Controlled Environments spoke with Kathryn Weingart, Vice President of Quality at Pharma Tech Industries. Kathryn recently joined Pharma Tech with over 30 years of quality assurance, regulatory, and technical operations experience in regulated industries. Her career has included quality assurance roles with Qualitest, Pfizer, Cardinal Health, and Procter & Gamble, where her work primarily involved the implementation of effective corporate quality systems and regulatory affairs. Kathryn holds degrees from the College of Mt. St. Joseph (Cincinnati) and the University of Cincinnati.
Controlled Environments (CE): What made you decide to pursue your current career?
Kathryn Weingart (KW): My career was a natural transition from the laboratory. The laboratory is a microcosm of a manufacturing facility with similar processes. I moved from the R&D laboratory into R&D Quality Assurance. I progressed into commercial Quality Assurance and have chosen roles that have been challenging from working in a remediation experience to managing Quality for up to nine contract manufacturing sites. Quality is about ethics and ensuring a company maintains those ethics. It is also about problem solving and finding the right solution to make the best choice from the data presented.
CE: If you could give just one piece of advice to others in your field, what would it be?
KW: The truth is always the easiest path. There is no dispute.
CE: What’s a common misconception about your line of work?
KW: Many folks think a quality job is easy. Once they understand the role they understand it is one of the most difficult roles in the company. We are charged with protecting the consumer. In protecting the consumer, we our protecting the business and ultimately the employee. We are partners with Operations but ultimately make the final decision on approve or reject and oftentimes under the most difficult of circumstances.
CE: What do you consider the highlight of your career?
KW: I was asked to work for a company that was in Warning Letter status. In 15 months, we had zero 483s at our three manufacturing sites. I accomplished my portion of this success by re-engineering the quality systems, hiring the right personnel, and having a consistent message.
CE: What would you tell young people if you wanted to encourage them to join your line of work?
KW: Keep everything in perspective. Don’t expect to have all the answers. Be willing to seek the help of experts if you need it. Have fun!
CE: What do you like to do in your spare time?
KW: I enjoy wildlife rehabilitation. My husband and I for many years have raised white tail deer from fawns and released those deer back to the wild as well as other animals. It is a great stress reliever to come home after a stressful day at work and feeding a bottle to a fawn. It helps keep life in perspective. Note: we have moved, so I am looking forward to reestablishing the rehabilitation in our new home.