Here are the latest updates from Canadian Blood Services. Due to the rapidly evolving COVID environment issues, we will be increasing the frequency of Your Digest during the coming weeks. You can expect to receive these updates on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays for the month of January. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions and suggestions on how we can better inform and support you.
Submit your questions for our first townhall of the year
Our first townhall event of 2022 will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 1 p.m. ET. As always, our CEO Dr. Graham Sher and an expert panel will be available to answer your questions on any, and all, topics that are top of mind. This month, Graham will be joined by Andrew Pateman, vice-president, people, culture and performance; and Dr. Kathryn Webert, medical director and special advisor, medical affairs and innovation.
You can submit your email or video questions in advance to email@example.com with the subject line “TOWNHALL” or record an audio question by phoning 1-800-509-3329. If you prefer to submit written questions anonymously, use this form (indicate “TOWNHALL” in the subject line).
On Jan. 12, click the meeting link in your Outlook invite to join live. If you’re unable to make it, a recording of the event will be available on your COVID-19 employee portal within 24 hours.
Dr. Graham Sher awarded one of the nation’s highest honours
Dr. Graham Sher, our CEO since 2001 and an executive from our organization’s founding in 1998, has recently been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. One of Canada’s highest civilian honours, the Order has the motto DESIDERANTES MELORIEM PATRIAM (“They desire a better country”). Being invited to join it has been a deeply emotional experience as well as a surprise for Dr. Sher. He says he was speechless when he heard the news and later, overcome with grateful emotion as he showed his wife the appointment confirmation.
“I’ve been in Canada for 31 years, but I am an immigrant,” he says. “That Canada would seek to honour me with one of its highest orders, for those who have made it a better country, is very moving.”
Read more at blood.ca/stories.
COVID-related supports and self-care resources
This is a stressful and uncertain time for many, including those of you who are managing competing challenges and priorities, both in the workplace and at home. Throughout the pandemic, caring for employees and ensuring your physical and psychological safety and wellness has been and continues to be a top priority. We have recently updated our COVID-related benefits and support programs to include a mindfulness moment drop-in (Mondays and Wednesdays) and a working caregivers connect drop-in (Tuesdays and Thursdays) designed to offer working parents, guardians or other caregivers helpful tips, resources and shared experiences to help better manage your mental health. We also have many other benefits, supports and leave options available to employees, including:
Webinars and workshops to support your mental health and wellbeing
Access to paramedical services to support mental wellbeing through Manulife and access to trained clinicians through our Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
LifeSpeak resources to help you and your family navigate the COVID-19 pandemic
If you have any questions about the supports available, please reach out to your PCP business partner.
Question of the day: The COVID-19 environment has been evolving rapidly in recent weeks. What is the latest on what Canadian Blood Services is doing to protect employees from Omicron?
The COVID-19 team and the executive management team are constantly monitoring the situation around the country and are continuing to evolve our safety measures and COVID-19 practices and policies as necessary.
Here are a few key updates:
N95 masks — We have successfully procured a steady supply of N95 masks to make them available (on a voluntary basis) for all on-site employees and (if quantities allow) to donors when they specifically request them. These are expected to arrive the week of Jan. 17, at which point they will be distributed across the country. In the meantime, surgical masks continue to be mandatory in all our environments. If a donor arrives for their appointment with an N95 mask, they will be asked to either swap out their mask for a Canadian Blood Services-supplied surgical mask or wear the supplied surgical mask over top of their N95 mask.
Rapid tests — We have just confirmed a large order of rapid tests that are scheduled to arrive the week of Jan. 17. If we receive the tests as scheduled, the Rapid Screening Program will work quickly to roll-out rapid screening for all on-site employees as quickly as possible. Until they arrive and are distributed, we will be deploying our current inventory where it is deemed necessary for continuity of operations.
Provincial public health guidance — As things are rapidly evolving, it’s difficult to ensure that all information available at centres and work sites reflects the most current and changing information from each of the provinces and territories. We are developing an online resource that will detail the provincial guidelines in all applicable jurisdictions across the country. Until this resource is completed, if there are inconsistencies, please follow your local provincial guidelines. No matter what your jurisdiction’s guidance, please do not come to work if you are feeling ill.
For further details, read Graham’s message to all staff sent earlier this week.
About Your Digest
This digest highlights the latest policy and employee support measures, resources to help you manage our new reality and original content to remind us that what we do matters. This information can be found on blood.ca/employees from any device, no login required.
Click here to read past editions of your digest.
Have questions? Check out blood.ca/employees or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.