2022-06-30 16:00Press release

KILMER Conference 2022 Promises Bright Future for Sterility Assurance

Kilmer Conference 2022 logo

Key Industry Leaders were recognized during the event.

Athens, Greece – The 11th KILMER Conference, hosted by Johnson & Johnson in Athens, Greece, brought together more than 300 microbiological quality and sterility assurance professionals from industry, academia, government agencies, notified bodies, and healthcare delivery organizations around the world.

The KILMER Conference has historically served to exchange ideas with the brightest minds in sterility assurance and as a network to share best practices. In the last few years, the conference has prompted conversations about the need to connect the dots for Sterility Assurance from end-to-end in the product lifecycle and the importance of collaborating to innovate. This year, the theme for this global forum was “CONTINUITY: Fostering our Future.” 

In describing the importance of this year’s theme, Joyce Hansen, Vice president of Sterility Assurance for Johnson & Johnson and KILMER Conference Chair highlighted that, “to continue fostering the solutions that will help us solve our sterilization challenges and minimize risk to patients, it is imperative to sustain what is working well, and that we embrace change and support the industries growth while making sure that we develop our talent for the future.”

During the conference, the participants continued the tradition of shaping this critical technical field and sharing their community learning to find solutions to the most challenging infection prevention challenges.

In spirit of the continuity theme, both AAMI President and CEO Pamela Arora and Glenn Wright, COO and president-elect of the Parenteral Drug Association (PDA), also spoke about leveraging their respective association’s resources as leading neutral conveners to host future KILMER Conferences.

“As a long-time supporter of the conference and the home of the KILMER Scholarship and Grant program, AAMI and the AAMI Foundation remain committed to supporting this high-level, high impact work,” Arora said.

Of note, she discussed the widening scope of AAMI’s standards development work in the sterilization field and the influence which ideas sparked at the KILMER conference and led by KILMER groups has on this important work. Wright highlighted PDA’s historied involvement with the Conference, and how AAMI and PDA are ideally positioned with their differing focus areas to host future conferences. 

Wright commented, “I can’t stress enough how strongly PDA feels regarding the importance of the KILMER Conference to the industry and the unique nature of its design and content. PDA, with its 76 years of service to the industry, has and remains a longtime supporter of the KILMER Conference and the KILMER Collaboration groups. It was great to be at the conference in Athens and see so many of my PDA colleagues in attendance. I was especially honored to be present as Maik Jornitz, a very active PDA member and past Chairman of the PDA Board of Directors, was recognized with the KILMER Award.”

“We are very much looking forward to working with AAMI to continue this important Conference. I can’t think of a better collaboration partner,” he said, “Like PDA, it is a leader in its focus areas and, like PDA, provides its members and the overall industry enormous value.”

“We want to ensure the conference remains innovative, collaborative, and serves as a unique opportunity to share knowledge and leadership to the field,” Arora added. “I look forward to working with PDA as we envision the future of KILMER together.”


The KILMER Awards have been presented at each KILMER Conference to recognize significant personal and organizational contributions to the sterility assurance field, leading to improved patient safety.

The 2022 KILMER Award recipients were Michelle Alfa, who received the award for her personal contributions to combat patient infections that develop from processing reusable medical devices in hospital settings, and Maik Jornitz, for his unique contributions to the advancement of aseptic process filter sterilization of sterile products.

During the award ceremony, Walt Rosebrough, CEO Emeritus and Senior Advisor, Steris, highlighted that “Michele Alfa has spent the bulk of her career helping combat patient infections that develop while processing reusable medical devices in hospital settings.”

“Over the past 30 years or so, her primary area of research has been related to Hospital-acquired infections, specifically related to improving reprocessing of complex medical devices and monitoring disinfection/cleaning of the healthcare environment to reduce the risk of infection transmission,” said Rosebrough.

While presenting the KILMER Award to Maik Jornitz, Hansen highlighted Jornitz’s relevant and recent pioneering research on masking studies for aseptic process filter sterilization of sterile products.

“He has authored over 130 publications, has served as co-editor and co-author for twelve books and over nineteen book chapters, and has 30 patents related to biopharmaceutical process equipment.  In addition, he has worked with many PDA members, regulatory authorities, and manufacturers from around the world to advance the area of aseptic processing.  He is a strong believer that we have an obligation to train the next generation to share our experiences to provide a solid base for the next generation of experts coming up through the ranks to take our places,” concluded Hansen.

Hansen, who is planning to retire from Johnson & Johnson in January 2023, received a surprising special award for her invaluable contributions to the Sterility Assurance Sciences, Quality Systems, Compliance, and overall Quality Operations. Currently the Vice President of J&J Microbiological Quality and Sterility Assurance, Hansen is responsible for providing strategic vision, leadership and governance for sterility assurance E2E lifecycle management for sterile products and the microbiological quality assurance for non-sterile products across Johnson & Johnson. 

With over 42 years of experience in industrial microbiology and sterility assurance, Hansen has led several sterility assurance and sterilization organizations during her career and focuses on development and implementation of strategic plans.

The KILMER Conference series is a premier global forum focused on sterility assurance and sterilization for professionals from industry, academia, government agencies, and healthcare delivery organizations. Johnson & Johnson held eight KILMER Conferences from 1976 to 2003 before reviving the event in 2016 with AAMI’s support. That same year, Johnson & Johnson donated electronic versions of the past KILMER Conference proceedings to AAMI, which has provided bedrock knowledge for many sterility assurance professionals. The 2019 KILMER Conference theme of “Collaborate to Innovate” inspired discussions around how industry professionals can share knowledge outside of the silos of their respective organizations.

Work which has resulted from the new, modernized KILMER Conferences includes an ongoing series of Industrial Sterilization supplements, freely accessible through AAMI’s peer-reviewed journal, BI&T.

About AAMI

AAMI (www.aami.org) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1967. It is a diverse community of more than 10,000 healthcare technology professionals united by one important mission—supporting the healthcare community in the development, management, and use of safe and effective health technology. AAMI is the primary source of consensus standards, both national and international, for the medical device industry, as well as practical information, support, and guidance for health technology and sterilization professionals.


Brian Stallard
Director of News and Media Relations
Brian Stallard