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President’s Message

June 2017

Dear CSTM Members,

Our spring newsletter follows a very busy first half of 2017.  It is amazing how much there is to share in the few months since my last message in October.

The CSTM is pleased to welcome and host the informal group known as Canada's Transfusion Safety Officers (TSOs) to our website. Please note that CSTM membership is not required for current or new subscribers to the TSO mailing list. For information on the background of the TSO site mailing list and how to sign up, please go to the Resources page of the CSTM website. 

The CSTM/Héma-Quebec/CBS Joint Scientific conference - held this year in Ottawa from April 20-23, was a great success. The conference theme “Transfusion for all Ages” integrated educational presentations and abstracts with creativity, innovation, and a splash of celebration in recognition of Canada’s 150th birthday. The program and activities provided opportunities to renew acquaintances, expand networks, and learn about transfusion medicine and transfusion science in Canada. The venue, the city, the food and the entertainment were excellent and not possible without the generous support of the sponsors, exhibitors, and the tireless work of the local organizing committee. Conference abstracts and presentations are now posted on the website and the top four abstracts are anticipated to be published in Transfusion Medicine Reviews.

Casting our sites to 2018, we look forward to welcoming the world to Toronto for the International Society for Blood Transfusion (ISBT) conference June 2-7, 2018.  For those who have not attended an ISBT conference before, the program and schedule of events will look different than our annual conference with the ISBT local day on Saturday June 2nd. The local day provides the host country with the opportunity to showcase local topics of interest. Our local day will showcase the history of transfusion and highlight presenters from our Canadian transfusion community. We will return to our traditional annual scientific conference May 30-June 2, 2019 in Calgary.

As the CSTM expands and connects with organizations, I am pleased to share that the CSTM Board of Directors will be purchasing an ISBT affiliate membership. This will provide CSTM members with access to many resources available from the ISBT. Stay tuned for more information once our registration is complete.

With education being one of the CSTM's key values, we continue to enhance our mixture of in person and webinar based education events. A survey requesting membership input into topics, speakers and expression of interest for in-person education events has been emailed to members. Please take a moment to complete the survey and be a part of developing the educational curriculum. Planning for the next in-person education day, Sept 9th, 2017 in Cape Breton, is well underway. Mark your calendar for this in-person education day.

Earlier this year, members were asked to participate in a survey to gain a better understanding of what the transfusion medicine community would like to hear about from Health Canada. This survey helped Health Canada tailor the content of their presentation in Ottawa. A summary of the survey results is available in the member's section of the website.

A friendly reminder that our website provides many opportunities for members to connect, engage and collaborate either through blogging or sharing a safety event on the “Spotlight on Safety” member resource.

Additionally, our Transfusion Evidence Library subscription provides members with the opportunity to access this library and create a personal account to create personalized monthly alerts. A recent international opportunity to connect and engage has come to our attention from Australia in the form of an online certificate and master’s degree program available to Canadians.  The Australian Red Cross in partnership with an Australian state government and university to offer this program.  Please see the Resources page for more information posted or soon to be posted for all of the opportunities noted above.

With completion and publishing of the CSTM Standards Version 4.0, the standards committee has now turned their attention to development of a guidance document. More information to follow as development, format and content of this document evolves. Additionally, after feedback from members, the committee has completed a Table of Significant Changes from version 3.0 to version 4.0. This document can be found on the Standards page in the member's section of the website.

On behalf of the CSTM board of directors, I wish you an enjoyable and restful summer season.

Darlene Mueller
President, CSTM Board of Directors