Board meeting – 88th meeting
Boardroom, Ville Saint-Laurent
Thursday, October 14, 2010, at 8 a.m.
Mr. Jean-Pierre Allaire
Mr. René Carignan
Ms. Martine Carré
Dr. Martin Champagne
Ms. Hélène Darby
Dr. Francine Décary
Dr. Marc Dionne
Mr. André Légaré
Ms. Suzanne Turmel
Hemovigilance Committee observer:
Mr. Wilson Sanon
Dr. Serge Montplaisir
Dr. Patricia Pelletier
Mr. Yves Blais, Vice-President, Research and Development
Mr. Yvan Charbonneau, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Marco Décelles, Vice-President, Stem Cells, Human Tissues and Reference Laboratory Operations
Mr. Simon Fournier, Vice-President, Information Technology
Dr. Marc Germain, Vice-President, Medical Affairs
Me Smaranda Ghibu, Vice-President, Legal Affairs
Mr. Guy Lafrenière, Vice-President, Finance and Administration
Ms. Manon Pepin, Vice-President, Public Affairs and Marketing
Ms. Suzanne Rémy, Vice-President, Quality and Standards
Mr. Gilbert Rodrigue, meeting delegate Héma-Québec
1. Call to order
Mr. Jean-Pierre Allaire chaired the meeting. He welcomed the members and guests present.
Quorum was established, and the meeting was called to order at 8 a.m.
2. Adoption of the agenda
It was moved, duly seconded and unanimously resolved to adopt the agenda with the following change:
7.4Health Canada inspection report on the Québec City facility
3. Adoption of the minutes of the 87th meeting on August 18, 2010, including the in camera discussion
It was moved, duly seconded and unanimously resolved to adopt the minutes of the 87th meeting of the Board held on August 18, 2010, including the in camera discussion, as submitted.
4. Business arising from the 87th meeting on August 18, 2010
The document was reviewed.
Explanations related to the follow-up on the reconciliation of the inventory of packed red blood cells and the financing strategy were provided to the members of the audit committee, to their satisfaction.
The other items appear on the meeting agenda or will be discussed at subsequent meetings.
5. Safety of blood supply
5.1 Pathogens under surveillance
The Vice-President, Medical Affairs, presented the scorecard and commented on the changes made since the last meeting.
♣Babesiosis: This pathogen is well known in the United States, and U.S. authorities are looking for a solution to mitigate this risk in certain states. Héma-Québec is keeping a close eye on the situation.
♣Avian influenza: No significant increase in activity has been reported. The situation is nevertheless being monitored.
♣H1N1: No activity has been reported. It was therefore agreed to keep track of cases that occur during the 2010–2011 influenza season.
♣XMRV: A new study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) seems to show an association to chronic fatigue syndrome, although it appears to be via a virus related to XMRV, not XMRV itself. The scientific community is nevertheless far from agreeing that this study is the final word in the matter. Other studies have yielded negative findings. Further research into the risks of transmission is currently underway. Given all this uncertainty and the lack of consensus, there does not seem to be a movement toward changing the current criteria.
♣Chagas’ disease: CBS plans to test donors who answered no to risk-related questions in order to identify indigenous cases of the disease. At Héma-Québec, a single positive case was reported among the donors who answered yes to the corresponding question. A correlation study on the answers to the questionnaire is underway. The results will make it possible to assess the validity of the questionnaire and adjust methods as necessary. Furthermore, the prevalence of Chagas’ disease in Canada must be as low as, if not lower than, it is in the United States. In addition, in the U.S., lookbacks show that the risk of transmission via transfusion is between 1% and 2% for a positive donor. Bearing all this in mind, the practices currently in place may be considered prudent, until new information comes to light.
Mr. Wilson Sanon joined the meeting.
6. Financial affairs
6.1 2011–2012 budget
The President and CEO presented the issues and activities for fiscal 2011–2012.
The results of a client survey on the reduction of pathogens will be presented at the meeting scheduled for February 24, 2011.
Responding to a question from the members, the President and CEO indicated that all projects are included within the budget, which is subject to inflation. She explained that it was therefore not necessary to put figures to them at this stage, considering that all capital projects valued at more than $300,000 must be submitted to the Board, in accordance with the by-laws.
