Live town hall is today, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. ET
Join CEO Dr. Graham Sher and panelists Dr. Isra Levy, VP medical affairs and innovation, Rick Prinzen, chief supply chain officer and VP donor relations and Dr. Yasmin Razack, chief diversity officer for updates and information as well as a question and answer session. You can submit your email or video questions for Graham and panelists to email@example.com with the subject line “TOWNHALL” or record an audio question by phoning 1-800-509-3329. If you prefer to submit written questions anonymously, use this form (indicate “TOWNHALL” in the subject line). To join live, click the meeting link in your Outlook invite. If you’re unable to make it, a recording of the event will be available on the employee portal within 24 hours.
Eligibility change: Donors who've lived in Saudi Arabia, Western Europe now eligible
A recent change to the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) criteria could bring back a thousand previously deferred donors a year and make many more in Canada newly eligible. As of Feb. 6, donors will no longer be deferred for having lived in Saudi Arabia or Western Europe (except the UK, Republic of Ireland or France). Deferrals for the UK, Republic of Ireland and France remain in place. This evidence-based change allows us to be less restrictive about who can donate while continuing to safeguard Canada's blood supply. Learn more about the vCJD eligibility change.
Feedback fosters a more equitable experience for Deaf donors
When donor feedback raised a flag and prompted a deeper look into what the donor experience is like for Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing donors, a cross-functional team collaborated and identified a few gaps. To ensure that this group of donors felt like a valued part of Canada’s Lifeline, we took action and made changes, including adding a new page on blood.ca. This has been a true win for donor experience and inclusion. Read the full story on Connect.
A hero and cord blood advocate tells her story
Mai Duong was diagnosed with leukemia while pregnant in 2014. A few days after her diagnosis, she had to terminate the pregnancy to start chemotherapy treatments. Unfortunately, she relapsed later that year and needed a stem cell transplant to survive. Because Mai is of Vietnamese ethnicity, her search for a donor was a big challenge but she found one and did receive a cord blood transplant. As soon as she was in remission, she launched Swab the World, a non-profit organization that’s working to boost ethnic diversity in the worldwide stem cell donor base. Read and watch Mai’s #BeAHero story on Connect.
Question of the day: How can I become a better ally to my Black colleagues and help foster inclusion within the organization?
Participating in Black History Month through learning, reflection and celebration is an important way to help initiate change and foster Black inclusion, diversity and social justice within Canadian Blood Services. This February, employees are encouraged to read inspiring stories from Black donors, recipients, employees and volunteers. You can also engage with important resources on inclusion, education and anti-Black racism. You may even want to attend an educational webinar like the Feb. 17 session History of race and racism in Canada, offered by our partners at the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion.
On Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. ET, Dr. Yasmin Razack, our chief diversity officer, will facilitate a special session, Recognizing and addressing microaggressions. This session will explore the impact of those negative messages and actions that are directed to marginalized groups while offering insights on how to identify and address them in our work environments. Register here. As we celebrate Black history and excellence this month, we commit to further evolving our practices and policies and to creating safer, equitable and more inclusive places, spaces and communities for all. As a community, we are called to individual and organizational accountability and action to address anti-Black racism in all its forms and actively advance Black inclusion. Explore more resources on Connect and read about our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion at blood.ca/DEI.
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This digest highlights the latest policy and employee support measures, resources to help you manage our new reality and original content to remind us that what we do matters. This information can be found on blood.ca/employees from any device, no login required.
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