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2022 Award Winners

Blum Award

The 2022 recipient of the Blum Award is Bev Padget 

The 2022 recipient of the CSTM Blum award is Bev Padget.

Bev is well known throughout the transfusion community and her early career centered on her work as a medical laboratory technologist and manager in both blood supplier and hospital environments for close to 40 years. For many years, she was the Transfusion Medicine Program Coordinator for the Alberta Laboratory Quality Enhancement Program, which provided proficiency testing for all transfusion services in Western Canada. 

Many would not know that Bev and Maureen Patterson initiated the Buchanan Award in memory of Dr. Buchanan with whom they worked and who they much admired. 

Before her first retirement, Bev was the Quality Coordinator for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta Accreditation Program for a number of years.  During this time, she was the co-coordinator of the CPSA Accreditation Standards Revision Projects, which culminated in the release of ISO compliant, quality-based standards for diagnostic services in the province.

Bev served as a volunteer assessor for the AABB and the College of American Pathologists and enjoyed performing assessments at more than 40 facilities across the US, as well as in Italy.
In 2010, Bev took over the duties of CSTM webmaster under the tutelage of Pat Letendre and performed that role efficiently and tirelessly until April of this year. She has helped to guide the CSTM through two complete website revisions and enjoyed working with the CSTM Board of Directors, as well as the society members and committees.  Amazingly, Bev never failed to keep the website up to date even when she was on vacation overseas with intermittent access to the internet.   Bev is also skilled with her camera and as CSTM’s volunteer photographer, has been capturing the highlights at CSTM events for many years.

Bev’s colleagues on the Board of Directors unanimously and enthusiastically supported awarding her this award in honour of Edna Blum, another lifelong vigorous advocate of CSTM.
Bev was highly appreciated and respected for her work as CSTM webmaster but was also valued as an advisor due to her wisdom and her practical knowledge of transfusion medicine from so many years working in transfusion medicine in both the hospital and the blood supplier settings.  As an assessor who had visited so many different laboratories, Bev developed a refreshing and open-minded perspective on the different ways laboratories find to meet the standards and achieve best practices. 

Perhaps due to her travels abroad to figure skating tournaments with her daughters, Bev became a world traveler.  She has a travel blog, named “A Long and Winding Journey” and posted regularly before the pandemic hit.  Not only is Bev a great source of information in transfusion medicine but she can tell some amazing stories from her travels around the globe and is always willing to provide super tips for those planning their next trip.  Of all her many interests though, Bev’s prime focus is her family, her husband, 2 daughters, son-in-law and grandchildren. 

On behalf of the CSTM Board and members, thank you Bev for your dedication and numerous contributions to the Canadian transfusion community and congratulations on your second retirement and for receiving this much deserved award.


Ortho Award

This year, the Ortho Award is awarded to Dr. Christine Cserti-Gazdewich

Dr. Christine Cserti-Gazdewich is a Transfusion Medicine Specialist at the University Health Network, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto, and an Adjunct Scientist with Canadian Blood Services. Dr. Cserti-Gazdewich completed her undergraduate degree at McMaster University, her medical degree at the University of Toronto, both Internal Medicine and Haematology training at the University of Toronto, and then finally her transfusion medicine training at Harvard University. She has received numerous awards for her academic contributions including the Gerry Scott Award for excellence in Teaching, not once but twice.

She is an exceptional researcher and educator. She is Canada’s foremost expert in serologic complications of transfusion and adverse reactions from transfusion. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications. She has a google scholar H-index of 27 and 2699 citations to her work. She is a fabulous team player and has supervised dozens of students through important transfusion research projects, both here in Canada and internationally. Her three most cited papers are on the impact of the ABO blood group system on malarial outcomes in the journal Blood, the TOTAL transfusion randomized trial conducted in Uganda published in JAMA, and mortality and biomarkers in children with malaria published in Plos One. Her research has proven that ABO allele frequency has been driven by malarial natural selection, and in addition, her work has shown the importance of novel biomarkers in children with malaria. She identified novel host biomarkers of pediatric severe and fatal malaria and assessed interacting drivers of death in an African pediatric population. This research will inform the development of novel therapeutics for children with malaria.