It was suggested that capital projects over $300,000 nevertheless be identified in the 2011‑2012 presentation of activities. This would enable the audit committee to follow up on them.
The public health representative then brought up the issue of the variety of stable products distributed by Héma-Québec.
The representative indicated he felt that Héma-Québec could play a more active role as regards the choice of introducing a product into the province.
The President and CEO noted that, following the Gélineau commission, transfusion medicine practitioners and blood bank directors had asked to be able to make decisions about the availability of stable products. All decisions of this nature have since been the responsibility of the Comité consultatif national de médecine transfusionnelle (CCNMT).
The Board members felt that the role of Héma-Québec pertaining to the introduction of stable products in Québec warranted further discussion at a future Board meeting.
Ms. Suzanne Turmel joined the meeting.
The Vice-President, Finance and Administration, presented a set of comparisons between Héma-Québec and CBS.
An unfavourable difference in the FTE-to-donation ratio was observed. The difference was favourable, however, in terms of deliveries.
The comparative graphs of the per capita costs for labile blood products were also presented. They show the positive impacts of Défi-ÉTAPES, the procurement strategy and efforts to reduce the quantity of expired products and ensure better use in hospitals. Héma-Québec is maintaining its competitiveness vis-à-vis CBS.
This comparative data, which must be analyzed over a period of several years, makes it easier to shed light on prevailing trends.
The budget assumptions approved and used by the audit committee to prepare the budget were reviewed.
In terms of cost optimization, the projected $450,000 in savings resulting from Défi-ÉTAPES will be presented to the audit committee and the Board in February.
It was also mentioned that there will be insurance savings this year, as a result of the government decree. These savings, which should be even greater in the next fiscal year, work out to $4.3 million annually.
In terms of stable products, the indirect management expenses transferred to this category should be considered rather than the total cost. The cost differences can also be explained by changes in transfusion practices.
As for the business plan for human tissues, it is important to remember that it had been based on the premise that Héma-Québec would be appointed the sole provider of these products. This has not occurred.
Consequently, the results are no longer aligned with this plan. They are instead based on goals that have been adjusted accordingly. These goals have been met.
Lastly, the capital budget was presented.
6.1.2 Recommendation of the audit committee
The chair of the audit committee confirmed that the budget had been presented in detail at the committee meeting of October 6, 2010. The members felt that management had answered their questions in a satisfactory manner.
The audit committee therefore recommends that the 2010–2012 budget be approved.
Il was moved, duly seconded and unanimously resolved:
1)to approve the 2011–2012 budget (at an exchange rate of C$1.0060/US$1.00) of $340,331,000, including $130,192,000 for labile products, $187,247,000 for stable products and $22,892,000 for stem cells, human tissues and reference laboratory operations;
2)to approve the packed red blood cell rate of $342.53, based on a delivery volume of 240,427, the platelet rate at $112.73, based on a delivery volume of 196,088, as well as the other rates proposed;
3)to approve the capital asset budget of $7,527,306.
It was also moved, duly seconded and unanimously resolved to approve the resolution entitled “Purchase of American currency for the 2011–2012 fiscal year,” attached hereto as an integral part hereof.
The Board praised the audit committee, the President and CEO, the vice-presidents, the other managers and the finance team for their excellent work.
The following vice-presidents left the meeting: Yves Blais, Yvan Charbonneau, Marco Décelles, Marc Germain, Manon Pepin and Suzanne Rémy.
6.2 Operating statistics as at August 31, 2010
The Vice-President, Finance and Administration, commented briefly on the operating statistics.
It was pointed out that the results of Globule Laval fell short of budget forecasts. Globule’s current yields will therefore have to be carefully analyzed before new targets are set.
The operating statistics as at September 30, 2010, were submitted during the meeting.
An increase in platelet deliveries was noted.
The Vice-President, Finance and Administration, left the meeting.
6.3 Contracts for professional fees worth more than $100,000: contract for SAP consulting services
The discussion took place in camera.
7. Management report
7.1 Management statement
The discussion took place in camera.
