Resumption of snacks and hydration for our valued donors
Doing what we can to support donor wellness during and after donation is vital to our relationship with donors. To support donor wellness, in 2019, we began offering a salty snack and water to donors upon arrival. When the pandemic hit, we had to suspend on-site pre-donation snacks and hydration, and shifted to asking donors to have a salty snack and water before arriving. Following their donation, donors were asked to wait in our rest area, and then take their refreshments to consume after leaving. Over the past two years, medical surveillance has measured a notable increase in severe negative donor reactions, including an increase in faints and other related injuries. Through feedback, we have learned that donors who have a negative donation experience indicate that they may not return. In our commitment to support a positive donor experience and reduce donor reactions, we are re-introducing hydration and snacks. Pre-donation snacks and drinks will be reintroduced during the month of May, and we will resume allowing donors to consume post-donation refreshments on-site starting June 1. We recognize it is important that we balance donor wellness, while continuing to adhere to our COVID-19 safety measures. We understand making changes like these during the ongoing pandemic can be confusing and generate questions. Read about the plans in place in a recent story on Connect, and new FAQs on the employee portal under “Q&A: Donor Snacks and Hydration”.
Panellists announced for next week’s live town hall
Our next live town hall event is coming up on Wednesday, May 25 (1–2 p.m. ET). Join CEO, Dr. Graham Sher and panellists Yasmin Razack, chief diversity officer and Jean-Paul Bédard, vice president of plasma operations, who will address pre-submitted and live questions during the town hall. You can submit questions live during the town hall; however, we encourage you to submit your questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “TOWNHALL” or anonymously using this form. On May 25, click the meeting link in your Outlook invitation to join live.
First-time plasma donor pays it forward in honour of his late wife
After plasma donors helped his wife survive 12 years with a chronic blood cancer, Jim Taylor became a donor himself at the first opportunity. “For more than a decade, I watched with gratitude as my wife received immunoglobulin each month to help her survive,” says Jim, who lives in Kelowna, B.C. “It was the generosity of plasma donors that made my wife’s treatment possible. It kept her alive for longer than we ever anticipated and for that I am forever grateful.” Jim was thrilled to be able to donate in spite of the fact he’d had malaria as a child. For donors at our dedicated plasma centres, malaria infection and travel to a malaria risk area don’t affect eligibility. Read more at blood.ca.
Leadership Summit soundbites: Giving employees a glimpse into leadership conversations
At the annual Leadership Summit (April 25–27 this year) our CEO, Dr. Graham Sher, was interviewed by vice president of public affairs, Ron Vezina, about the past year, the challenges we have all faced and where he hopes to see our organization heading in the coming months and years. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing audio snippets from this conversation so that employees get a sense of the conversations that take place during this annual event. In this week’s Leadership Summit Soundbite, you’ll hear Graham’s thoughts on the evolution of leadership capabilities through and beyond the pandemic, as well as the importance of empathy.
Employee panel: Advancing Asian excellence and addressing anti-Asian racism in the workplace
In recognition and celebration of Asian Heritage Month, employees are invited to participate in a special panel discussion on May 31 (1–2:30 p.m. ET), presented in partnership with the Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) employee resource group. Inspired by the theme of Continuing the Legacy of Greatness, this insightful and reflective panel will feature employees from across the country, who will share their lived experiences in relation to topics such as anti-Asian racism, unconscious bias and stereotypes, and equity and advancement in the workplace and communities. Register here and visit Connect to get to know one of our employee panelists, Mattea Duprey, a community development manager from Toronto.
Question of the day:
Are we concerned about inventory levels given the continued dips in donor attendance?
On May 17, we issued a national news release citing an immediate need for new and returning donors to replenish the national blood inventory. This has been supported with marketing across social media and paid channels. This call to action strongly urges donors to show up for patients and to book and keep their donation appointments. There is currently a significant strain on the blood inventory following an increase in appointment cancellations and low attendance at donor centres. We are reminding potential donors that donating during the pandemic is both safe and welcoming. Infection-control measures are in place to protect donors, staff, and volunteers. This includes measures such as a wellness screening, mandatory masks and physical distancing measures, and a fully vaccinated workplace. The low reserve of blood can be replenished before patients are affected, but only if people across Canada of all blood types donate over the coming weeks. With this strong message and building on the success of the Show Up campaign, we hope to increase collections, acquire new donors, and be well- positioned to welcome National Blood Donor Week (June 12-18).