Board Meeting 52nd Meeting
Sainte-Foy Boardroom Wednesday,
Hemovigilance Committee Observer:
2. Adoption of the agenda
10.1 – Hemovigilance Committee’s Public Forum
3. Adoption of the minutes of the 51st meeting held on June 16, 2004
4. Unfinished business from the minutes of the 51st meeting
4.2 2004–2005 grant from the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (MSSS)
4.3 2004–2005 funding for “other services”
4.4 Public regional meetings
5. Board business
The draft of the minutes of the Executive Committee meeting held on September 16, 2004, to discuss the terms for the Chair in Transfusion Medicine at the Université de Montréal was distributed to members for their consideration. No objections were made.
Dr Jean-François Hardy joined the meeting.
The Board was also informed that the CHUM Board has accepted the proposal for the Chair in Transfusion Medicine as adopted by Héma-Québec’s Executive Committee on September 16, 2004.
5.1.2 Audit Committee Meeting of September 8, 2004
The Chair of the Audit Committee presented the draft of the minutes of their meeting held on September 8, 2004.
The Audit Committee recommended that an independent person be named to receive complaints of a financial nature in accordance with the new audit rules and practices. In order to be able to protect the anonymity of complainants, it would be desirable for the person responsible for dealing with complaints to come from outside the organization. A member of the Board could fill this role. A more formal proposal will be tabled at a future meeting after consultation with the Audit Committee.
5.2 Héma-Québec Foundation
At its meeting held on June 16, 2004, the Board approved the protocol establishing the relationship between Héma-Québec and the Héma-Québec Foundation. The Board of the Héma-Québec Foundation would like to make several amendments to the protocol.
Board members wish to review the agreement and the Foundation’s financial statements on an annual basis.
Board members also wish to ensure that the letters patent of the Héma-Québec Foundation include the duty to conduct an external audit on a periodic basis.
5.3 Amendments to the mandates of the Safety Advisory Committee, the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee and the Liaison Committee
5.4 Appointment of members
Board members heard the proposals for renewing the mandates of the members of the Safety Advisory Committee and proceeded to make said renewals.
Motion to renew the mandates of the members of the Safety Advisory Committee according to the terms set out in the table appended to these minutes and which form an integral part of them. Seconded. Adopted unanimously.
5.4.2 Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee
Board members heard the proposals for renewing the mandates of the members of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee and proceeded to make said renewals.
5.4.3 Research Ethics Committee
Board members heard the proposals for renewing the mandates of the members and appointing two new members to the Research Ethics Committee and proceeded to make said renewals and appointments.
Motion to renew the mandates of the members of the Research Ethics Committee and to appoint two new members to this committee according to the terms set out in the table appended to these minutes and which form an integral part of them. Seconded. Adopted unanimously.
5.5 Evaluation of the CEO’s performance
A discussion was held behind closed doors. Motion to adopt the resolution entitled “CEO’s Evaluation and Performance for 2003–2004.” Seconded. Adopted unanimously.
6. Financial affairs
6.2 Report of the Pension Committee on the management of the Pension Fund
This report of the Pension Committee follows up on questions raised by the members of the Board at the June 16, 2004, meeting. A historical background to the file was presented. In 1998, during the transfer of Canadian Red Cross Society assets to Héma-Québec, it was not possible to completely resolve issues surrounding the pension fund. In the meantime, Héma-Québec has proceeded to establish a pension fund identical to that of the Canadian Red Cross Society and which covers all of its unionized and non-unionized employees.
It was only in June 2003 that the final settlement with the Red Cross was given effect with the transfer of Red Cross assets. In the meantime, improvements had been made to the plan and the negligence of the Red Cross with regard to the enrolment of some individuals had been rectified.
In March 2003, the Board of Directors decided to separate the Fund into two parts: a Fund for unionized workers and a Fund for non-unionized workers. At the same time, the Fund for non-unionized workers, which up until that time had been a defined contribution plan, was transformed into a defined benefit pension plan. A “banker’s” clause was inserted into the two pension plans. Other improvements were made to the plans at that time.
At present, the Héma-Québec Pension Committees are working on the revision of the investment policy and preparing governance rules. These rules will include semi-annual reports to the Board of Directors. They will also specify the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders. The guests answered Board members’ questions. Board members were satisfied with the presentation as well as the answers provided, and thanked the guests for their presentation.
6.3 Requests for capital expenditures in excess of $250,000
Mr. Simon Fournier and Mr. Roger Carpentier joined the meeting.
Subject to periodic reviews by the Audit Committee, the project can proceed as proposed.
Mr. Simon Fournier and Mr. Roger Carpentier left the meeting.
6.3.2 Bacterial detection for individual platelets project
The executive summary for the Bacterial Culture of Platelet Concentrates project was tabled. It involves a request for capital expenditures in the amount of $702,737. The recurring expenses for this project amount to $1,988,324 for a grand total of $2,691,061 for the first year. Board members were informed that the contract for the two bacterial detection systems in the amount of $489,360 was signed on September 9, 2004, without the prior authorization of the Board. The Board is now being approached for a posteriori approval of this expense.
Motion to approve the following capital expenditures:
Seconded. Approved unanimously.
The contractual commitment for each of the expenses must be signed by the person authorized to sign to the maximum of the amount of the individual contract in accordance with Héma-Québec’s General Regulations.
7. Safety of the supply
Furthermore, the CEO informed Board members of the situation concerning variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (“vCJD”). Over the last year, two cases of transmission by transfusion were detected in the United Kingdom. Following their detection, the United Kingdom’s public health system proceeded to evaluate the risk of contracting vCJD through the administration of stable products. Following this evaluation, the UK public health system decided to proceed with the notification of all individuals who had received stable products made with plasma from the United Kingdom between 1992 and 1998, particularly those individuals who had received coagulation products.
The Canadian Red Cross Society and subsequently Héma-Québec imported Factor XI produced by the British-based company BPL beginning in 1992. This product was manufactured from plasma taken from UK donors up until 1999. Héma-Québec has identified three patients who received these products in Québec. Since the United Kingdom notified these patients in order to inform them of the risks of transmission of this disease through surgical and dental instruments and limit the possible spread of vCJD, the question was asked as to whether we should proceed with the same notification in Canada. Following consultation with Canadian Blood Services, the Canadian Hemophilia Society and provincial Public Health officials, there is a consensus that we should proceed to notify the doctors of these patients. Public Health officials in Québec will decide on the necessity of informing patients of the precautions to take and will inform the few doctors affected by this notification. It was pointed out that the Factor XI distributed in Canada was not manufactured from the plasma of the nine British donors who subsequently developed vCJD.
Health Canada has not as yet taken a formal position on this notification exercise.
Board members agreed with management’s recommendation to proceed with the notification of the doctors of the three patients who received Factor XI made from British plasma through their attending physician.
7.2 West Nile Virus: a look back at the 2004 season
8. Management report
9. Tabling of documents
10. Other business
11. Next meeting