Update on the 2020 Service Awards:
Each year as we mark our anniversary, we pause to celebrate employee service award milestones at events across the country. Although festivities will look a little different this year, we still want to create opportunities for colleagues to come to together and celebrate each other’s commitment and dedication to our organization. We’ve had to get creative, but we are excited to share that the 2020 Service Award celebrations will be held virtually between Oct. 19 — Nov.6.
During that time period, separate Teams virtual events for ATL, NCC, ONN, PRN and BCY will be held. For those of you at head office, we will leverage existing divisional Teams calls to hold virtual recognition events. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more details on when recognition events in your area are taking place. If you are unable to make the event, recordings will be made available. Keep an eye out for more details on Connect.
Joining forces to improve blood research in Canada: An idea born over Friday night beers among a group of blood researchers grew into Canada’s first interdisciplinary blood research centre. After successfully submitting grants to pursue research excellence in blood and transfusion medicine, the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Blood Research was born. This research centre has since been home to many Canadian Blood Services researchers; currently, Drs. Devine, Ed Pryzdial and Mark Scott. “Our partnership with the Centre for Blood Research has given Canadian Blood Services’ scientists access to state-of-the-art technologies that might have been hard to get otherwise,” says Dr. Devine. “It’s also allowed us to be actively involved in training the next generation of transfusion scientists, empowering future generations of researchers to continue this vital work.” Learn more on blood.ca/stories.
Inspiring plasma donors from 3,000 metres up: To celebrate his most recent — and impressive — donation milestone, 64-year old Ian Harrop of Calgary, Alta. chose to indulge in another of his longstanding passions: skydiving. Over the last four decades, Ian has parachuted more than 1,000 times. So, what better way to mark 600 donations of whole blood and plasma? “I donate because I know that it helps sick people get well,” Ian says. “I just love helping people. For many years, I taught people how to parachute, and my favourite part was seeing the look on their faces after landing successfully.” Read more (and check-out what our logo looks like 3,000 metres high!) on blood.ca/stories.
Reminder when submitting office expenses: We want to ensure that employees who are able to work from home receive the support they need to perform their work and maintain our operations. As part of the new flexible and virtual work guidelines released this month, employees working virtually are now able to claim certain expenses, with reimbursement up to $200. Depending on the expense type, they will be considered a non-taxable benefit or taxable benefit. Eligible work-related expenses include personal computer equipment, such as, printers, internet routers, monitors and keyboards. These are non-taxable benefits. Furniture, including desks and chair may also be reimbursed but will be treated as a taxable benefit. A receipt is required when submitting the expense. To submit an expense via Concur please reach out to your manager who can provide guidance on the process. Learn more about reimbursement for expenses on our dedicated Flexible and Virtual Work page.
Question of the day: What exceptions have been made for donors who cannot wear masks because of health reasons?
Unfortunately, we are only able to allow donors to enter Canadian Blood Services sites if they are wearing a mask. This decision was made with an abundance of caution to protect the safety of our teams, our donors and our essential operations.
We, along with the global community are still understanding how COVID-19 is transmitted from one person to another, and how the virus lives on different types of surfaces. Without a mask, individuals may generate droplets which can remain airborne or land on surfaces. We clean our clinics and high touch areas frequently, however not wearing a mask may put others at risk.
This decision reduces the possibility of contamination, is aligned with the latest advice from public health and allows us to better manage cases of individuals who test positive for COVID-19 who have been in our sites.
Even if blood donation is not a possibility at this time, there are many other ways to give. Donors can volunteer their time, give a one-time or recurring financial donation, organize group donations in collaboration with another organization or community, or even sponsor a donation event. Their support helps connect patients with the life essentials they need, where and when they need them.
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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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