National Blood Donor Week begins with thanks from patients
National Blood Donor Week (June 13–19, 2021) is an opportunity to celebrate blood donors and thank them for their generosity and commitment to patients. To kick off this year’s celebrations, several grateful blood product recipients shared their thanks in a special video. We also re-visited their stories as a way to further demonstrate the impact of donors’ generous gifts.
Over the next week, we’ll continue to share new stories that celebrate donors for their commitment to patients and recognize the vital support of donors of all kinds — blood, plasma, stem cell, organ and tissue and financial donors. Remember to visit our 2021 National Blood Donor Week portal this week to access social media tiles, profile photo frames and other assets you can share to help celebrate the generosity of donors.
Mark your calendar: Our next open board meeting is this Friday
Canadian Blood Services is committed to operating in an open and collaborative manner with Canadians and holds two open board meetings each year. Our board of directors will be holding its next open board meeting this Friday, June 18, 12:30–4:20 p.m. (ET). These meetings are a great opportunity for staff to tune in and see our board and executive management team in action, as they chart the course for our organization. Like all our open board meetings, a portion of Friday’s agenda will be set aside to hear from key stakeholders as they present on issues of strategic importance. There will also be a live Q&A session with our CEO, Dr. Graham Sher, and board chair, Mel Cappe. You can access the full meeting agenda here and tune into the livestream on Friday at http://obm.blood.ca/en.
U.K. moves to behavior-based screening for blood donation
You may have read in the news this week that as of June 14, 2021, men who have sex with men who are in a long-term monogamous relationship are now eligible to donate blood in the United Kingdom. The new criteria for blood donation lifts the previous three-month deferral for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, shifting instead to identifying a wider range of “highest-risk” behaviours associated with acquiring infections. These criteria will apply to all donors, regardless of sexuality. In Canada, we are on a similar path towards behaviour-based screening for all donors and are continuing to take steps to modify our practices and policies. We will be monitoring the U.K.’s policy change closely to understand the implications this approach could have for a similar approach in Canada. Visit blood.ca for more information about our progress towards more inclusive screening and collection of blood products.
Guidance on portable fans and air conditioners
With warmer weather upon us, employees and donors may ask about the use of portable fans and air conditioning units. The COVID-19 program, informed by the surveillance medical issues working group, has determined that the use of portable fans and portable/directional air conditioner units (excluding central air conditioners) at fixed donor centres and mobile events should be avoided. This is because these units may spread droplets further than two meters. If fans are determined to be absolutely required to maintain operations, please review the guidelines on use of portable fans and air conditioner units. If temperature concerns arise at our owned/leased sites, please contact Facilities Management to respond.
Question of the day: Is there an update on the return to office plan?
Planning for phase two of the return to office project is underway. Our goal is to aim for 50 per cent capacity in our buildings starting in September 2021. This does not mean that demand will be this high — rather, it is a target to inform planning and preparedness of our facilities. Foundational to all of this is continuing to encourage flexible work arrangements for our teams where feasible.
We will continue to share details about plans for phase two of the return to office project as those details become available. We appreciate your patience and adaptability as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
More information will be provided here in the Digest and on the return to office page on the employee portal as planning resumes over the coming months.
About your digest
This digest will highlight the latest policy and employee support measures, resources to help you manage our new reality and original content like articles and videos to remind us that what we do matters. No access to email? No problem — all this information and more can be found on blood.ca/employees from any device, no login required.
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