Canadian Blood Services seeks to update blood donor eligibility through latest Health Canada submission
Canadian Blood Services’ goal is to ensure the safety and sufficiency of Canada’s blood and plasma supplies while also maximizing participation in Canada’s Lifeline. One way we do this is by regularly reviewing our eligibility criteria against the latest scientific evidence, as well as advancements in technology and testing. A recent submission to our regulator, Health Canada, proposes changes for several blood donor eligibility criteria areas, including a request to reduce the waiting period for individuals who have accepted money or drugs in exchange for sex. Current evidence and available testing technology do not support the current policy and thus, we are seeking to shorten the existing deferral, from a lifetime one to a 12-month waiting period. We would aim to implement this change later this year, pending approval from Health Canada. To learn more about this recent submission, visit blood.ca.
Town hall recording now available /feedback requested
You can now access the recording of the May 25 town hall on our employee portal or listen to the podcast on Connect on the Go. We will continue to provide responses to outstanding questions in future installments of Your Digest. You can submit a question anytime through the feedback form or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To improve upon future live events with our CEO, we want to know what you thought of the May town hall. Our goal is to make these events as valuable and accessible as possible for employees; your insights are valued. Please take a moment to provide us with your views by completing this brief survey (three minutes) by Wednesday, June 1 at 5 p.m. ET. Responses are completely anonymous.
Don’t miss our special Asian Heritage Month employee panel on May 31
To wrap up this year’s Asian Heritage Month celebrations, the DEI Team will be hosting a special, employee-led panel discussion on May 31 (1–2:30 p.m. ET). Inspired by the theme of Asian Heritage Month 2022, Continuing the Legacy of Greatness, this panel will feature employees from across the country. They include Mattea Duprey, Mike Choi and Tiphanie Gonzales, who will share their lived experiences in relation to topics such as anti-Asian racism, unconscious bias and stereotypes, and equity and advancement in the workplace and communities. We hope you will join us for this important conversation. Register here.
Two employees share their experience returning to work on site
Employees across the country who indicated that they needed to, or wanted to return to work on-site have been easing their way back to their offices over the last two months. The planning team has been working hard over many months to ensure that those employees were accommodated. Each site’s square footage was taken into account to plan physically-distanced workstations and air quality was assessed to make sure colleagues were sharing clean air. A big part of the project was developing a booking app (Condeco) for employees to schedule the days they plan to be in the office. The Condeco system, accessible from mobile or desktop, allows employees to book a seat with enough physical distance or barrier between each desk or occupy enclosed offices. Two employees, Ken Lotherington, based in Dartmouth, and Irene Dines, based in Brampton, shared their experiences with returning back to the office using the new Condeco system and how it felt being back in the office. Read more about their story on Connect.
Results of the test of the Everbridge notification system
The Everbridge mass notification system was tested on May 17 and 18, in collaboration with local emergency response teams (LERTs). Employees were asked to respond to the notification when received. On average, 65 per cent of employees responded, which represents a 2 per cent improvement from the last time the system was tested in 2020. Testing the system is important, as it is vital that we know it works properly and that we your correct contact information in the event of an emergency. If you have not done so recently, log into EDA and edit your contact information in your personal profile, as required.
‘Take a risk’: lessons from a 35-year career at Canadian Blood Services
With a career that spans three and a half decades at Canadian Blood Services and the Red Cross, Sheila Ward has worked in nearly every division. From legal to quality to operations to strategy and a few others in between, she’s had a hand in creating many of the key programs we use today. One of those was Canadian Blood Services’ initial pandemic plan, which proved its merits over the past few years as COVID tested the organization’s preparedness. “It turned out to be an excellent activity because it ended up focusing us on the whole concept of business continuity, which had been talked about but hadn’t been implemented at the time,” says Sheila. As she prepares to retire, she took some time to reflect on her career with Canadian Blood Services and the Red Cross. Read her incredible story on Connect.
Question of the day
I know Canadian Blood Services is a registered charity and accepts financial donations. However, given that we are funded by the provinces and territories, what do we do with financial donations?
It’s true that all provincial and territorial ministries of health, outside Quebec, fund our operations which are essential to serving patients. However, financial donations help us do even more to save and transform lives.
When a person or business gives financially, they deliver a boost to our recruitment efforts, helping to fuel important initiatives like student recruitment programs attracting blood, plasma, and stem cell donors of the future. Financial gifts can also make it possible for us to invest in new technologies, as well as innovative research on how blood products are used to help patients, for example. They were also instrumental in helping to build our national public cord blood bank, which has become an important domestic resource for lifesaving stem cells. You can learn more about the impact of financial giving at give.blood.ca or by emailing email@example.com.