Today, and through the QUEST team with the support of Canadian Blood Services, another deconstructive approach is being applied to cardiorespiratory transfusion reactions in the prospective TADPOL study.

Dr. Cserti-Gazdewich has served on both the Transfusion-Transmitted Injury Surveillance System (TTISS) and the Transfusion Error Surveillance System (TESS) at the Public Health Agency of Canada (Health Canada). Through her work with the TTISS committee, the system has been continuously revised to keep pace with the evolving literature in this area. For TTISS, she is also actively involved with TTISS Ontario and has spoken countless times at the TTISS Ontario annual meeting. In addition, her work with the ISBT Haemovigilance panel ensures Canada maintains its alignment with other countries. For TESS, she has numerous publications on transfusion-related errors that continue to ensure transfusion-related errors are at the forefront of our minds for continuous quality improvement.

Dr. Cserti-Gazdewich has several areas of active research including her focus on malaria and blood group antigens, adverse reactions to transfusion, serologic complications of transfusion, serologic challenges for the “untransfusable” (including her focus on MMA, hyperhemolysis, and hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers), as well as immunohematologic complications of solid organ and stem cell transplantation.

Buchanan Award

This year, the Buchanan Award recipient, selected by conference Scientific Committee, is Elizabeth Krok 

I received my Master of Science and Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Wroclaw in Poland.  While in Poland, I gained experience in transfusion medicine working as a manager in a consulting blood transfusion laboratory, which served over 100 hospitals.  At that time, I was authorized to perform training and examinations for nurses, medical technologists and physicians in the field of Immunohematology.

When I came to Canada, I graduated from the Immunohematology program at the Michener Institute, where I was also later certified to teach students.  I then completed a comprehensive evaluation of my university degree at the University of Toronto and at the International Credential Evaluation Service of the British Columbia Institute of Technology; both facilities accepted my credentials, which then enabled me to obtain my advanced certification, an ART in Transfusion Medicine, from CSMLS.  In 2017, I was certified as an assessor for Institute for Quality Management at Ontario’s IQMH.

I have worked in Transfusion Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital for over 28 years, the last 12 of which as the Operations Leader.  As well as the day-to-day operations of the division, I teach students and residents. I have been involved in various work groups for the improvement of process in Transfusion Medicine including the Provincial ISBT working group, the Ontario Platelet Task Force and the National Hospital Costumer Service Advisory Panel/Committee. I have received recognition from CBS for my dedication to the blood system and for bringing a voice of hospital customers to Canadian Blood Services.

I have co-authored and published various posters and articles on theoretical and practical topics in Transfusion Medicine, actively participated in various international and national clinical studies and provided numerous educational presentations.

Tidbits from Elizabeth’s colleagues:
  • “She is always impeccably dressed (high heels and all), confident, passionate, supremely organized and incredibly knowledgeable. She approaches the problems as an engineer – systematically going through every possibility, before recommending the best possible solution. What you may not know is that she is a loving wife,  mother and grandmother; a great dancer; and is into camping, hiking, playing tennis, skiing, etc etc –– and with all of that, she has managed to break her hand on the way to work, commuting, not flying down mountains at a breakneck speed…”
  • “When she was a Tech, she would have her workspace just full with stuff, papers and such, now that most things are in computer, her computer has so many tabs open.  I find it hilarious.”
  • “Being in her position, Elizabeth is usually quite busy and doing speed walking in her heels.  But regardless how urgent her activities are, if we ever stop her and ask her a question, she’d always answer very calmly and thoroughly, as if she had all the time in the world! This is what true respect and acknowledgement feel like from a colleague and a boss.”
  • “As a colleague, working alongside her on the bench, Elizabeth was always friendly and extremely knowledgeable.   We learned this about her in a very unassuming way, as she casually identified anti-U while working alone on a weekend shift, as well as prepared some of the first validation reports for our lab and introduced us to automation, all while working on her ART.  As a boss, Elizabeth has been accommodating, respectful, and has gently guided us in terms of being part of a quality lab, as well as always promoting continuing education. When answering a question, she will think through all the potential outcomes to give the correct response.  As a friend, she will always lend an ear, without expecting anything in return.  She is a pleasant lady with a good sense of humour, and, when she can, enjoys a dance and a glass of wine. It is a pleasure to know her and to work with her for almost 30 years!”