It is with great sadness that the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) wishes to announce the death of Professor Chris Brook of Melbourne, Australia, who served as an ISQua Board Member from 1993 to 2001 and as President of the Society from 1997 to 1999.
Professor Brook played a crucial role in ISQua’s early evolution which dramatically consolidated the Society’s growth and development. As a highly influential Australian public health physician and member of the ISQua Board of Directors, he was instrumental in securing funding from both the Australia and Victoria governments for the establishment of ISQua’s first international office located at La Trobe University, Melbourne. The funding also provided for the Society’s first full time Chief Executive Officer and for secure resources for ISQua’s journal. This funding continued for a 10-year period.
In addition to his efforts to secure government funding for ISQua, Professor Brook was also a key figure in the creation of ISQua’s international evaluation programme, the International Accreditation Programme (IAP), now offered by the ISQua External Evaluation Association At its annual conference in Jerusalem in 1996, Professor Brook, then President-Elect of ISQua, introduced a two-part proposal calling for the development and maintenance of international standards for accreditation of health care organisation and for the establishment of an international “council” of accreditation organisations. A small task force was established and tasked with the development of a feasibility study for the new programme which was presented in 1997 at the Society’s annual meeting in Chicago, with 42 different countries attending and expressing interest and support for the development of the new programme. Professor Brook’s proposal and the resulting feasibility study led to the establishment of what is today the International Accreditation Programme. The programme has achieved wide international recognition and as of today has assessed 260 sets of accreditation standards from around the world, 48 surveyor education programmes, and over 100 evaluation organisations.
At ISQua’s Annual General Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October 2001, Professor Brook, in recognition of his excellent contribution to ISQua over several years, especially with regard to finding sources of finance for the Society, was made a Life Member of ISQua.
Professor Brook’s contribution was also formally recognized by ISQua at ISQua’s 26th International Conference in Dublin, Ireland with the presentation of ISQua’s Distinguished Service Award.
Professor Brook’s had wide experience in health policy development and management at the State and Federal levels in Australia where he held a wide range of director/executive director positions relating to various parts of the health care system. He had degrees in accounting, microeconomic and quantitative analysis, was a Fellow in the Australian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, and a Fellow in the Royal Australian College of Medical Administrator. He was a Professorial Fellow, Monash University, and an Adjunct Professor and Chair, Deakin Medical School Advisory Board. Most recently he was a health policy consultant, and his “passions” were Emergency Management and the role of public administration in it, and improving the quality and access to blood supplies and medical procedures.
We at ISQua today owe a lot to Professor Brook, who nurtured the seed and thus enabled us to become what we are now. His memory and contribution will forever live with us.
Jeffrey Braithwaite Carsten Engel