Meet the PRIM&R Blog Squad at the 2012 AER Conference: Jackie Tekiela

by Jackie Tekiela, MS, CIP, Institutional Review Board (IRB) Administrator at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

Looking forward to the gorgeous San Diego weather during PRIM&R’s 2012 Advancing Ethical Research (AER) Conference? Me too! I will be coming from Milwaukee, WI where we are currently experiencing record high temperatures…in the 30’s. I am also excited for the amazing offerings and events at this year’s AER Conference and for the opportunity to be a part of the PRIM&R Blog Squad.

I have worked in the human research protections field for about five years. For the last three years, I have been the IRB administrator at Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, a Catholic healthcare organization based in Southeast Wisconsin with locations in Illinois and Iowa. We have one IRB that  reviews primarily industry sponsored clinical trials and some social-behavioral research. I have also worked in quality improvement and have a background in basic science and animal research.

Lucky for me, I was able to attend my first AER Conference shortly after joining the field. It was an amazing, invaluable, though slightly overwhelming, experience. Five years later, I expect I will learn just as much at this AER Conference, and be just as overwhelmed! PRIM&R’s annual AER Conference is a wonderful opportunity for those involved in human subjects research to come together, obtain information, hear new ideas, and network with other professionals. Coming from a small institution, I find it to be an especially useful event, and one I always hope that I am able to attend. I enjoy the opportunity to discuss issues unique to similar institutions, and also enjoy learning about issues with which  I am not familiar, which allows me to hear different perspectives. The conference is also a chance for me to step back from the day-to-day and think about the field more broadly. It always amazes me how discussions on common topics (think informed consent) are always evolving, interesting, and relevant. PRIM&R does such a wonderful job of finding speakers who not only have the expertise but who are also engaging and passionate about the field. You always leave the presentations and discussions thinking.

I am looking forward to a number of sessions and events at this year’s AER Conference. I am ready to sit down to a tasty muffin with other individuals from small institutions at the Affinity Group Networking Breakfast on Tuesday, December 4. Our organization uses the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Central IRB (CIRB), so I am also looking forward to the session titled  Rewriting the NCI Informed Consent Template (A18)  in which the NCI will present the finalized NCI informed consent template for discussion. Since compensation for research injuries is a topic often discussed at my institution, I am eager to attend Panel XII – Compensation for Research-Related Injury: Is it Finally Time for a Nationalized System? to gather information that I can bring back and share with my IRB!

What sessions are you most excited for? Share in the comments!