/R E P E A T -- Héma-Québec celebrates ten years of giving life!/

    MONTREAL, Sept. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - 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 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.

    About Héma-Québec

    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, and 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:

For further information: Valérie Legault, Information officer, (514)
832-0871, valerie.legault@hema-quebec.qc.ca; www.hema-quebec.qc.ca; Source:
Laurent Paul Ménard, Communications Director

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