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Meet the CSTM Board - Bernadette Muise

Welcome to the “Meet the CSTM Board” blog series! Each month a different position on the board will be spotlighted along with some insider information on the individual in the position. Each blog will follow a different path as each position and individual is unique. We hope you enjoy.
Author: Crystal Brunk, CSTM Director at Large (2022-2024)
This blog spotlights Bernadette Muise, the current Eastern Director (2021-2023), who in her commitment to the transfusion craft has set the bar high, not only for this blog series but for everyone in the transfusion medicine community!
The Eastern Director Position
By the books, the eastern director is the liaison between the board and the Atlantic provinces, primarily responsible for promoting CSTM and encouraging local engagement. The Eastern Director is also able to purpose new projects to the board and can be involved in various other committees or working groups. Bernadette has done all the above plus some, but let’s start at the beginning and how she got there.
It was 2019, Moncton had been chosen for the 2021 conference location and Bernadette was asked to be on the local organizing committee where she hit the ground running with her eagle eye attention to detail, years of experience organizing transfusion events in Atlantic Canada and extra time in retirement. Then 2020 came and the pandemic hit, cancelling the conference that year and leaving more questions than answers surrounding the future of any conference. 2021 quickly arrived and the Eastern Director position was open, Bernadette saw opportunity to bring her experience (and did I mention time in retirement) to the role and was instrumental in successfully moving the 2021 conference to a virtual platform that was enjoyed by CSTM members across the country (– comfortably from their couches, in Pjs and with champagne).
Bernadette describes the CSTM board as a group of very dedicated individuals who believe passionately in the CSTM vision of best practice in transfusion medicine in Canada and are selfless enough to contribute their spare time to ensuring the Society continues to fulfil that mandate. While on the board Bernadette has played the hard role of devil’s advocate and made us all think a little harder and consider other perspectives even if it was not the popular opinion and for that we appreciated her.
Transfusion Medicine: Bernadette’s Advice from her Journey
Bernadette’s career has crossed through several provinces, moved from inside the laboratory to the government, and has left a mark on many students, trainees, and colleagues. As part of her legacy of knowledge she wanted to give us the following advice:
  • Make connections – CSTM is a network of dedicated transfusion medicine professionals who are anxious to share experiences and mentor newcomers. These colleagues are comprised of technologists, nurses, and physicians who are immersed in the discipline, want the best for their patients and are more than happy to help and support those who are interested in increasing their knowledge and expertise in transfusion medicine. When they start talking “shop,” listen, and never be afraid to ask questions. They have all been there and want to ensure transfusion medicine services continue to grow and excel.
  • Transfusion medicine is a team sport – everything each one of us does is in the interest of patient safety, and even though you might feel like you are in a silo in the laboratory you are not. To elaborate Bernadette shared a story that started on one of those stormy Friday afternoons that lasted all evening, there was a patient in the OR requiring a large variety and volume of components and products, they worked diligently in the lab to get everything ready and anticipate the patient’s needs. The OR would call with a request, and the lab was one step ahead with the component ready in hand. Once the case ended the anesthesiologist showed up at the window with a granola bar and juice box in hand, they apologized because “nothing was open” and that was all they could find to thank us with.
  • Volunteer people for things (however Bernadette technically said Voluntell people to do things) – In essence when you see the potential in someone give them the confidence and backing that they might need to step-up by volunteering them. This applies to anything from a project to a committee or working group. The experience they will get will last a lifetime and give them the power to pay it forward someday as well.
  • Virtual is responsible – making more education and even conferences virtual is the most responsible way to enhance our climate control efforts. Virtual offerings also create more equality and inclusivity allowing more people the opportunity to get the knowledge and make connections as not all organizations have funding or ability to send frontline staff to an event.
When asked “what’s next” Bernadette said that after eight years of being retired, she might consider really retiring. I personally am not sure if that will stick or not though.
Two Truths and a Lie – Bernadette Edition
  • She is an introvert.
  • She goes to karaoke every Friday night in Fredericton.
  • She has been a blood donor for almost 50 years and has made over 100 whole blood donations.
While you think over what the lie might be, we will leave you with Bernadette’s lifelong motto which perfectly describes her approach to life:
Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, “oh shit, she’s awake!”
Your comments are encouraged! 
This blog is moderated and comments will be published upon approval.


Bev Padget
Great blog, Crystal & Bernadette. Bernadette has most certainly made great contributions to the CSTM and transfusion medicine.

My guess - the lie is that she is an introvert!
2/15/2023 2:07:36 PM

Nicole Gettle
My guess as to the lie: She goes to karaoke every Friday night. But if I'm wrong, I'm booking the next flight out to go with her!
2/2/2023 6:25:58 PM

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