It is with deep sadness that COHSASA announces the death of one of its most senior colleagues, Dr Katrin Kleijnhans. Dr Kleijnhans, who joined COHSASA on 1st November 2012, died on September 28, 2016 after a long battle with illness.
Dr Kleijnhans was the coordinator for professional development, a surveyor and assisted with the development of standards.
Based in beautiful Betty’s Bay, she worked tirelessly to finish standards for the Government of Botswana, insisting on working until the very last week before her death. These standards will stand proudly among the many achievements that make up the legacy of this extraordinary woman.
Noting their appreciation of her efforts in developing their standards, the Botswana Department of Health said, “The Ministry of Health embarked on the development of additional health quality standards in February 2016 with the assistance of COHSASA.
“The standards are at a final development stage and we are grateful for the efforts of all our stakeholders and partners. However, it would be a great failure not to mention the efforts of Dr Katrin Kleijnhans. As a standards developer, she worked tirelessly, selflessly and spent hours producing the highest quality of work that we are so proud of today. Her enormous knowledge of healthcare standards, healthcare systems and patient safety management will forever dwell in our minds. We appreciated her determination to see the project through to its conclusion.”
CEO of COHSASA, Jacqui Stewart, said: ““Although standards development was not her area of expertise, Katrin researched and found all the background theory and practical aspects and worked many late evening and weekends to meet the challenging deadlines. The end result was an excellent set of standards for Botswana that will be a model for other services in future.
“She was a consummate professional and an excellent role model for other staff. She raised the bar for professional development and was so generous in sharing her knowledge and experience with colleagues and clients.
“Katrin Kleijnhans was exceptional and we are all privileged to have had the opportunity to work with her over the past few years.”
There is little doubt in the minds of those who knew her and worked with her that Dr Kleijnhans was in the “angelic infantry” – a force for the good in improving health care for those who need it most.
Dr Kleijnhans leaves her husband, Wynand, and three sons, their wives and her grandchildren.
She will be deeply missed. RIP.
A Consummate professional
Katrin Müller Kleijnhans had more than 24 years’ experience in continuous advancement and expertise in healthcare development, management, healthcare quality, healthcare risk management, programme audit and evaluation.
This knowledge was gained both in a private specialist hospital setting in Saudi Arabia and public and private sectors in South Africa.
She obtained a MBChB at Pretoria University in 1976 and afterwards accumulated several diplomas and degrees: A Post Graduate Diploma in Tropical Health and Medicine; an Advanced Certificate in Health Management (Masters Level) and an Advanced Certificate in Patient Safety & Clinical Risk Management (Masters Level). She was also a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ).
After 13 years in a solo private practice in a rural area of South Africa during which time she raised three children, the family returned to Pretoria where she joined the Provincial Health Services as District Surgeon. In 1994, she was appointed as the first female Chief District Surgeon.
In the new Public sector after 1994, she was eventually promoted to Chief Medical Advisor responsible for the specialised health programmes in the region.
In April 2005, she joined her husband in Saudi Arabia and was appointed as Director of Risk Management, and Safety/ Emergency Preparedness at the Saad Specialist Hospital in Al Khobar, the fifth largest and most prestigious private hospital in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. After almost eight years in Saudi Arabia, she returned to South Africa where she joined the COHSASA team as the Coordinator of Professional Development in November 2012.