Eligibility change: Donors who've lived in Saudi Arabia, Western Europe now eligible
A recent change to the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) criteria could bring back a thousand previously deferred donors a year and make many more in Canada newly eligible. As of Feb. 6, donors will no longer be deferred for having lived in Saudi Arabia or Western Europe (except the UK, Republic of Ireland or France). Deferrals for the UK, Republic of Ireland and France remain in place. This evidence-based change allows us to be less restrictive about who can donate while continuing to safeguard Canada's blood supply. Learn more about the vCJD eligibility change.
Feedback fosters a more equitable experience for Deaf donors
When donor feedback raised a flag and prompted a deeper look into what the donor experience is like for Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing donors, a cross-functional team collaborated and identified a few gaps. To ensure that this group of donors felt like a valued part of Canada’s Lifeline, we took action and made changes, including adding a new page on blood.ca. This has been a true win for donor experience and inclusion. Read the full story on Connect.
A hero and cord blood advocate tells her story
Mai Duong was diagnosed with leukemia while pregnant in 2014. A few days after her diagnosis, she had to terminate the pregnancy to start chemotherapy treatments. Unfortunately, she relapsed later that year and needed a stem cell transplant to survive. Because Mai is of Vietnamese ethnicity, her search for a donor was a big challenge but she found one and did receive a cord blood transplant. As soon as she was in remission, she launched Swab the World, a non-profit organization that’s working to boost ethnic diversity in the worldwide stem cell donor base. Read and watch Mai’s #BeAHero story on Connect.
Question of the day: I submitted a question for the last town hall and it wasn’t responded to during the live event. How can I get my question answered and how are questions chosen during the live Q&A session?
We receive a large number of thoughtful and thought-provoking questions from employees leading up to and during every town hall event. Because we only have a limited amount of time during the live Q&A, unfortunately, our panelists aren’t able to answer all questions received. Submitted questions are posed to panelists according to a few considerations: the order in which we receive them; the relevancy of the topics to the panelists’ areas of expertise and whether the questions being posed are frequently asked. For the questions we can't get to, we try to respond to as many as possible through Your Digest. If you have a specific question that you would like us to follow up with you directly about, please submit your question with your full name and the appropriate subject matter expert will follow up. Following the January 2022 town hall, Graham also answered several outstanding questions in a blog post.
Our next live town hall event is coming up this Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. ET. CEO Dr. Graham Sher will be joined by panelists Dr. Isra Levy, VP medical affairs and innovation, Rick Prinzen, chief supply chain officer and VP donor relations and Dr. Yasmin Razack, chief diversity officer. You can submit your email or video questions for Graham and panelists in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Feb. 9, 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 the employee portal within 24 hours.
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.
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