Héma-Québec celebrates ten years of giving life!
Montréal, September 28, 2008 - On September 28, 1998, Héma-Québec took over from the Red Cross as the organization in charge of blood management in Québec, in the framework of the mandate given to it by Québec’s Minister of Health and Social Services. Ten years later, the decision stands.
Over the last ten years, Héma-Québec has welcomed over 2.5 million donors to some 17,000 blood drives organized in collaboration with community partners. In the last year alone, Héma-Québec delivered more than 460,000 blood products to hospitals to meet the needs of 80,000 patients.
Today, due to a massive and sustained effort, 9 out of 10 Quebecers now say they have faith in the blood collection and distribution system. "Our main challenge was rebuilding the public’s confidence, especially the trust of blood product donors and recipients. The issue of safety is and always will be the cornerstone of Quebec's collective blood reserve. Striving for excellence, we can be proud that we have become a North American leader in so little time," says Dr. Francine Décary, President and Chief Executive Officer of Héma-Québec.
The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Yves Bolduc, sums up Héma-Québec's ten years as follows: “We can be proud of the work we’ve accomplished in Québec since 1998, consolidating a blood collection system that is both efficient and safe. Thanks to the Héma-Québec team, we have developed exemplary practices that put us at the forefront of the blood management field. I would like to take this opportunity to remind those who are able to give blood to do so regularly, because it saves lives."
This is a daily challenge because in Québec, every 80 seconds someone needs blood. To meet the needs of hospital centres, Héma-Québec collects 1,000 donations each day. To achieve this goal, Héma-Québec relies on 300,000 blood donors a year and 16,000 volunteers.
Over the years, this task has grown in step with Héma-Québec’s expanding role. Our mission is no longer limited to providing blood products. Stem cells (cord blood and bone marrow) and human tissue for transplant have become very important in the last few years. But, just as it was in the beginning, the gift of life remains at the heart of who we are and what we do.
Héma-Québec’s achievement over the last ten years is owing to those who worked to make sure Québec has a true collective blood reserve. First and foremost is the invaluable contribution made by hundreds of thousands of people, who contributed by making one or more donations of blood or blood components, or by working as volunteers, with the Association of Blood Donation Volunteers and other organizations. Héma-Québec can also count on a remarkable, essential contribution from its 1,100 employees.
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