JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
The Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, or AAHRPP, an independent, non-profit accrediting body, has welcomed its newest, fully-accredited member – the 59th Medical Wing, located at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
The wing’s achievement became official Sept. 18 and marks the U.S. Air Force’s first external accreditation in human research subject protection.
Since 2003, AAHRPP has accredited a total of 241 organizations around the world.They assist organizations that conduct human research in elevating the level of protection that those organizations’ Human Research Protection Programs can provide to research participants.
The program accredits HRPPs that demonstrate superior research subject safeguards, surpassing the threshold of state and federal regulatory requirements. Accreditation is a voluntary, peer-driven, educational process. Organizations seeking accreditation must provide evidence through policies, procedures, and practices of their commitment to ensure the protection of human subjects.
Accreditations are announced quarterly and initial accreditation is valid for 3-years.
The 59th MDW is the Air Force’s premier healthcare, medical education and research, and readiness wing. The wing’s Chief Scientist Office, led by Dr. Debra Niemeyer, supports the research mission by providing investigators with centralized resources, scientific and technical expertise, project management assistance, research regulatory expertise, and direction and oversight to advance medical modernization through innovative research medical technologies and treatment interventions.
The 59th Clinical Research Division, or CRD, is part of the 59th MDW/ST, and is the largest clinical investigation facility in the Air Force Medical Service. It provides centralized administrative, scientific, and regulatory oversight and guidance to the 59th MDW and 58 other Department of Defense and civilian institutions in the development and performance of biomedical research.
The 59th CRD directly supports the 59th MDW Institutional Review Board, which provides regulatory compliance oversight and human research subject protection for approximately 200 active research protocols, at any given time, across the Air Force at multiple sites.
The 59th MDW/ST Chief Scientist’s Office spearheads the Wing’s Human Research Protection Program on behalf of the 59th MDW commander and institutional official, to include chairing the HRPP Steering Committee with membership and active participation from across the organization to ensure adherence to all applicable laws, regulations, and ethical standards protecting the rights and welfare of our research participants in the performance of highest-quality research.
As a High Reliability Organization, focused on exceptional patient safety and care, pursuing AAHRPP accreditation was directed by the wing commander, Maj. Gen. Bart Iddins, as a part of the 59th MDW’s ongoing effort to demonstrate commitment to integrity, excellence, and transparency in its clinical research operations.
The accreditation of the 59th MDW HRPP testifies to the importance that the organization places on human research subject protection and maintaining quality in 59th MDW conducted and supported research. Important research initiatives, including critical care at point of injury, traumatic brain injury treatment, wartime vascular injury management, emergency and regenerative medicine, diabetes management, extracorporeal life support and critical care in aeromedical evacuation, help to address AFMS medical care priorities and major command mission capability gaps.