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The Birth of ISQua by Hannu Vuori

Officially, ISQua was born in Udine, Italy on 29 June 1985 in connection with a World Health Organization (WHO) Working Group on Training in Quality Assurance.  The founding fathers were the participants of this Working Group. The idea of an international society devoted to quality assurance in health care was, however, born much earlier – arguably in Kuopio, Finland on a beautiful April evening in 1977.

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Hannu Vuori, M.D., Ph.D., M.A., Vice President of ISQua (1985 – 1991)

The Early Years of ISQua by Charles Shaw

Quality in health care, Europe

In 1979, in the Netherlands, Evert Reerink set up CBO with the Dutch Association of Medical Specialists and Chief Medical Officers to promote quality, initially among professions but later including institutions. In the early 1980s more signs emerged of interest among health care providers and researchers: Lluis Bohigas set up Europe’s first accreditation programme in the Spanish region of Catalonia, Hans-Konrad Selbmann organised a series of workshops sponsored by the Robert Bosch Foundation in Germany, and in 1983 Rosa Sunol and Franco Perraro set up national societies for quality in health care in Spain and Italy respectively. The following year I was invited to set up an exploratory QA project at the King’s Fund in London.

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Dr Charles Shaw, President of ISQua (1995 – 1997)

Assuring Acorn Growth after the Udine Seeding by Jack Best

In 1991 the Society’s nominating Committee chaired by Hannu Vuori wrote to me informing me that the Committee would be putting forward my name as President of the then International Society for Quality Assurance. I was to be the third president following the Swedish medical scientist, Peter Reizenstein and the American medical executive Bill Jessee.

I was somewhat nonplussed, being used to a process where nominations are normally advertised for such a position. Moreover, although I had been on the Board since 1986, having assisted in the organisation of Melbourne Conference in 1989, nobody asked me whether I wanted the job.

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Jack Best AO, MD BS, PhD, Hon DSc, FAFPHM, FRACMA, FRACP(Hon), FACRRM(Hon), FAMA, President of ISQua (1991 - 1993)