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VAIRRS Ambassador Program

In each issue of the VAIRRS Newsletter (every other month), a leading site utilizing the VAIRRS program is selected as a “VAIRRS Ambassador.” Facilities are evaluated based on participation, enthusiasm, and commitment to improving the system and contributing to the benefits the VAIRRS enterprise has to offer. The selected VAIRRS ambassador serves as a great role model to other sites across the country, who want to learn more about VAIRRS and how the program can make their job more efficient and effective. The March VAIRRS Ambassador is the Milwaukee VAMC.

About Milwaukee: The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center is a moderate-sized research program with 163 researchers and 178 active projects.
 
VAIRRS Experience: The Milwaukee VAMC launched VAIRRS as a part of Tier 2. Milwaukee conducted two 1-hour live remote training sessions for researchers and shorter sessions for committee members, all of which were recorded. The center created over 20 short PDF tutorials addressing specific actions for researchers or committee members. These resources are available on their internal SharePoint site. In addition, the Clement J. Zablocki VAMC designated one staff member as their VAIRRS “guru” and directed users to contact them for individual assistance, creating a more personal, direct support system.

Proactive Practices: The VAIRRS “guru” continues to provide one-on-one instruction as needed. Their Translational Research Unit (TRU) team of study coordinators assists researchers who do not have a coordinator to prepare and submit packages. Research office staff frequently email PDF tutorials to researchers to aid with an upcoming submission or package revision. They also have created instructional documents by submission type in each committee library in IRBNet.

Future Plans: We are a test site for VAEDA, which has received positive feedback from researchers thus far.

VAIRRS Milwaukee VA  Team (Left to right): Susan Ahlf (IRB Administrator), Christine Wurm (IRB/R&DC Coordinator), Carlos Marquez (IRBNet Support/VA Grants Manager), Shelley Baumgardt (IACU/Safety Coordinator)



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