Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Recognized for High Standards in Protecting the Welfare of Research Participants

Los Angeles - July 23, 2010 – Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has received its third consecutive full accreditation from the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. (AAHRPP), whose goal is to ensure that research institutions meet the highest standards in respecting and protecting individuals who participate in research. This is done through a rigorous review process that accredits only those organizations that rigorously demonstrate tangible evidence—through policies, procedures, and practices—of their commitment to scientifically and ethically safe and sound research, and to continuous improvement.

Cedars-Sinai was the first organization to be accredited in California, receiving full accreditation in April 2004. At the end of the initial three-year period, the medical center received its second full accreditation in 2007. The new accreditation is now effective for five years. In certifying Cedars-Sinai’s most recent accreditation, AAHRPP highlighted many strengths of the medical center’s protection program, including ongoing educational programs for Cedars-Sinai researchers that focused on the importance of protecting research participants, a comprehensive quality assurance and monitoring process, and extensive staff support to ensure the highest quality informed consent process for research subjects. Applying for accreditation is voluntary for organizations involved in human research, but according to Shlomo Melmed, M.D., senior vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of the faculty, at Cedars-Sinai, this is a natural extension of the medical center’s commitments to both quality care and quality research.

“Cedars-Sinai has a long history of providing excellent patient care, and we are one of the leading non-university academic medical centers involved in scientific research and clinical investigation. Although AAHRPP accreditation is not mandatory, we view it as part of our responsibility, assuring stringent protection of participants in our clinical studies and helping to raise standards nationwide,” said Melmed, who is also the Helene A. and Philip E. Hixon Chair in Investigative Medicine.

The accreditation process requires an organization to conduct a thorough internal selfassessment of the Human Research Protection Program and submit written documentation of compliance to AAHRPP, which then conducts a comprehensive site visit. To receive full accreditation, Cedars-Sinai had to meet all of AAHRPP’s 77 elements of accreditation standards.

AAHRPP was established in 2001 by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, the Consortium of Social Science Associations, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, the National Health Council, and Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research. Supporting members include AAALAC International, the Alliance of Independent Academic Medical Centers, Alpha-1Foundation, the American Heart Association, the American Society for Investigative Pathology, and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.