On July 31, 2019, IQMH bid a fond farewell to Astrid Petersons a valued member of the IQMH team with more than 17 years dedicated to continuous quality improvement. Astrid joined IQMH in February 2002 fulfilling a need for a manager of the Transfusion Medicine proficiency testing PTT)/external quality assessment (EQA) program.
With an extensive knowledge and professional background, she was the perfect fit. She graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a BSc in Biology and from Fanshawe College as a general MLT. She achieved advanced registration in Immunohematology. Her work experience started in the Blood Bank at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. She then moved to London and worked as a Senior Technologist in the Blood Transfusion Laboratory at Victoria Hospital (now London Health Sciences Centre). Astrid returned to Toronto and served as the Technical Specialist of the Blood Transfusion Laboratory at North York Branson Hospital. She was the Supervisor of Transfusion Medicine at Toronto Medical Laboratories at University Health Network prior to joining IQMH (then QMP–LS).
Astrid not only assumed responsibility for our EQA transfusion medicine program, she accepted new responsibilities and continued to demonstrate her value to the organization when she assumed the management of the virology, flow cytometry and point-of-care testing EQA/PT programs working with several of our scientific committees to develop the best surveys and programs.
Whole-heartedly committed to quality, Astrid championed health and safety in the workplace and led the work of the Joint Health and Safety Committee developing our first in-house Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WMHIS) training program for employees. Continuing with her professional development, Astrid obtained certification and formal recognition by the American Society of Quality (ASQ) as a Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence in October 2003 and as a Certified Quality Auditor in June 2009.
When QMP–LS set the goal of developing a quality management system, Astrid was appointed Quality Manager and led the work of the Quality Committee. Her leadership and project management skills helped move us closer to realizing our objective. She championed the need for robust processes and procedures advocating for the use of root-cause analysis and Lean projects to troubleshoot and improve our service delivery. Together with the Centre for PT team, Astrid helped the Centre for Proficiency Testing achieve international recognition in accordance with the recognized International Standard ISO/IEC 17043: 2010 Conformity assessment — General requirements for proficiency testing.
We will miss Astrid’s efficient and steadfast dedication to quality improvement. We wish Astrid a happy and healthy retirement as she pursues her love of fitness, cycling, alpine skiing, swing dancing, singing, and playing ukulele with her charming and affable partner John.