Remembering Ans Steuten 1962 - 2018

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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ans Steuten, our beloved colleague and founder of the EHA Executive Office.

Words that describe Ans in a nutshell: pioneer, diplomatic, smart, dedicated, charming and humorous.

In the millennium year, Ans started the one-person Executive Office, taking over the secretarial support that was provided by an external company since EHA started in 1992. In close collaboration with, and under the guidance of then EHA President Bob Löwenberg, the tiny office was initiated and located at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam.

Over the years, Ans worked closely together with many board and committee members. Some of them founding fathers, like Bob Löwenberg and John Goldman, others longtime members like Emili Montserrat, Ton Hagenbeek, Robin Foà, Laurent Degos, Didi Jasmin, Magnus Björkholm and many more.

Ans led the EHA Executive Office for seven years more, which soon moved to increasingly larger offices in Rotterdam and eventually, The Hague. Ans was a wonderful human being beloved by many of us. She was famous for her personal commitment to EHA and her remarkable humor and handling delicate issues with admirable diplomacy; many of her business relationships turned into friendships. The annual congress of EHA was the opportunity to meet with friends from the hematology community from leading hematologists to staff of partner organizations, as well as the congress secretariat and many other people.

In 2007, Ans decided to step back due to her fragile health. She could no longer meet the demands of a growing office and EHA’s expanding ambitions. The EHA Board together with Ans looked for the right person and leader who could run the EHA Executive Office. Carin Smand not only fitted the profile, but there was also this very important personal click, which allowed Ans to focus on the topic where her heart laid: career development.

In the following years, Ans was very much involved in the launch and following editions of the prestigious Translational Research Training in Hematology, which was established in close collaboration with the American Society of Hematology.

With her enthusiasm for the field and experience, Ans helped the career development program grow, extensively supporting the Fellowships and Grants Committee over the years.

Another part within EHA that was of big importance for Ans was the governance of the association which took shape with the involvement of the Nomination Committee, established in 2006.

In 2016, Ans stopped working for the Executive Office as her health was weakening. She always kept in touch with the people she worked with over the years. 

She will be dearly missed. 

On behalf of the European Hematology Association, 

Pieter Sonneveld, EHA President and Carin Smand, Executive Director

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Robin Foà


Regretfully, only recently I learned that Ans had passed away. Very sad indeed, though not unexpected. We had know each other for endless years and I had always known of her frail health. We spoke frequently about it and inevitably over the years she was forced to reduce her activity at EHA. And recenly her conditions had worsened. We interacted very closely for many years, always available, always committed, always dedicated. A true pillar in the history of EHA, from its initial days. The many joint memories will remain vivid. Robin Foà

Sylvia Veltmaat (niece Ans)


The family of Ans, in particular Jos, want to thank the EHA for the tribute to Ans. It is comforting to read what she has done for the EHA and how much this was appreciatied. The EHA years were the most beautiful years of her life, she told me. Therefore Ans thanks you all; it has been a pleasure working with you.
Bob, thank you for your letter. Jos carries the letter on his chest, next to his heart and it gives a lot of support.
Carin, thank you for your beautiful, careful speech at the commemoration of Ans.
Rik, thank you for all the love and friendship.
Jon, thank you for using your song. Ans loved it: the lyrics, the video clip, the singer.
All the guests present at the commemoration: thank you for being there.
And all the friends/colleagues present in mind: thank you too.
It has been a good life.
At the request of Ans, Sylvia.

Wendy Morrill


Intelligent, stylish, cool, and funny...Ans was one in a million.

Linda Burns


This is very sad news - a smart, charming, witty, creative, caring, dedicated friend and colleague has left us. I worked with Ans as part of the ASH leadership team in developing TRTH. Her determinedness to create a highly successful program and dedication to junior career hematologists were unsurpassed. She'll be missed by so many.

Martha Liggett


The staff at the American Society of Hematology sends our sincere condolences to Ans's family, her colleagues, and the hematologists she touched throughout her career at the European Hematology Association. We have many fond memories of working alongside Ans over the years due to her wit, dedication, and desire to have everything be cozy. In 2005, we had the pleasure of hosting Ans and her staff at ASH headquarters where we spent two days exchanging information about all aspects of association management. This was the start of a strong relationship with Ans that included joint programs like TRTH, but also brought the opportunity to share meals and stories together. We really appreciated the lovely touch Ans brought to every discussion and the way she treated us all as friends. We will miss her very much.

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