Partners for Life — “Peter and Friends”
Across the country, our Partners for Life program brings together donors to save lives. These teams of individuals from various businesses, organizations and communities set goals or even compete with other groups to support Canada’s Lifeline. When Canadian Blood Services recently lost a tremendous leader and blood donation advocate, his friends and family stepped up. Peter MacDonald was the regional director of donor services and collections for the Atlantic region and had been with the organization for 17 years. At the request of his family, a Partners for Life team was formed to honour his memory. “Peter and Friends” was established with the goal of inspiring 300 donations in a year, 100 donations in honour of each of Peter’s children. As of May 1, 2022, the team has 105 members, who have already made 92 donations since joining. Read more on Connect about Peter, the program and how you can help fill an immediate need by joining the Peter and Friends team and donating today.
New plasma donor centre opens in Brampton, Ont.
Yesterday, employees and members of the public gathered for the official opening of the new Brampton plasma donor centre. Donated plasma is used to make lifesaving medications called plasma protein products that help thousands of patients in Canada. Patients depend on these medications to help treat a variety of rare, life-threatening, chronic and genetic conditions. In Brampton alone, Canada's Lifeline needs at least 225 new plasma donors — people like Ranjit Singh Panesar — every month, to help support patients. If you're in the Brampton area and eligible to donate plasma, you can book an appointment at blood.ca/Brampton. If you aren’t in the Brampton area, you can donate plasma at one of our other donor centres across the country or encourage others to become plasma donors. You can share the news of our new centre on social media using the hashtags #PlasmaForLife and #CanadasLifeline.
Show your support for Moose Hide Campaign Day
On Thursday, May 12, Canadian Blood Services invites employees to participate in Moose Hide Campaign Day. This national event calls on all Canadians to raise awareness of the crisis of violence against Indigenous women and children and to take practical steps to advance reconciliation efforts. Actions to support reconciliation, strengthen connections with Indigenous communities and create a workplace that fosters Indigenization are urgent and critical priorities for Canadian Blood Services. Show your support: tune into the daybreak ceremony livestream; download and display one of the campaign’s virtual backgrounds for Teams; register for free virtual events and workshops; or request a moose hide pin. Employees who live in or around Victoria, B.C., can also join the in-person Walk to End Violence Against Women and Children at 12 p.m. PST in downtown Victoria. Visit Connect to discover more ways you can help support the movement.
Mental Health Week recordings available
In case you missed them, the Mental Health Week sessions Therapy: reducing the stigma and Your Well-being are available to watch or listen to on Connect on the Go podcasts. To ensure employees have easy access to our well-being resources and services, we have improved the “Your well-being" section on Connect. Through more direct access and clickable menu options, we’ve simplified the experience so you can find what you need to support your overall well-being. This includes making it easier to access drop-in virtual counselling, employee assistance program options, financial and legal support, physical, social, and mental well-being resources, as well as access to our Wellness Champion network and event recordings.
Question of the day
With the recent announcement regarding the change in eligibility criteria specific to men who have sex with men, will there be a change in the criteria for donors currently taking PrEP medication?
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a highly effective medication regimen used for HIV prevention. In people taking PrEP or post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), low levels of HIV may be missed in testing. We rely on accurate HIV testing as part of our multi-layered approach to safety. There needs to be more research on how PrEP and PEP affect HIV testing. At this time, individuals who take PrEP or PEP are unable to donate for 4 months from last use. This criteria was implemented in 2019 at Health Canada’s request.
This is an issue impacting blood operators worldwide. Tests used to detect HIV and other viruses are manufactured by other companies, not Canadian Blood Services. Work to understand the true impact of PrEP and PEP medication regimens on HIV tests can only be completed in collaboration with or directly by the manufacturers of the tests, who hold the licensing for these products. Canadian Blood Services and other blood operators are highly interested in ongoing studies assessing impact of PrEP in specific testing conditions.