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News from AAALAC International

Dr. James R. Swearengen

AAALAC International ad hoc Consultant, Member of the Council on Accreditation, President of the Council, Senior Director, Global Director, Director of Special Projects.


AAALAC Board Member Dr. Ken Anderson receives the 2019 Charles Beard Research Excellence Award

USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation recognized Dr. Kenneth Anderson as the 2019 recipient of the annual Charles Beard Research Excellence Award. Dr. Anderson is a professor in the Prestage Department of Poultry Science at North Carolina State University. The award is named in honor of Dr. Charles Beard, former director of the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory and former vice president of research at USPOULTRY.

The USPOULTRY Foundation Research Advisory Committee selected Dr. Anderson for this award based on his exceptional research on mass depopulation methods to reduce animal suffering in poultry. Dr. Anderson worked to understand how heat and carbon dioxide can be added to the process known as ventilation shutdown to quickly reduce animal suffering when depopulating large numbers of chickens and turkeys in order to stop the spread of devastating diseases such as avian influenza and Newcastle disease. This process, now known as VSD-plus, has been accepted by the authorities at USDA-APHIS as an approved method of mass depopulation in times of disease outbreaks, which is a tremendous improvement over previously approved methods. Dr. Anderson's research formed the basis for the policy decision by USDA-APHIS. Dr. Anderson's research has been supported by three grants from USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation which have allowed him to also demonstrate and teach the correct methods to conduct VSD-plus to both the regulatory officials and the poultry industry.

"The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association has been very supportive of our research program over the years and I am very grateful for this support. The support of the association has helped us to make meaningful advances in the development of improved methods of depopulation," commented Dr. Anderson.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Anderson! Full news release is available here:

AAALAC International appoints Helen Diggs Senior Director

AAALAC International has appointed Helen E. Diggs, M.Ed., D.V.M., DACLAM, Senior Director. Dr. Diggs is currently campus Attending Veterinarian/Director Laboratory Animal Resources Center, Professor Carson College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University in Corvallis. In her new position as AAALAC's Senior Director, Dr. Diggs will participate in AAALAC's education and outreach program in North America, including digital resources, educational activities and analysis of accreditation trends. She will also partner with the Global Director in facilitating many aspects of the accreditation program. Dr. Diggs will assume duties as AAALAC's new Senior Director on January 2, 2019.

Dr. Diggs has a long history of service with AAALAC International. She served as an ad hoc Consultant for AAALAC from 1994-2003 and from 2005-2007. She has been a member of AAALAC's Council on Accreditation since 2007 and served as a Council Officer from 2013-2017. In 2018 she was elected Council Vice President. Dr. Diggs also served on the AAALAC International Strategic Planning Committee.

"Dr. Diggs brings a tremendous amount of professional expertise and in-depth knowledge of AAALAC's programs and processes to her new position as Senior Director for AAALAC International," said Dr. Kathryn Bayne, AAALAC International Chief Executive Officer. "Her background serving in a wide range of professional roles--including as an Attending Veterinarian,  an Associate Dean of Hospital Programs, and several Directorships--gives her a unique vantage point and ability to understand the unique needs and concerns of animal care and use programs from multiple perspectives. This combined with her rich history serving AAALAC in a variety of leadership roles will serve our constituents well. We are thrilled to welcome her aboard!"

"I am truly honored by the opportunity to serve this wonderful organization as Senior Director," said Dr. Diggs. "I look forward to working with the many capable and compassionate individuals who support AAALAC International and its mission. I will strive to continue the standard of excellent service that is the AAALAC tradition."

Dr. Diggs received a B.A. and M.Ed. in Education from the University of Portland, and a D.V.M. from Oregon State University and Washington State University. As the 2008 Oregon State University commencement speaker, she received an honorary Doctor of Science. She is a skilled author and speaker and has served in numerous leadership roles for volunteer professional associations including President of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM), Executive Board of the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), Board of Directors for the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), and as a member of the AALAS Foundation Board of Directors. Dr. Diggs developed and directs the ACLAM- recognized Laboratory Animal Medicine Residency Consortium that includes Oregon Health & Science University, the Oregon National Primate Research Center, and the OSU Carson College of Veterinary Medicine.

Prior to serving as Attending Veterinarian at Oregon State University, Dr. Diggs served for many years as Attending Veterinarian at the University of California, Berkeley and as the UC System-wide Veterinary Consultant.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Diggs!

AAALAC International appoints Gary L. Borkowski Global Director

AAALAC International has appointed Gary L. Borkowski, D.V.M., M.S., as Global Director. Dr. Borkowski has served as Senior Director for AAALAC International since August 2017. Prior to joining AAALAC, he served as Senior Research Advisor for Lilly Research Laboratories in Indianapolis, Indiana.

In his new position as AAALAC's Global Director, Dr. Borkowski will oversee the accreditation program globally as well as serve as one of the staff members representing AAALAC International and promoting AAALAC's mission on a worldwide basis. He will also assist the Chief Executive Officer in implementing the policies and programs of the organization. Dr. Borkowski will assume duties as AAALAC's new Global Director on November 1st.

Dr. Borkowski has a long history of service with AAALAC International. As Senior Director he led and oversaw AAALAC's education and outreach program in North America, including digital resources, educational activities and analysis of accreditation trends. He also facilitated many aspects of the accreditation program. His service to AAALAC first began in 1998 when he was selected to become an Ad Hoc Consultant to AAALAC. In the years following, he served multiple terms as a member of AAALAC's Council on Accreditation. From 2007 through 2011 he also served on the AAALAC International Board of Trustees representing the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS).

"We are thrilled that Dr. Borkowski has accepted the position of Global Director," said Dr. Kathryn Bayne, AAALAC International Chief Executive Officer. "During his time as Senior Director, Dr. Borkowski demonstrated tremendous leadership and stewardship of AAALAC's mission and work. This, combined with his deep knowledge of AAALAC's accreditation program and processes, will serve AAALAC extremely well in his new position as Global Director."

Dr. Borkowski received his veterinary medical degree from Iowa State University, a master's degree in laboratory animal medicine from the Pennsylvania State University, and he is board certified in Laboratory Animal Medicine. He has 30 years of experience in academic and pharmaceutical laboratory animal medicine and science, and has worked at major international research institutions including Vanderbilt University, Pennsylvania State University, Upstate Medical Center, Monsanto, Pharmacia, Pfizer and Eli Lilly & Co. Dr. Borkowski also worked at the Kennedy Space Center on four Space Shuttle Life Sciences missions for the commercial development of microgravity research. He previously served as the Program Chair for the National AALAS Annual Meeting, and is past-president of both ASLAP (American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners) and ACLAM (American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine).

"I am grateful for the opportunity to serve AAALAC International in the role of Global Director and will work hard to uphold the very high level of quality service that has been established by others who have previously served in this position," said Dr. Borkowski. "I continue to be impressed by the dedication of the individuals I have the privilege to interact with and how deeply they care about the animals and people with whom they work."

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Borkowski!

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