The Florida Department of Health was the first health agency in the nation to earn the “gold seal” from a nationally recognize accrediting agency for its protocols involving human research. On Wednesday members of the Department of Health’s Institutional Review Board met in Tallahassee to discuss ways the state can improve its Human Research Protection Program in order to keep its accreditation. The focus of the meeting was specifically on obtaining consent from children who are involved in research and how to document when children consent to research or when their parents consents to research. The department is taking the steps as it seeks to renew its full accreditation from the Association for Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program. According to the group’s website, the department first got its full accreditation in 2008. Not only was the DOH the first accredited public health agency it was the first accredited organization in the state. In all there are nine organizations that have the accreditation, including the James A. Haley Veteran’s Hospital in Tampa as well as the University of South Florida and the University of Central Florida. The Jaeb Center for Health Research Foundation in Tampa was the mostly recently accredited program in the state, receiving accreditation March 16, 2015. The Tampa based research center focuses its research on projects involving eye disorders or Type 1 Diabetes.
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