FACT Professional Relations Committee Provides a Forum for Sharing Experiences in Challenging Year

Posted in :: 2020 Volume 6 :: Monday, August 24th, 2020

The cellular therapy community is well known for its spirit of collaboration. One testament to the teamwork enjoyed by the field is the FACT Professional Relations Committee. One of the purposes of this committee is to enhance communications with relevant organizations in the field. This year, 13 organizations are members, and each has nominated a representative to meet at least quarterly to discuss any issues that have captured its attention, new initiatives that might be of interest to other organizations, and requests for input or participation.

Catherine Bollard, MD, inaugural committee chair and Director for the Center for Cancer and Immunology at the Children’s National Medical Center, recently transitioned committee leadership after many years of service to Bruce Levine, PhD, Professor in Cancer Gene Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Levine has called special meetings throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to allow organizations to share ideas, provide updates to processes, and ask questions of each other. The benefits of these discussions were the ability to seek advice and learn from each other, communicate changes impacting cellular therapy programs to a wider audience through multiple channels, and establish some consistency among processes. Topics included, among others, training on caring for transplant patients with COVID-19, cryopreservation of unrelated allogeneic products, virtual meetings, and remote inspections.

FACT thanks the following organizations for their participation on the committee and leadership during this challenging year:

  • AABB
  • American Association for Tissue Banking (AATB)
  • American Society for Apheresis (ASFA)
  • American Society for Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT)
  • American Society for Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics (ASHI)
  • American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT)
  • College of American Pathologists (CAP)
  • Cord Blood Association (CBA)
  • International Society Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT)
  • National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)
  • Standards Coordinating Body (SCB)
  • World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA)

Call for FACT Volunteers

Posted in :: 2019 Volume 2 :: Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

Dear FACT Colleague:

The Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy has several committees to help FACT achieve its vision of being the premiere organization setting standards and awarding accreditation to programs in the evolving field of cellular therapy.

In light of your experience and important involvement with the FACT inspection and accreditation process, we invite you to review the charges for the committees with current vacancies and either nominate yourself or a colleague to serve as a committee member.

Education Committee

Purpose: To develop education and training programs for inspectors and for personnel at applicant and accredited facilities to promote knowledge and understanding of current standards, create awareness of commonly cited deficiencies, and promote quality in cellular therapy.

Responsibilities:

– Attend monthly one-hour teleconference

– Develop content for workshop and webinar presentations

– Assess effectiveness of training events and recommend improvements

– Serve as a FACT workshop presenter at various meetings

– Develop content for inspector continuing education

Quality Management Committee

Purpose: Develop and administer programs that maintain high quality in FACT’s organizational operations and in accredited programs.

Responsibilities:

– Attend monthly one-hour teleconference

– Maintain and update the FACT Quality Management Handbook

– Offer a comprehensive schedule of webinars related to quality management activities

– Develop content for quality “boot camps”

– Develop quality metrics for gauging the performance of the FACT inspection and accreditation process, including effectiveness, efficiency, and customer satisfaction

FACT-CIBMTR Data Audit Committee

Purpose: Coordinate the evaluation of transplant center data audits performed by FACT and CIBMTR.

Responsibilities:

– Attend monthly one-hour teleconference

– Develop mechanisms by which CIBMTR and FACT can coordinate audits and inspections of data management processes within transplant centers

– Develop a collaborative approach to evaluate the results of FACT inspections with CIBMTR’s data audit findings to ensure a coordinated response to the transplant center

– Participate in the joint FACT-CIBMTR data review process by assessing programs’ progress on implementing corrective action plans

– Develop education and provide assistance to programs throughout the accreditation cycle to achieve quality improvement in data management

Technology Committee

Purpose: Enhance, refine, streamline, and improve the efficiency of the accreditation process and educational programs through the continued improvement of technology and FACT’s online presence.

Responsibilities:

– Attend quarterly one-hour teleconference

– Suggest ideas to enhance user’s experience using the Accreditation Portal

– Evaluate and review new portal features

– Evaluate new technologies to improve business processes

– Interface with other committees to identify data needs to develop and publish reports

– Evaluate a mobile app option for FACT’s resources such as Standards, announcements, newsletter, and education

Please submit your interest in serving as a committee member along with a description of your qualifications to Linda Miller at lmiller1@unmc.edu by March 1, 2019.

The contributions of our volunteer FACT inspectors and committee members have been invaluable and have resulted in the tremendous success of FACT. Thank you for your dedication and support of this important effort to ensure quality patient care, improve treatment outcomes, and foster continue development in the field of cellular therapy.

Sincerely,

Dennis Gastineau, MD

President

Linda Miller, MPA

Chief Executive Officer