“Partner for life” Héma-Québec recognizes the commitment of volunteers To maintaining the blood supply

Montréal, April 18, 2005 — As part of National Volunteer Week that runs from April 17–23, Héma-Québec would like to remind the public that volunteer action is absolutely essential for maintaining Québec’s blood supply. In addition to the 320,000 individuals who voluntarily give blood every year, Héma-Québec relies on the generous contribution of thousands of other Quebeckers who support its endeavours by recruiting donors, organizing blood drives or volunteering their services at the blood donor clinics.

To celebrate the commitment and importance of its volunteers, Héma-Québec has established a recognition program especially for them. Under the “Partner for Life” theme, Héma-Québec pays tribute to the contribution of regular volunteers; the blood drive organizing committees at the community, corporate, and government levels as well as in our academic and cultural communities; members of the Association of Blood Donation Volunteers; and the blood recipients who act as spokespersons or honorary chairpersons for blood drives.

As part of this program, two recognition evenings were organized to celebrate the priceless contributions of a finalist group of volunteers: one in Montréal on April 12, 2005, and the other in Québec City on April 14, 2005. These finalists were those individuals or organizations who really stood out during the last year according to the six evaluation criteria. Fourteen winners from all across Québec were honoured at these two celebrations.

“Every volunteer, whether a blood donor, telerecruiter, drive organizer, or volunteer at the clinics, helps to save lives or improve the quality of life of recipients. Hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours are dedicated annually to maintaining the collective blood supply and, as a result, to helping our fellow Quebeckers who require it. Volunteers are the anonymous heroes who deserve all of our thanks for their exemplary commitment and their wonderful sense of sharing,” stated Dr. Francine Décary, Héma-Québec’s Chief Executive Officer.

We should emphasize that Héma-Québec has a constant need for new volunteers to continue its operations and to replace the volunteers who are retiring. No experience is necessary since Héma-Québec provides all of the training required for its team of volunteers. To become a volunteer or to find out more about volunteer work, visit the Web site at www.hema-quebec.qc.ca or telephone (514) 832-5000, extension 162, in the Montréal and Western Québec region, or (418) 780-4362, extension 2245, for the Québec City and Eastern Québec region.

Héma-Québec’s mission is to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes and human tissues to meet the needs of all Quebeckers; provide and develop expertise and services, along with specialized and innovative products in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation.