INSPECTOR INSIGHTS

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Inspector Insight Story: Dr. Abba Zubair Shares his Love of Learning and Friendships to Motivate Inspectors

Dr. Abba Zubair

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Dr. Abba Zubair is the Medical Director at Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program of Mayo Clinic and Nemours Children’s Clinic and Wolfson Children’s Hospital located in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Zubair has 17 years of education and training including a Medical Degree from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaire, Nigeria. He completed his internship at Murtala Mohammed General Hospital located in Kano, Nigeria where Abba grew up. He was awarded Best Intern for Kano State. Dr. Zubair also earned a PhD. in Tumor Immunology from the University of Sheffield; Post-Doctorial Fellowship and Pathology and Laboratory Residency at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine; and a Clinical Fellowship in Transfusion Medicine and Masters of Clinical Science at Harvard Medical School. In 2011, Dr. Zubair completed the Quality Academy at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Zubair has also published over 40 peer-reviewed articles.

Dr. Zubair has been a FACT inspector for 14 years, and has performed 12 Cellular Therapy and 14 Cord Blood Inspections. Dr. Arthur Jones, his chairperson at the time, encouraged him to apply after a successful FACT inspection at their program. Dr. Zubair volunteered as a FACT inspector to keep up-to-date with the FACT Standards. This has certainly proven effective. Dr. Zubair remarks, “Every time I go through the inspection process, it is like going through an entire practice of cell therapy. I get to rehearse and revise each aspect of the program’s activities, both old and new. It helps me remain current because it forces me to read and be up-to-date with current literature in the field.”

“In addition to having greater opportunity to shape the practice of cellular therapy, I benefit by developing friendships with people in my own discipline. There are two kinds of people that I am privileged to meet and establish relationships with including my team members, who join me during the inspection process, and the inspected program’s leadership and supporting staff. We share both professional and personal stories, and truly bond together. I learn about many different cultures around the world which expands my network and connections with people in the field,” states Dr. Zubair.

His experience as an inspector has contributed to improvements at his program in Jacksonville, Florida. “I observe many ways to meet the same FACT Standard and some programs meet the Standards in a better way than my own program. Every experience makes me a better leader and practitioner,” remarks Dr. Zubair.

Dr. Zubair is the current chairperson of the FACT Inspector Advisory Committee, a member of the FACT Board of Directors, and member of the FACT Cellular Therapy Accreditation Committee. His leadership qualities have made a great impact on FACT. Dr. Zubair sees many benefits of serving on FACT Committees and the Board of Directors. In his view, “Being a member of the FACT Board of Directors contributes to my leadership development which in turn strengthens my career. By being an active participant in FACT activities, I have a greater opportunity to shape the practice of cellular therapy. My contributions help generate new FACT Standards that improve the practice and application of cell therapy in medical practice.”

Dr. Zubair states that he believes knowledge is the best gift you can give someone, and the giver and the receiver both feel gratified. “Participating in FACT workshops and webinars provides a gratifying feeling that one is contributing to his own professional community.”

Dr. Zubair encourages others to volunteer as a FACT inspector because he truly believes it improves your program practice of cellular therapy and ultimately benefits the patient. Dr. Zubair’s advice to new inspectors includes:

  • Prepare ahead and manage your time during the process.
  • Have an open and positive approach to the inspection process.
  • Stay focused on the Standards - not your own institutional practice.
  • Enjoy the process!

Dr. Zubair was asked about his distinguished accomplishments and he commented, “I am the most proud of being a father of four children. Two have graduated from college, one is working as a software developer, and the other is in Medical School. My two younger children are in elementary school.”

There are many different FACT inspector categories and we encourage anyone interested in training as a FACT Inspector to apply today.

Previous Inspector Insights:

Paul Eldridge, PhD

Michele Sugrue, MS, MT(ASCP)SBB

Patrick Hanley, PhD

Richard Meagher, PhD

Jean Sanders, MD

Leonor Fernando, MD

Frank Smith, MD

Dennis Gastineau, MD

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