UNMC receives national accreditation in human research protection

First academic institution to receive this recognition

The University of Nebraska Medical Center is the first academic institution to receive Human Research Protection Program accreditation by Alion Science and Technology HRPP Accreditation Services. The accreditation validates the program as an effective and compliant human research protection program.

The program, which currently involves more than 2,000 active protocols, includes human subject research conducted at UNMC, The Nebraska Medical Center, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Children's Hospital & Medical Center, and the Bellevue Medical Center.

Ernest Prentice, Ph. D., associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the accreditation, which involved the UNMC Office of Regulatory Affairs, the Institutional Review Board and others, is an achievement not merely for the regulatory office, but for the entire institution.

“We have a culture of compliance and conscience here at UNMC. This has been fully supported by the senior administration at all levels,” Dr. Prentice said. “It is a good place to do research.”

Although he says it's too soon to tell what opportunities the accreditation might present to the university, Dr. Prentice said it could make a difference in defense research opportunities.

Earlier this year, the University of Nebraska was selected by the Department of Defense as one of only 14 University Affiliated Research Centers (UARC) in the country. UNMC is a key participant in this UARC.

 “UNMC’s achievement of Alion HRPP Accreditation is a testament to the sophistication of its research program,” said Stephen Crawford, executive director of Alion HRPP Accreditation Services.

He said UNMC’s Alion HRPP accreditation coupled with the medical center’s strong presence in the UARC is a “combination that allows them to deliver a unique and enviable offering.”

“I think it simply demonstrates -- to the public, to the government -- that you have an accredited program,” Dr. Prentice said. "That's important, just like it’s important to demonstrate a hospital's compliance with national standards.”

After preparation that literally spanned years, Dr. Prentice and his staff hosted Alion's site visit over three days in April. More than 50 people were interviewed, including investigators, research coordinators, IRB members, administrators and others.

Not only was UNMC fully accredited but Alion also asked permission to refer other institutions seeking accreditation to UNMC to learn about its experience with the accreditation process.

“They're holding us up as a model,” said Dr. Prentice. “We have a tremendous program and good investigators.”

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.

About the Alion HRPP Accreditation Program

Alion launched its accreditation services in June 2013 due to overwhelming interest in its innovative HRPP accreditation program and progressive standards. The Alion HRPP Accreditation program features experienced staff, a client-friendly philosophy and a flexible yet rigorous accreditation process. Alion’s Council on Accreditation consists of six recognized experts in the field of human research protection and research ethics.  For information about the Alion HRPP Accreditation Services email info@AlionHRPP.com or visit www.AlionHRPP.com.

About Alion Science and Technology

Alion Science and Technology delivers advanced engineering, IT and operational solutions to strengthen national security and drive business results. For customers in defense, civilian government and commercial industries, Alion’s engineered solutions support smarter decision-making and enhanced readiness in rapidly-changing environments. Building on over 75 years of innovation, Alion turns obstacles into opportunities to help customers achieve their missions. For more information, visit www.alionscience.com

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Vicky Cerino
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-5190