Héma-Québec pays tribute to Dr. Francine Décary: an outstanding woman

Montréal, March 9, 2011 — Dr. Francine Décary, President and Chief Executive Officer of Héma-Québec, has announced that she will be leaving her position on March 31 to pursue new professional challenges. Dr. Décary has completed three mandates at the helm of the organization and has been its guiding force since its creation. At a ceremony last night highlighting the launch of journalist Pierre Cayouette’s book about the creation of Héma-Québec, many of the guests in attendance used the occasion to pay tribute to her.

Jean-Pierre Allaire, FCA, Chair of the Board of Directors, declared: “Dr. Décary’s career is both inspiring and outstanding, and her work is recognized nationally and internationally. She has demonstrated a level of commitment that is truly above and beyond. Her contribution has been outstanding. We all appreciate how she quickly brought Héma-Québec to a level of excellence. Many people have stated over the years, and I can testify to this: ‘Dr. Décary is the soul of Héma-Québec’.
Miville Mercier, President of the Association of Blood Donation Volunteers, added: “One of Dr. Francine Décary’s greatest achievements has been the creation of the Association of Blood Donation Volunteers (ABDV), whose goal is to promote blood donation and contribute to ensuring the future generation of donors. In doing so, Dr. Décary has made volunteers full partners in Héma-Québec’s mission and built a tangible bond of trust between volunteers and the organization.”
Monique Lefebvre, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Héma-Québec Foundation, added her voice to the many tributes and used the occasion to announce the creation of a fund in honour of Dr. Décary. The money collected in this fund—totalling more than $136,665—will be used by the Foundation to provide financial support to projects that will help to keep Héma-Québec at the forefront of knowledge and services related to the supply of blood, stem cells and human tissues. Ms. Lefebvre expressed her high regard and admiration for the outgoing President and CEO as well as her major contribution to the creation of Héma-Québec.
In 1998, after the Canadian Red Cross announced that it was withdrawing from transfusion activities, Dr. Décary founded Héma-Québec and assumed the helm, quickly steering it to a position of excellence. From the moment she stepped into office, sherallied Red Cross staff and volunteers around the mission of the new organization.
She opted for transparency and implemented a new approach to transfusion services, one that was more people-oriented and highly focused on risk management. In this spirit of openness, she and her team made major efforts to regain the trust of Quebecers in the public blood supply. Dr. Décary also inaugurated a unique approach in the field of transfusion services by allying an entrepreneurial culture with a scientific culture.
In just a few years, she made Héma-Québec one of the world’s safest and most reliable suppliers of blood products. Under her impetus and governance, Héma-Québec also became a successful supplier of human tissues and stem cells. These efforts were recognized in 2009 with a “Grande mention” at the Grands Prix québécois de la qualité, presented by the premier of Québec to the best performing private companies and public organizations.
Dr. Francine Décary’s career has been marked by a host of awards that have honoured, time and time again, this great scientist, able manager and exceptional woman: Prix Médecin de cœur et d’action (1999), Ortho Award (2002), Médaille du mérite international du sang (2002), Prix du Réseau des femmes d’affaires du Québec in the category of “manager or professional, public or parapublic organization” (2003), Prix Femme de mérite (2004), Prix Armand-Frappier (2005), Ordre national du Québec (2008), the Thomas F. Zuck Lifetime Achievement Award (2010) from America’s Blood Centers and the Ronald O. Gilcher, MD Award (2010) from the Association of Donor Recruitment Professionals (ADRP).

About Héma-Québec 

Héma-Québec aims to efficiently provide adequate quantities of safe, optimal blood components, substitutes, human tissues and cord blood to meet all Quebecers’ needs; 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.

For further information:

Media Line | 514-832-0871