TODAY — live Q&A with our CEO: Join us today at 1 p.m. ET for the next live townhall with our CEO. This month, Graham will share his thoughts and priorities for 2021 and will be joined by Rick Prinzen, chief supply chain officer and VP, donor relations, to answer your questions related to our frontline operations. Participate by clicking on the meeting link in your Outlook invite. We look forward to seeing you all there.
Response to blood donor eligibility change in the UK:
The UK’s National Health Service has announced a change to their criteria which will make blood donation more inclusive for men who have sex with men by screening all donors based on whether they have had new or multiple sexual partners in the last three months. Canadian Blood Services is studying the evidence behind the changes made in the UK to understand the implications it could have for a similar approach in Canada. This work will enrich the research we’re already undertaking here.
We are on the same journey as our UK counterparts towards behaviour-based screening for all donors. We are moving in the same direction and will continue to progress towards this goal. As an organization, we devote a great deal of focus and effort to evolving the criteria for men who have sex with men. In order for any changes to donor eligibility criteria to be approved, Canadian Blood Services must provide evidence to Health Canada, our regulator, that any new changes are safe and supported by stakeholder groups, especially patients.
We recognize that for some donors, being turned away from donating blood leaves them with a sense of frustration and disappointment. The criteria for men who have sex with men is a particularly sensitive issue affecting many who have experienced longstanding marginalization and stigma. We understand this, and we commit to further change. For more information on our response, visit blood.ca.
Warm wishes for new holiday traditions from our VP of people culture and performance: Many of us look forward to the holidays as an opportunity to gather and celebrate with family and friends. But, with our current COVID-19 reality, recent public health guidelines advise Canadians to limit non-essential travel and in-person get-togethers over the holidays. Our VP of people, culture and performance, Andrew Pateman, has recorded a video message for employees thanking them for their dedication and commitment and encouraging them to find new and creative traditions to make the season special while staying close to home. Watch the video streaming now on Connect TV and Connect and keep an eye out this month for more words of thanks from our senior leadership as we celebrate the season.
Value-for-money audit by the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario (OAGO): On Dec. 7, the OAGO released its 2020 annual report assessing government and public-sector activities to ensure they are operating effectively on behalf of Ontarians. This year’s report included a section on Blood Management and Safety, which focused on the efficiencies of Ontario’s blood programs. It included a number of recommendations — some which involve the collaboration between the Ontario Ministry of Health and Canadian Blood Services to implement. Overall, the auditors found that Ontarians have a safe and reliable access to blood products and services and supported Canadian Blood Services’ efforts to increase plasma collections for patients in Canada. We welcome the recommendations and look forward to collaborating with the government of Ontario as we respond to the recommendations. The full audit report can be found on the Ontario Auditor Generals’ website.
Question of the day: It has been ten months that we have been operating in a COVID-environment and I am worried that I am seeing some of my colleagues experiencing “COVID-fatigue.” What resources are in place to remind us of the safety protocols in place?
As we are in the midst of what is being called a “second wave” the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise in many parts of the country. Understanding and following the COVID-19 safety measures in place at Canadian Blood Services is more important than ever to help contain the spread of the virus and keep our teams and operations safe.
Recently, we’ve received concerns that some of our safety protocols are not being followed by employees at our sites. This is especially concerning as the number of positive cases involving donors and employees have been increasing over the last few weeks.
It is important that we all do our part to safeguard our teams and ensure we don’t disrupt our critical operations in a way that impacts our ability to serve every patient and match ever need. This means following safety protocols at all times — even when entering and leaving the building, in common areas, and in cafeteria’s and breakrooms.
To help employees understand the measures in place, we have a number of resources in place:
Don’t hesitate to reach out to your manager or email@example.com if you have questions about the measures in place.
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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Have questions? Check out blood.ca/employees or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.