord blood transplants, common FACT-NetCord inspection citations, and more. The afternoon consists of two breakout sessions: a FACT inspector training track and a WMDA-NetCord & FACT cord blood quality boot camp track. We encourage banks to send multiple personnel to attend the various tracks as well as enlist a member to become a FACT inspector.
This is an excellent opportunity to network with the cord blood community and learn from experts in cord blood banking. Registration fees are waived for FACT active and trainee inspectors. Apply to be a FACT inspector!
FACT Cellular Therapy Inspection and Accreditation Workshop at the ISCT North America 2019 Regional Meeting
September 12, 2019
This training workshop is designed to explain the requirements for FACT accreditation of cellular therapy programs. FACT representatives will be in attendance to clarify the intent of the FACT-JACIE Standards, provide inspectors tips for conducting inspections, and assist programs in organizing and preparing for the accreditation process.
Two tracks are available for this workshop. The Inspector Track will provide FACT inspectors guidance on how to assess compliance with the Standards. The Applicant Track will give programs and facilities insight into how to comply with the Standards and demonstrate compliance.
American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation Updates Name to American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy
The American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT), a professional society dedicated to advancing the science and clinical care for patients who require blood and marrow transplants, announced it has changed its name to the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT) in recognition of the rapid shift toward cellular therapies in this field of medicine. The ASTCT name will better reflect the organization’s commitment to serving as the professional home and community for healthcare providers, researchers, and other professionals who are dedicated to cures involving blood and marrow transplantation and cellular therapies.
The new name was announced at the annual Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Meetings, hosted by ASBMT and the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) from Feb. 20 to 24 in Houston, Texas. The ASTCT name was chosen to acknowledge the rapid shift toward cellular therapies, and to reflect the organization’s 25 years of leadership in that field, along with transplantation. Read full article
Post-Conference Exclusive: World Cord Blood Day 2018
As a follow-up to last November’s World Cord Blood Day virtual conference, the leading cord blood pioneers and visionaries who served as presenters have responded to many of the questions asked by attendees post-conference.
- Joanne Kurzberg,
- Susana Cantero Peral
- Charles Cox, Jr.
- Juliet Barker
- Dave Murphy
- Monroe Burgess
- Josephine Neuweiserhuiser-Teeler
- Lyla Edington and Parents
Mark your calendars for the next World Cord Blood Day on November 15th, 2019!
ASBMT Welcomes New President
Dr. Navneet Majhail is looking forward to a new beginning as the new president of ASBMT. Dr. Majhail is he the Director of the Blood & Marrow Transplant Program at the Cleveland Clinic, and the Scientific Director of CIBMTR Health Services Research Program. He received his medical degrees from Government Medical College, Chandigarh, India and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and a fellowship in hematology‐oncology at the University of Minnesota. He also obtained an MS in Clinical Research from the University of Minnesota. His research interests include survivorship issues and late effects of transplantation and health services research in hematologic malignancies and blood and marrow transplantation. FACT welcomes Dr. Majhail as the new President of ASBMT!