AAMI News December 2018

Tenth Kilmer Conference Set for June 2019

Kilmer Conference 2019Johnson & Johnson will host its 10th Kilmer Conference in Dublin, Ireland, June 3–6, 2019. The event is a premier global forum focused on sterility assurance and sterilization for invited professionals from industry, academia, government agencies, and healthcare delivery organizations. The theme of next year’s conference is “Collaborate to Innovate.”

The conference series is a memorial to Fred Kilmer, director of the company’s scientific laboratory from 1889 to 1934. Johnson & Johnson held eight Kilmer Conferences from 1976 to 2003 before reviving the event in 2016.

“When we brought back the Kilmer Conference in 2016, something special happened. Convening the leading minds and influencers in the sterilization and sterility assurance community created a space for innovation to happen in real time,” said Joyce Hansen, vice president of Johnson & Johnson Sterility Assurance. “The 2019 Kilmer Conference is an opportunity for the sterility assurance community to come together—and ‘collaborate to innovate’—a must in this climate where innovation is at the forefront of every action. The partnership between industry, academia, regulatory authorities, and professional associations, like AAMI, is a key driver as we move the needle forward in the evolving and dynamic healthcare environment.”

AAMI has had a direct role in shaping the “vision and content” for the 2019 Kilmer Conference program, according to Amanda Benedict, a standards director at the association. AAMI President and CEO Rob Jensen serves on the Industrial Advisory Board, and Benedict serves on the Program Committee.

“The 2019 Kilmer Conference program is certain to prove both motivational and inspirational, and will deliver content focused on evidence-based, innovative practices to foster collaborative approaches within the sterility assurance community,” Benedict said. “The forward-looking exchange of ideas and new approaches throughout the conference will help sterilization professionals prepare for future advances in science and technology that will enable end-to-end sterility assurance to advance patient safety.”

But learning at the conference extends beyond the formal presentations, according to Benedict. “The Kilmer Conference provides an invaluable opportunity for in-person exchange of ideas among sterility assurance, aseptic processing, and terminal sterilization industry leaders and technical experts from around the world,” she said.

A Legacy of Learning

Kilmer ProceedingsThe Kilmer Conference and its proceedings, which Johnson & Johnson donated to AAMI in 2016, have provided bedrock knowledge for many sterility assurance professionals. The ideas and concepts covered during the previous nine events also form the foundation of many AAMI sterilization standards.

For Mike Sadowski, lead scientist for sterility assurance at Baxter International, Inc., the Kilmer Conference proceedings helped shape his career. Coming from a food microbiology background to medical device sterilization more than 25 years ago, he needed to get up to speed quickly on sterility assurance, as his knowledge was limited.

Fortunately, “a great mentor” pointed him to the proceedings. “The Kilmer Conference proceedings were a vital resource for me back then, and I still regularly refer to these volumes,” Sadowski said. “These references included knowledge-sharing contributions by all of the early pioneers that established the application of sterility assurance that we know today.”

“It was a true honor for me to contribute a presentation to the 40-year anniversary of the Kilmer Conference in 2016,” Sadowski added. “This conference was the best sterility assurance forum that I have ever attended. In addition to the fantastic and unmatched agenda, it was invaluable to gain insight on the latest concepts in sterility assurance, trade experiences, and ‘rub elbows’ with the current thought leaders in the industry.”