Héma-Québec: A Québec City area resident with 357 blood and plasma donations - Mr Robert Bédard appointed first chairperson of the Association of Blood Donation Volunteers

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, March 17, 1999 - The first chairperson of the Association of Blood Donation Volunteers and the members of its executive board and board of trustees were elected today, Tuesday, March 16, 1999, at the foundation's general assembly in Montréal.

Mr Robert Bédard, a Québec City area resident, was elected chairperson. With 357 of blood and plasma donations, Mr Bédard will be a credible Association's first chairperson. He will be assisted by 4 members of the executive committee: Denis Lachance, Vice-President, Jean-Guy Lorrain, Secretary, Pierre McDuff, Treasurer and Stéphane Gagnon, Administrator.

"The Association of Blood Donation Volunteers will bring together all donors and volunteers who participate in the organization of blood clinics and the promotion of blood donation," says Mr Bédard. "We are counting on the cooperation of all Association members to support HÉMA-QUÉBEC in its mission to provide adequate quantities of safe blood and blood products to meet the needs of the 117 Québec hospitals."

The Association's mission is to promote voluntary, anonymous, free blood donation. To this end, the Association will focus on promoting blood donation principles and values, supporting the recruitment of safe donors by dispensing information, creating a gathering place for all volunteer resources and acting as the communication link between the regions and HÉMA-QUÉBEC.

"We began our awareness work during our first tour of Québec by inviting volunteers to join the Association."

In the spring, the Association will begin activities to raise blood donation awareness among the public. These activities will include symposiums and conferences. The Association will also set up information booths at public events across the province. Furthermore, the Association will publish a newsletter on a regular basis and establish contacts with blood and blood product recipient groups. The Association chairperson will be suggested to the Minister of Santé et Services sociaux, Mrs Pauline Marois, as the volunteers representative on HÉMA-QUÉBEC's board of trustees.

"We will try to be as visible as possible in order to promote the importance of giving blood and encourage Quebeckers to share the precious gift of health," explains Mr Bédard. "Remember, a single donation can help up to four people regain their health."

The Association of Blood Donation Volunteers will include 10 regional chapters and conduct recruiting from among the 25,000 volunteers and 350,000 donors.

For more information on the Association of Blood Donation Volunteers, contact a representative at 1-800-585-8283, ext. 145.