Building an Exceptional Animal Care and Use Program Through Engaged Leaders and Continuous Improvement

Des Moines, IA US
April 18, 2018


This activity is open to DMU faculty and staff only. 

Target Audience

DMU faculty and staff. 


An exceptional animal care and use program actively balances science, animal welfare, and compliance. This balancing act requires knowledge of scientific integrity, ethical use of animals in research, and animal well-being, as well as an in-depth understanding of regulations, all within a context of continuous improvement. With the right strategies, animal care and use professionals on all levels can contribute to creating and maintaining a high-quality program. During this 90-minute webinar, speakers will provide a framework for building a strong animal care and use program or strengthening an established program.

Topics will include:

  • Four important features of an effective program:
    • Engaged leaders and staff at all levels throughout your organization
    • Comprehensive training programs
    • Maintaining up-to-date knowledge of new literature and regulations
    • Establishing performance standards and metrics of success
  • Key elements to foster a culture of care at your institution:
    • Institutional commitment
    • Sustainability
    • Networking opportunities
  • How the "3 S's"—good science, good sense, and good sensibilities—complement the 3Rs (reduction, replacement, and refinement)
  • Case studies that demonstrate the positive effect that a strong animal care and use program can have on scientific integrity and animal welfare


  • Implement new strategies for building or improving an effective animal care and use program based on engagement, training, knowledge sharing, and success metrics
  • Understand the importance of balancing science, animal welfare and compliance within an animal care and use program
  • Correlate the 3 S's with the 3Rs
  • Examine scenarios from different viewpoints and establish an institutional perspective that supports a culture of care

Background Reading

Smith, A.J., and Hawkins, P. (2016). Good Science, Good Sense and Good Sensibilities: The Three Ss of Carol Newton. Animals, 6, p. 70. doi:10.3390/ani6110070


Christina Savidge, BS-Animal Science LATG, has 17 years of preclinical experience in large animal, rodent, and reproductive toxicology. She has competencies in various technical procedures including dosing and blood collection techniques critical to the successful conduct of toxicology studies on multiple species. Ms. Savidge is currently the manager of the Large Animal Toxicology program at Envigo CRS-Princeton (formerly Huntingdon Life Sciences), a contract research organization that provides essential products and research services for pharmaceutical, crop protection, and chemical companies as well as universities, governments, and other research organizations and is in proximity to Rutgers and Princeton Universities. Christina joined Envigo in 1999 after receiving her Bachelors of Animal Science degree from the University of Delaware.

Ms. Savidge is responsible for planning and executing a wide variety of study designs in the Large Animal Toxicology group with a focus on both animal welfare and exceptional quality. By researching and developing new procedures and investigating and implementing refinements, she helps to continuously improve upon the levels of animal care at the facility and within the industry; she also has participated as a member and former Chair of the company’s IACUC. Christina is passionate about the work she does and strives to strengthen the bond between her team and the animals they care for on a daily basis. She enjoys new challenges and learning opportunities, and is honored to be co-presenting this webinar.

Sally Thompson-Iritani, DVM, PhD, CPIA, is the director of the Office of Animal Welfare at the University of Washington (UW) and acting associate director for the Washington National Primate Research Center. The Office of Animal Welfare has undergone several transitions to increase its alignment and move forward with technology and customer service while maintaining regulatory compliance. They recently completed an overhaul and conversion to a fully integrated electronic database system for IACUC management, and other projects include Compassion Fatigue Support, a national repository for standard procedures (Compliance Unit Standard Procedures), and a learning management system for overseeing training of IACUC members and personnel that interact with animals.

Prior to being at UW, Dr. Thompson-Iritani received her DVM from Iowa State University, and received training as a laboratory animal veterinarian and obtained a PhD in environmental toxicology at UW. After that, she held positions in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry in both small and large companies, where she was responsible for preclinical oversight, vivarium management, veterinary care, and IACUC offices for 18 years. Dr. Thompson-Iritani’s particular interests include an emphasis on animal welfare while maintaining compliance, scientific integrity, and researcher support in the various types of areas where these intersect, such as education, biomedical, field, and conservation research. Dr. Thompson-Iritani is a member of the 2017 IACUC Conference Planning Committee.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.75 CE Contact Hour(s)
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
04/18/2018 - 12:00pm CDT
Event ends: 
04/18/2018 - 1:45pm CDT
Des Moines University
3200 Grand Avenue
Munroe Building
Des Moines, IA 50312
United States
+1 (515) 271-1596

Des Moines University is located on a 22-acre campus in the heart of Des Moines, Iowa. Just west of downtown on Grand Avenue, the University is located in one of Des Moines’ most prestigious neighborhoods. The campus is in a historic neighborhood filled with tree-lined streets and gracious older homes and businesses. Its central location makes it easy to access the rest of the city and outlying communities. The campus is close to the Des Moines International Airport, located on the bus line and just blocks from local shopping and downtown Des Moines.


Available Credit

  • 1.75 CE Contact Hour(s)


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