Leading a Continuous Improvement & Staff Empowered Program
Speaker: Donna Jarrell, Director, Center for Comparative Medicine – Massachusetts General Hospital

The topic of leadership and management has been the subject of increased attention in the biomedical and laboratory animal medicine industry sectors. Vivarium operations, by nature, are chaotic due to several facets of operations happening all at same time: service requests from researchers, equipment failures, staff call-offs, compliance incidents, supply chain management, facilities and HVAC issues, just to name a few. Managers today are being challenged as never before. This session will present business strategies adapted from some of the most successful companies in the world to reduce chaos in vivarium operations, rapidly implement ideas and develop a culture of full staff engagement and empowerment. In the end, you can establish an environment where everyone contributes to the overall success of your organization. Attendees will learn how to: 1) understand and analyze complex vivarium operations; 2) use the scientific method to address and eliminate the root cause of problems; 3) create a workplace culture that empowers staff to collectively work towards desired outcomes; 4) lead in such an environment and ultimately how to sustain a workplace culture of continuous improvements.


Making A Smooth Transition into a New Facility
Speaker: Christina Winnicker, Associate Director – Columbia University

Transitioning smoothly into a new facility requires thoughtful pre-planning to get the facility occupation-ready prior to relocation. Once construction is complete, there are still multiple steps until occupation: the construction punch list, operational planning, commissioning, decontamination, relocation and occupation. As the construction punch list is reviewed, some items will be accepted whereas others will be disputed. Approaches to each will be discussed. Walking through the space also gives the opportunity to think operationally about how the space is going to function, during cleaning and move-in as well as final occupation. Most institutions have a commissioning process, but that can vary, so a clear understanding of what the commissioning team will complete will be critical to planning what remains to be done to confirm that the equipment is operational to vivarium standards. Decontamination requires an understanding of what you are trying to accomplish, what works for the equipment or space, and how to verify the effectiveness. Once move-in day arrives, working with the right people, remaining flexible, and having a sense of humor will be key.


Speaker: Jeremy Turner, CEO – Turner Scientific

This course will highlight some of the sources of vibration, noise, and ultrasonic noise in the animal facility (e.g., fluorescent lighting, computers, ventilated caging systems, bedding change stations), their impact on research animals, and how to measure and manage them. Noise and vibration serve as stressors for research animals, thereby serving as confounding variables for virtually every area of biomedical and behavioral research. A major concern with both noise and vibration in animal facilities is that neither is well controlled, managed, or even monitored. For example, much of the noise in our facilities is in the ultrasonic range, which we human observers cannot hear, and the noise meters we typically use cannot measure. This course will demonstrate how measuring and mitigating noise and vibration problems in the vivarium can refine our animal models and reduce the number of animals used.


Scheduling Models and the Implementation of a Task-Driven Staff Assignment
Speakers: David Brammer, Executive Director, Animal Care Operations – University of Houston; Tasha Thomas, Operations & Business Development Specialist – Charles River; Yehia Wafa, Project Manager – Charles River

In order to maximize productivity and operate efficiently, there needs to be a clear course of action on staff responsibilities and specific work duties for each member of your team. However, effective planning can be both time consuming and complex when considering a wide variety of activities and the proper resources to support them. This includes materials, functioning equipment, and staff that are trained to fully capable to utilize them. In addition, the work becomes more complex when considering the live animals and the varied species our staff may be required to work with.

The implementation of a sound schedule impacts the work flow, staff satisfaction, and overall success of your laboratory animal research program. The presenters will provide an overview of several scheduling models and ways to optimize work efficiency through staff scheduling. The presenters will also provide an overview of the pros and cons of implementation, and a specific review of a task driven scheduling model. In addition, special emphasis will be given to the task oriented scheduling model and how it is used at two lean management facilities.

This presentation will introduce lean management principles and discuss how they apply to staff scheduling. The talk will also cover the room assignment scheduling model, the team captain area approach scheduling model, and the task-oriented scheduling model. Special emphasis will be given to the task oriented scheduling model and how it is used at two lean management facilities. The panel discussion will explore the advantages, disadvantages and methods of implementing each system.


Electronic Animal Health Records, Transitioning to a Paperless Vivarium
Speaker: Tasha Thomas, Operations & Business Development Specialist – Charles River

Organizations achieve more when labor and resources are allocated appropriately. This session will review the operational efficiencies gained by transitioning to a paperless vivarium and describe basic steps towards going green. This session is geared towards directors, project and facility managers and vivarium supervisors.


Sept. 2018

Sept. 2019

© 2016 Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.