Two stem cell transplant stories bring hope to others
Moneet Mann, a stem cells territory manager, and Trish Ganam, a volunteer and fundraiser, have followed very different roads to health after their own respective life-threatening illnesses. But they have one life-changing treatment in common: a stem cell transplant. Today, following that treatment, both women feel grateful to be able to support other patients — Moneet through her work at Canadian Blood Services and Trish through her campaign to recruit prospective stem cell donors and fundraise using our new online platform. Their work is vital for people like the more than 1,000 patients across Canada who are waiting for their own lifesaving stem cell transplant. Read about their journeys and mission to inspire stem cell registration on blood.ca/stories.
New postage stamp highlights organ and tissue donation
A special stamp designed to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation was unveiled by Canada Post on April 7. We were thrilled to be asked to help bring this stamp to Canadians as part of Canada Post’s annual stamp program. Our Organs and Tissues Donation and Transplantation (OTDT) team provided Canada Post with information as well as input on the stamp design. “We’re very grateful that Canada Post chose to create this stamp. It complements community efforts to raise awareness about the powerful impact of organ and tissue donation in the month of April — when we mark Green Shirt Day as well as National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week,” says Jenny Ryan, manager, external stakeholder support and public education and awareness in OTDT. Read more on Connect.
Potential removal of 14-day travel deferral for blood and plasma donation
Since the start of the pandemic, people who have returned from travel outside Canada within the previous 14 days have been ineligible to donate blood or plasma. This was put in place to align with public health recommendations to self-isolate after travel. Given the rapidly evolving changes with COVID-19, we decided to maintain this deferral over the course of the pandemic. Now, because COVID-19 is not transmissible by blood, and to align with the current public health view on travel, we are confident it is safe to remove this 14-day temporary donor deferral from the Donor Selection Criteria Manual (DSCM) for travel outside of Canada as it relates to COVID-19. We have submitted a request to Health Canada for an expedited review and we hope to receive approval for this change in the coming weeks. We will update employees once we receive a response from Health Canada.
Recordings from recent DEI sessions now available
If you missed the most recent sessions in the Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion learning series, you can now watch or listen to them at your convenience. Access the podcast versions on our Connect on the Go app or watch the recordings here: Fostering trans inclusion in the workplace and Interactive Q&A with thought leader Dr. Isaac Odame. For more DEI resources and event recordings, visit our DEI resources page on Connect.
Question of the day: Are donors required to be vaccinated in order to enter our sites?
In February of this year, we began encouraging all donors entering our collection events to be fully vaccinated. When introducing this messaging, we did not begin checking for proof of vaccination and we did not turn unvaccinated donors away. The intent was to monitor and measure this approach and provide employees with an update if changes were required. Our assessment reveals that this approach continues to have minimal negative effect on donor experience and inventory. The Executive Management Team has recently approved the decision to continue using this existing donor messaging and not progress towards a mandatory donor vaccination policy. If or when the pandemic environment changes, our current approach will be reassessed.
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