Save the date for our next live townhall: Join us on Tuesday, March 23 at 1 p.m. ET for the next live townhall with our CEO. More details about what will be covered during the event will be shared this week via Your Digest. Click the meeting link in your Outlook invite to join live and let us know what topics you would like to discuss by sending your questions in advance to email@example.com with the subject line “TOWNHALL.” Can’t make it? An event recording will be made available on your COVID-19 employee portal shortly following the live broadcast. We look forward to continuing these incredibly important discussions with you.
Eligibility changes for people with diabetes: On March 14, blood donation became more inclusive for people with diabetes. This is exciting because prior to this change, people with Type 1 diabetes were ineligible to donate. Learn more on Diabetes Canada’s website and see below for the highlights of what you need to know:
- Donors with diabetes that is treated with diet and/or medication (other than insulin) to lower their blood sugar are now eligible to donate.
- Donors whose diabetes is treated with insulin may be able to donate.
- Donors with both Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes on insulin can donate if they have not had an acute event in the last three months.
- Those with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes on insulin who have diabetic foot or leg ulcers are not eligible to donate.
Collaboration with Air Canada to ship kidneys takes flight: While Air Canada has certainly been flying fewer people on life-changing trips these days, the national air carrier has been integral this past year in helping Canadian Blood Services transport lifesaving donated organs across the country. When transplant programs across the country were put on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) program team had to pivot to get lifesaving organs to patients in need. Knowing that Air Canada had previously shipped solid organs for some transplants, our senior leadership reached out to see if they could provide some guidance. Not only did Air Canada agree to collaborate with us to review their standard operating procedures for the transportation of human organs, they also offered to begin routinely shipping kidneys from living donors, free of charge. With Air Canada’s support, the KPD program has been able to successfully ship 14 donated kidneys to patients across Canada since the program restarted in June 2020. Read more on blood.ca/stories.
Winter Wellness week five — learn something new:
The thought of learning something new when we don’t know what to expect day-to-day can be daunting. But taking a bit of time to add a new skill can pay off big time. Which is why week five of the Winter Wellness Challenge is all about improving our well-being by making space for the unknown. When trying something new, Jeannie Tremblay, a wellness champion, brand ambassador and customer relations supervisor at the National Contact Centre in Sudbury, Ont. has some advice:
“It’s less overwhelming if you start with something manageable. Speaking as a working mom, I have a ‘to do’ list every day and I’m somewhere at the bottom. I’m working to reprioritize myself because when I’m looking after myself, I’m a better leader, better parent, better partner.” Get inspired by Jeannie and learn more on Connect.
Questions of the day: This week, Ontario launched a provincial booking system to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. As a frontline employee working in the province, should I register?
In Ontario, Canadian Blood Services is seeking a centralized approach which would allow for consistent distribution of the vaccine across the province for all frontline employees and volunteers.
We understand that Phase One of Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine rollout is nearing completion and the government is preparing to move into Phase Two of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan next month, with a focus on vaccinating populations based on age and risk. Their plan states that during Phase Two, groups that will receive the vaccine include “certain workers who cannot work from home.”
In light of this guidance, we encourage frontline operational employees and volunteers who cannot work remotely and wish to receive the vaccine to register on the new Government of Ontario provincial booking system. Pre-registration does not guarantee immediate vaccine access. However, it does allow the appropriate authorities to further triage access by age and risk.
- When you register, you will be asked to identify “eligible group.” Please indicate that you are a “front-line healthcare worker.”
- Insert your postal code to help authorities identify booking location.
- Once you have submitted your information, please follow the guidance and prompts provided.
We encourage all employees to continue to closely monitor local updates and take advantage of opportunities, outside of Canadian Blood Services efforts, available to you if you meet local eligibility requirements. For more information, including a regional breakdown of eligibility criteria and vaccine sequencing, visit www.blood.ca/employees/vaccines. Our team is striving to update this page daily with the latest information available.
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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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