Update on the impact of storms in Ontario and parts of Québec
Our thoughts are with all affected by the severe storms that swept across Ontario and parts of Québec on Saturday. Fallen trees, widespread power outages, school closures and damage to property are among the challenges many employees are facing. If you need additional support during this time, please contact your manager. You can also access resources to support your mental health and well-being on Connect or through the employee assistance program, a confidential support service available to all employees.
At this time, Canadian Blood Services’ operations have been minimally impacted by the storms. Concourse Gate in Ottawa is the only facility currently running on generator power. If your work does not require you to be onsite at Concourse Gate, please work from an alternate location. We are still evaluating the impact the storms have had on collections. There is an immediate need for blood donors, and we encourage everyone who is able to donate and can make it to a donation centre safely to book an appointment today.
Reminder: Join live for the town hall, tomorrow, Wednesday, May 25
All employees are invited to join the live town hall tomorrow, May 25 from 1–2 p.m. ET. You can send any questions you have for our panellists in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “TOWNHALL” or submit anonymously using this form. You can also ask questions live during the town hall using the available chat box, which forwards questions anonymously unless you choose to include your name. If you choose to submit anonymously, your name will not be visible to panellists, participants or town hall organizers. Our CEO, Dr. Graham Sher, will take your questions along with panellists Yasmin Razack, chief diversity officer and Jean-Paul Bedard, vice president of plasma operations. Simply click the meeting link in your Outlook invitation to join live.
After donating stem cells to her father, she’s bringing hope to others
Anyone, anytime could develop a life-threatening condition that requires a stem cell transplant. But not everyone has the same chance of finding a matching donor. It’s a lesson Lauren Sano learned in a most painful way after her father, Mark Sano, was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer called mixed phenotype acute leukemia. Mark, whose background was Japanese, had no fully-matched donor available through our own stem cell registry or the international registries to which we have access. Instead, he received stem cells from Lauren, who was 17 at the time and a partial match. Since Mark’s death in 2020, Lauren has worked tirelessly to recruit donors of diverse backgrounds, including through a campaign called East Asians Save Lives. Read more at blood.ca/stories.
New ‘self-service’ option for donors makes for a better experience
Improving the donor experience is always a priority for Canadian Blood Services. Providing donors with the tools to find information they want and need has just become much easier. Blood, plasma and platelet donors can now log into the My Account portal to view and download information such as their blood type, number of donations or length of time as a donor. This eliminates the need to submit an access to information request. Donors can also view their blood type, hemoglobin levels and bleed times, if available, on the GiveBlood app. Visit Connect to read more about these improvements to the donor experience.
Continuing the conversation: register for an upcoming panel on mental health
In January, four employees bravely and vulnerably shared their personal stories and mental health journeys during our Bell Let’s Talk panel discussion on mental health. The positive response made it clear that there is great value in continuing these meaningful conversations, which help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. A recording of the most recent panel discussion (May 18) is now available on Connect. You can also register for these upcoming employee panel discussions:
- Thursday, May 26, from 1–1:45 p.m. EDT: Facilitated by Christina Warrysh, wellness and recognition specialist, with panellists Paul Copeland and Jayshri Lad.
- Thursday, June 2, from 11–11:45 a.m. EDT: Facilitated by Dr. Yasmin Razack, chief diversity officer, with panellists Catherine Butler and Emma Wilms.
Question of the day
What are we doing within Canadian Blood Services to address ageism? How are we combatting hiring discrimination based on age, and are employees of varying ages being considered equally when it comes to division of work and/or development opportunities?
Ageism is the stereotyping and discrimination against individuals or groups based on their age. Ageism, like racism and sexism, starts from the assumption that all people of a particular age group are the same. Ageism within the workplace can impact both younger and older workers. It can be a barrier to getting hired or to receiving training or promotions, or be the root of other discriminatory treatment and practices. To address ageism and other forms of workplace discrimination, Canadian Blood Services is currently reviewing our hiring practices and policies, to ensure all applicants have equitable opportunities when applying for jobs at Canadian Blood Services. We have also implemented optional and anonymous self-identifying questions for candidates to help identify where we can be more inclusive in our hiring practices.
The formation of the new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council is the latest, significant step we are taking to further and systematically evolve our practices and policies; address systemic inequities and discrimination within our organization; and build an institutional culture of inclusive excellence.
Our priority is to develop the wealth of potential within our organization and ensure our highly capable people have ample opportunities to learn, grow and build rewarding careers. If you have any questions, please reach out to DEI@blood.ca.