23
Mar2016

Are you ready to join me at the 2016 IACUC Conference (IACUC16) in Bellevue? There are so many things that I’m looking forward to experiencing and learning. Where do I even begin? What might I add to my knowledge toolbox?

On my first day, I will be attending the pre-conference program Essentials of IACUC Administration—Intensive. Building on my strong background of customer service in animal care, I am anticipating discussions about strategies and best practices for creating, maintaining, and continually strengthening my institution’s culture to support all constituents of the animal care and use program.

During the NWABR Regional IACUC Conference, there will be sessions covering current topics, such as dealing with compassion fatigue and talking about our work outside of our institutions, which can be difficult at times. These topics are important for my day-to-day work, as anyone who works with animals in research knows. I look forward to learning practical strategies and new approaches to handling both topics.

The breakout sessions presented at IACUC16 provide something for everyone, and it was a challenge to pick just one from each series. Of the many options available, I plan to attend sessions that will help me prepare for an AAALAC site visit and my upcoming Certified Professional IACUC Administrator (CPIA®) examination, as well as those which will develop my skills in and understanding of post approval monitoring, and inter-institutional collaboration.

And I know my learning won’t end there. As a relatively new IACUC coordinator, I ‘m also excited to build a network of colleagues from other institutions. I plan to take full advantage of the opportunities provided for this, including the pre-conference programs networking reception, the first-time attendee breakfast, the Common Ground Networking lunch, welcome reception, and the roundtable discussions. Hopefully, at least one of these will give me the opportunity to meet you, reader, in person! If you see me at a session or at one of these events, please introduce yourself!

And to cap it off, I’ll get to do all this learning with the beautiful Pacific Northwest as a backdrop! I visited Bellevue as a small child while on a family vacation, and I’m thrilled to be able to return again as an adult to explore and soak up the local culture and flavors.

Heidi Lewis, RVT, RLATG is the IACUC compliance coordinator in the Office of Research Integrity at the University of Kansas, and a member of PRIM&R’s Blog Squad.

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