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President’s Message

November 2016

Dear CSTM Members,

I am writing our fall newsletter following a busy start to the second half of 2016. It is amazing how much there is to share in the few months since the last message in July.
At the annual general meeting and in the July newsletter, members were asked to provide their opinion on our Transfusion Evidence Library subscription. Members indicated a resounding desire to continue with this subscription. With continuation of this subscription, the board has learned about and is further exploring the ability for members to personalize their evidence alert emails in order to target and customize notifications. More detail to follow in the new year.
On September 30th, CSTM joined forces with the CBS Regina and Saskatoon Blood Program to host an informative education day.  Attendance was great with 105 on-site participants from across Saskatchewan and 75 registered webinar participants. The CSTM board would like to thank the sponsors, speakers and organizers for an informative education day. A special thank you to the weather planners for keeping the snow at bay until after the event. Look for the recorded presentations in the member section of the website where these presentations and those from past education days are available to members.
Following the education day, the board of directors met to review, revise and renew the CSTM strategic plan. This is an opportune time to reflect on CSTM's successes and accomplishments and plan for the next few years. The principle focus of this planning is to ensure activities and member resources align with the CSTM mission and vision statements. The vision statements being: to inspire and promote safe transfusion practices, to be the leaders in the continuing development of standards for hospital transfusion services, to facilitate opportunities for education in transfusion medicine, to cultivate regional, national and international partnerships with key stakeholders, and to assist in the advancement of knowledge and services in developing countries. Look for the revised strategic plan to be posted to the CSTM website later this year.
An ongoing priority for CSTM is maintenance of the CSTM Standards. The hard working standards committee is completing work on the new version. Members will be provided the opportunity to review and comment on the new version this fall, prior to the target publication date of early 2017, well before the April conference. Following publication, the standards committee will explore development of a companion document.
I am pleased to share that the CSTM will be offering support for the new Canadian Obstetrical and Pediatric Transfusion Medicine Committee being formed under the leadership of Dr. Lani Lieberman. This committee will assess, analyze and strive to implement best practices in pediatric and obstetrical transfusion practice in Canada. Stay tuned for more information on the website.
“Spotlight on Safety”, a member resource providing the opportunity to share the learning from errors, incidents or accidents in Transfusion Medicine launched this summer. Anyone from the transfusion medicine community is welcome to submit an error or near miss event and the learning outcomes using a template document available on the website. Submissions will be reviewed, de-identified, and posted in the members section of the website as a learning resource tool.  A powerpoint presentation will be available on the website for members to assist with education and awareness of this resource. Keep an eye out for safety events that you feel would be helpful to share with others.

Opportunities for members to engage and connect through volunteer positions continue to grow; please check out the volunteer section of the website for a complete list of opportunities and the volunteer application. Thank you again to volunteers on the translation team and those representing CSTM on a variety of standing committees.
As introduction of new blood component/product transport boxes continues, CSTM Director at Large Heather Panchuk has been gathering transport box resources and validation data from across Canada to be posted on the shared resources page of the website. Thank you to all who have contributed by sharing this information. If you have information to share and have not already done so, please email the Director at Large.
Inspired by Dr. Jeannie Callum’s presentation in Timmins Ontario, a fun way to “ Help Us Put a Fish in Every pot” is currently underway. We hope to provide the opportunity for conference attendees to participate in this global initiative by purchasing a Lucky Iron Fish. Stay tuned for details on how improve your ferritin levels while reaching out to communities in need.
Lastly, I would like to warmly invite everyone to join us in Ottawa April 20-23, 2017 for our next scientific conference “Transfusion for All Ages”.  The exceptional scientific and social program is well underway with some new approaches designed to enhance the experience of attendees. An exciting addition to the conference is confirmation of the keynote speaker: David Usher. David Usher is a Juno award-winning musician whose interesting biography can be found on the CSTM website. Mark your calendar for April and look for early bird registration for the conference to open in early December.
On behalf of the CSTM board of directors, I wish you a happy and productive holiday season.
Darlene Mueller
President, CSTM Board of Directors