”Partner for Life“

Héma-Québec recognizes the commitment of volunteers to maintaining the blood supply

Montréal, April 25, 2006 — As part of National Volunteer Week that runs from April 23–29, 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 people, throughout Québec, 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 for achieving its mission, Héma-Québec has established last year a recognition program especially for them. Under the “Partner for Life” theme, Héma-Québec pays tribute to the contribution of regular volunteers in the following categories: Young Volunteer, Volunteer, Regional Volunteer and Volunteer – Blood Donation Promotion. It recognizes also the contribution of the blood drive organizing committees at the community, corporate, government and medias 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, four recognition evenings were organized to celebrate the priceless contributions of a finalist group of volunteers: two in Montréal on April 12 and 20, 2006, and the other in Québec City on April 10 and 18, 2006. These finalists were those individuals or organizations who really stood out during the last year according to the seven evaluation criteria. Eighteen winners from all across Québec were honoured at these four celebrations.

“Québec's blood supply rests essentially on the generosity of volunteers. 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. Volunteers deserve all of our thanks for their wonderful public-spiritedness and sense of sharing,” stated Dr. Francine Décary, Héma-Québec’s President and 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 "Volunteers" section of 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, human tissues and cord blood to meet the needs of all Quebecers; provide and develop expertise along with specialized and innovative services and products in the fields of transfusion medicine and human tissue transplantation.

Give blood. Give life.

- 30 -