7.2 Ontario decision on MSM deferral criteria
The Vice-President, Legal Affairs, summarized the Ontario Superior Court decision rendered September 8, 2010.
CBS won its case regarding MSM deferral criteria.
The impacts of this decision will be assessed with respect to a legal challenge involving Héma-Québec concerning the same issue.
Dr. Martin Champagne left the meeting.
7.3 Presentation of the activities of the Stem Cells, Human Tissues and Reference Laboratory Operations department and visit of the facilities
The Vice-President, Stem Cells, Human Tissues and Reference Laboratory Operations, joined the meeting.
He presented his department’s activities.
This was followed by a visit of the laboratory facilities.
The purpose of this new department is to provide greater visibility to stem cell, human tissue and reference laboratory operations.
The department’s tasks include establishing Héma-Québec’s credibility in international markets (different from markets for blood products) and developing a new business model.
In this regard, initiatives have been put into place to achieve gains in efficiency, including the creation of the new head of business development position.
The 2007–2011 strategic plan was reviewed.
The main challenges emphasized are as follows:
♣Development of certain products and increase in the cornea production rate;
♣Market studies designed to broaden the range of products prepared by Héma-Québec. Accordingly, it must be determined whether there are shortages of certain products and whether Héma-Québec can be competitive in this respect;
♣Canadian market operations;
♣Need to obtain the required certifications at the international level;
♣Establish and maintain practices to monitor client satisfaction. The members were informed that the dissatisfaction rating had gone from 42% to 15% in two years.
The members indicated that they were very satisfied with the presentation and the visit, which allowed them to gain a better understanding of the department’s activities.
The Vice-President, Stem Cells, Human Tissues and Reference Laboratory Operations, left the meeting.
Ms. Suzanne Turmel left the meeting.
Dr. Martin Champagne returned to the meeting.
7.4 Health Canada inspection report on the Québec City facility
No observations were made by Health Canada following the annual audit of the Québec City facility. The President and CEO stressed that this was a first for Héma-Québec.
It was therefore moved, duly seconded and unanimously resolved to extend congratulations to the entire operations team in Québec City for the remarkable results obtained with relation to the Health Canada inspection.
8. Board business
8.1 Resignation of Dr. Sylvain Bélisle
It was noted that the chair of the governance committee had been in contact with Dr. Bélisle following the committee’s discussion about his board meeting attendance record. Dr. Bélisle confirmed that his schedule prevented him from attending meetings on a regular basis. He therefore chose to resign.
The members acknowledged his resignation.
The FMSQ was then approached for suggestions as to names to submit to the government. Only one name was provided. They will be recontacted for a second name.
8.2 Audit committee: October 6, 2010
The chair of the audit committee summarized the topics covered during the meeting, other than the 2011–2012 budget.
8.2.1 Risk management: mid-year report
The risks examined by the management committee were reviewed by the audit committee. The members of the audit committee stated they were satisfied with the report as presented.
8.2.2 Report on legal action and claims
It was noted that claims were under control and primarily involved reimbursements for ambulance services for donors. The corresponding amounts are minimal. Two lawsuits were also mentioned, one of which dates back to 2004.
8.3 Human resources and remuneration committee: October 6, 2010
The discussion took place in camera
8.4 Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee: May 25, 2010
8.4.1 Comments by the Board observer
Since the SMAC Board observer was absent, this item was postponed to the next meeting.
8.5 2010 regional public meetings and 2011 recognition events
The Board chair invited members to attend at least one of the events on the calendar and to confirm their attendance with the meeting delegate.
9. Documents available on the secure site
The members were informed that the following documents were available on the secure site:
9.1 Minutes of past meetings
9.2 Héma Express
10. Discussion with management absent
The President and CEO and the guests left the meeting.
In camera discussion.
The President and CEO and the guests returned to the meeting.
11. Miscellaneous business
There were no items under miscellaneous business.
12. Next meeting: December 16, 2010, 12:30, Montréal
The next meeting will be held on Thursday, December 16, 2010, in Montréal.
It was unanimously resolved to adjourn the meeting at 3 p.m.
Jean-Pierre Allaire, FCA, President Dr. Francine Décary, Secretary