UMMC Biobank, clinical pharmacy specialist receive kudos
Published on Monday, April 24, 2023
Medical Center faculty and staff often are recognized regionally, nationally and internationally for their academic or medical achievements. These accolades place UMMC among health science centers worldwide.
Biobank among first to earn international accreditation
The University of Mississippi Medical Center Biobank has received accreditation from the American National Standards Institute’s National Accreditation Board.
It’s one of the first facilities to gain accreditation under the new International Organization for Standardization 20387 program for biobanking of human specimens, demonstrating its competence in proper handling, traceability and long-term preservation of human samples.
It’s also the only ISO-accredited lab at UMMC.
“We are very excited to advance these initiatives to include new and innovative disciplines like biobanking, which facilitates the delivery of precision healthcare,” said Roger Muse, ANAB vice president.
The process has been several years in the making, said Dr. Gouri Mahajan, UMMC biobank director and assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology, and radiation oncology.
“I had envisioned getting the biobank accredited when I stepped in the role of director about four years back because I knew this regulatory standard would improve efficiency, productivity and biobank user satisfaction in terms of high sample and data quality,” Mahajan said.
The standard, which provides the framework for all aspects of biobanking, helps identify risks and opportunities, boosts efficiency, reduces costs and improves employee performance and confidence.
“My team worked tirelessly on this, and I am thankful to them for trusting my leadership and vision to achieve this goal,” said Mahajan.
The staff began reaping the benefits while preparing for the review: they identified potential risks and found ways to control them, leading to fewer surprises, enhanced planning and more effective decision making. And because ISO required a list of defined, organized tasks for each employee, team morale has increased.
“Receiving ISO 20387 accreditation means that all the biobanking activities in the UMMC biobank are transparent, trustworthy and performed to the highest quality and regulatory safety standards,” said Mahajan. “It will bring new collaborations internally and across the institution because an ISO-certified biobank is viewed differently with new funding opportunities for projects.”
Mahajan, who wants to grow the 7,000-sample biobank into the largest human specimen facility in the state, has been invited to host a roundtable discussion on the importance of accreditation and share UMMC’s journey at the International Biobanking Conference in Seattle in May.
“This achievement will help UMMC facilitate advanced research with high quality biosamples and data that will have a lasting impact on health care delivery.”
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Pharmacist garners national honor
Andrew Mays, a clinical pharmacy specialist at the Medical Center, has been named one of 41 2023 Fellows of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
Fellows are named through the ASHP Practitioner Recognition Program, which recognizes pharmacists who have excelled in pharmacy practice and distinguished themselves through service and contributions to ASHP. The group will be honored June 13 at the organization’s summer meeting and exhibition in Baltimore.
Candidates must be practitioner members of ASHP with a record of outstanding service to ASHP and at least 10 years of professional service to pharmacy practice in acute or ambulatory care settings.
ASHP is a professional organization that represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in hospitals, health systems, ambulatory clinics and health system community pharmacies. It’s the largest association of pharmacy professionals in the United States, representing 60,000 pharmacists, student pharmacists and pharmacy technicians