We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague Lucie Blok. As a Senior Advisor at KIT, her focus was on strengthening health systems and increasing the effectiveness of control programmes for Tuberculosis (TB), HIV, and other diseases.
Lucie was one of the key contributors to the development and implementation of the Monitoring and Evaluation framework for hundreds of TB REACH pilot projects. She assisted programmes around the world by analysing and translating these lessons to improve interventions and contribute to national and global policy development.
“Lucie could look beyond the numbers. She could interpret what the numbers actually meant. Not only was she knowledgeable about the topics she worked on, but she was also good at transferring that knowledge and motivating her team,” says Mirjam Bakker, who worked with Lucie on the TB REACH programme from 2010. “The trust she had in me back in 2010 meant a lot to me.”
Lucie was also the first chair of the Research Ethics Committee at KIT. In her capacity as the chair, she contributed wholeheartedly to the smooth operation of this new committee. “She was compassionate and worked hard for the wellbeing of others. She had a good eye for the intricacies of ethics and research and always looked for ways to balance different views while doing justice to all participants,” says Prisca Zwanikken.
She had a passion for education and facilitated the learning of KIT’s Master’s programme students. She made it a point to reflect on her work, to learn and ‘do better’ for the benefit of the students.
Beyond her professional work, Lucie dedicated time to the KIT Works Council. For several years, she helped strengthen KIT as an organisation, to make it more responsive to the needs of its employees and fulfil its mission, nationally and internationally.
As part of her work, Lucie travelled widely. “We travelled together three to four times a year. These travels were very special to me, the dinners and insightful evening discussions we had will always stay with me,” says Mirjam.
Despite being ill for quite a while, Lucie continued to work to the best of her ability and beyond. “Her commitment to KIT’s work and her natural connection with the students, colleagues, and partners were an intrinsic part of her. Letting go of this important part of her life was not easy for Lucie, nor was it easy for us to let her go. Although she had to reduce the time she spent at KIT, we still felt Lucie’s presence strongly,” says Lindy van Vliet. “She was so strong and modest at the same time.”
When she was not travelling or at KIT, she was at home in a beautiful old house in Abcoude, The Netherlands, surrounded by a lush green garden with her husband, Bart.
This garden is also where her colleagues met with her for the last time. “I will never forget what was to be the last time the team visited Lucie and Bart, in the summer of 2021,” recalls Masja Straetemans. “It was a warm sunny day, and we sat in the beautiful garden quietly enjoying the sunshine with Lucie. Her husband Bart kept an eye on her from distance. After an hour, we tried to leave but Lucie said, ‘No, please stay, have another beer.’ So, we stayed. And we spent our last hour together with Lucie, peacefully.”
We will miss Lucie, but we will always remain connected through the memories we have of her, and the enormous body of work she has left behind.