Dr. Francine Décary made an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec

Québec City, June 18, 2008 - Héma-Québec President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Francine Décary has been made an officer of the Ordre national du Québec by Québec’s Premier Jean Charest. The Ordre is the highest distinction awarded by the Government of Québec, and was presented at a ceremony held at the Parliament building in Québec City.

Ms. Décary was named an Officer of the Order in recognition for her contributions as a scientist and manager. “In the space of a few years, she has made Héma-Québec one of the safest and most reliable manufacturers of blood products in the world. Today the organization is attracting attention from specialists all over the world who are interested in its business model, which allies scientific culture with business culture," stated the Secrétariat de l’Ordre national du Québec in a press release.

A trained hematologist, Francine Décary is also a scientific researcher and dynamic manager who rapidly guided Québec’s blood organization to a level of excellence. She founded Héma-Québec in 1998 after the contaminated blood scandal affecting the country spurred a reorganization of the Canadian blood management system.

Dr. Décary was born in Montréal and received her training in medicine and hematology at the Université de Montréal. During the 70s, after receiving specialized training in transfusion at the New York Blood Center, she enrolled in a research program at the Netherland Red Cross’ central laboratory in Amsterdam. This step led to a doctorate (PhD) in immunohematology from the University of Amsterdam.

Thereafter, she was a long-time medical director and manager in Transfusion Services for the Canadian Red Cross. For over ten years, she directed research activities in transfusion medicine. In 1987, she was put in charge of managing transfusion services in Montréal, then all of Québec, and finally Eastern Canada. In 1996, she completed a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) for managers at the Université de Sherbrooke. In 1998, she founded Héma-Québec.

Since she took up her duties as President and Chief Executive Officer of Héma-Québec, Ms. Décary has rallied Red Cross employees and volunteers around Héma-Québec’s mission and has surrounded herself with a highly effective team, the driving force behind the organisation. With a constant eye to controlling risk, the manager has taken a unique approach in the field of transfusion medicine, by allying entrepreneurial with scientific culture. She has earned world-wide recognition from her peers and, in just a few years, has succeeded in making Héma-Québec one of the safest and most reliable manufacturers of blood products in the world. Héma-Québec has expanded its mandate over the years to provide human tissues and stem cells as well.

Research remains an essential activity for the manager. In fact, over 40 researchers work at Héma-Québec's establishment in Québec City, in the field of cellular engineering, operational research and bioproduction, keeping the organisation on the cutting edge of scientific advances.

Over the course of her career, Dr. Décary has received a number of distinctions for her work as a scientist, an able manager and an exceptional woman: Médecin de cœur et d’action award (1999), Ortho Award (2002), Medal for International Merit of Blood (2002), Prix du Réseau des Femmes d’affaires du Québec in the “Cadre ou professionnel, organisme public ou parapublic” category, submitted by Hydro-Québec (2003), Woman of Distinction (2004) by the Women’s Y Foundation of Montréal and the Prix du Québec’s prix Armand-Frappier (2005). Ms. Décary was also named one of the “40 personnalités qui font bouger le Québec” (40 movers and shakers in Québec) according to Québec Magazine.

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