Professionals from the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) recently returned from participating in two conferences. In October, professionals traveled to Providence, Rhode Island to participate in the 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD). There, several TVMDL professionals were elected to serve in leadership roles within the association.
TVMDL Associate Director Amy Swinford, DVM, MS, DACVM was elected to serve as co-chair of the accreditation committee. She succeeds outgoing co-chair Tim Baszler, DVM, PhD of the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, and will serve alongside continuing co-chair Dave Korcal of the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.
The AAVLD accreditation committee is one of the committees mandated by the association, and is charged with oversight of the accreditation program. The committee is currently composed of 20 members who are affiliated with AAVLD laboratories, representing the geographic regions of the association. The AAVLD Accreditation Program, restricted to publically-funded, full-service laboratories, is a comprehensive laboratory inspection and accreditation program encompassing all veterinary diagnostic laboratory disciplines. As part of accreditation, a laboratory’s quality management system is thoroughly evaluated on a regular basis to ensure continued management and technical competence and compliance with appropriate laboratory quality management system standards. Evaluation is conducted as a peer-review process, inspections being performed by experienced working professionals also trained in auditing techniques specific to the AAVLD Accreditation Requirements. The AAVLD Accreditation Requirements are based upon the ISO/IEC 17025 standard, “General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories,” an internationally-accepted quality standard.
Some of the benefits to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory of AAVLD accreditation include decreased operating expenses from retesting, increased customer satisfaction as a result of a customer-focused quality management system, increased marketability from meeting internationally accepted quality standards, participation in funded national and international programs for foreign animal disease detection, animal/zoonotic/and emerging disease surveillance, and expanding customer ability to reach international export markets.
In addition to Dr. Swinford’s role on the AAVLD accreditation committee, TVMDL Director Bruce Akey, MS, DVM continued his role as co-chair of the AAVLD/United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) joint committee within the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. Cat Barr, PhD, DABT also began her role as co-chair for the AAVLD strategic planning committee.
At this year’s meeting, Pam Ferro, PhD completed her four year tenure as co-chair of the publications and virology committees.
TVMDL also had several professionals invited to present in scientific and poster sessions.