(TORONTO, ON., - February 19, 2016) Taking action today to build a better tomorrow, Toyota Canada and its dealers have made two significant donations to help the innovative efforts of Canadian Blood Services and the Héma-Québec Foundation.
Toyota Canada and its dealers are providing $320,000 to Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank, which collects, tests and stores blood stem cells from the umbilical cord and placenta of healthy volunteer mothers. Toyota Canada and its dealers are also donating $120,000 to Héma-Québec’s Public Mothers’ Milk Bank, which collects, tests and distributes pasteurized milk for premature babies.
“Toyota is about being more than just a car company,” said Larry Hutchinson, President and CEO, Toyota Canada Inc. “We’re committed to improving the lives of all Canadians by supporting non-profit and community organizations that are impacting people in profound and innovative ways. Both Canadian Blood Services and the Héma-Québec Foundation epitomize that goal.”
Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the national supply of blood, blood products and stem cells for all provinces and territories (excluding Quebec). It also leads an interprovincial system for organ donation and transplantation. For many patients, a blood stem cell transplant is the last and best hope of recovery when their own stem cells or bone marrow have been damaged by chemotherapy drugs, radiation therapy or disease. The demand for stem cells is growing at a rapid pace. Canadian Blood Services operates five collection sites in four cities across Canada. When giving birth at one of these locations mothers can choose to publicly bank their baby’s cord blood. These cord blood units are stored at one of two manufacturing facilities operated by Canadian Blood Services and made available to patients in need.
Héma-Québec manages the blood supply in Québec and provides other human biological products including human tissues, umbilical cord blood and mother’s milk. It is the only provider of blood products in North America to manage a mother’s milk bank. Through the milk bank, Héma-Québec is able to supply donated milk to hospitals that provide neonatal care to premature babies born at 32 weeks’ gestation or earlier. These babies cannot be nursed by their mothers. Without access to milk from the bank, the babies would be at serious risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, a potentially life-threatening intestinal disease.
“We extend a sincere thank you to Toyota Canada and its entire dealer network for the financial support that will be designated to Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank,” says Dr. Graham Sher, CEO, Canadian Blood Services. “This health-care resource will provide more opportunities to patients in need of a stem cell transplant. We are delighted that Toyota Canada and its dealer network chose to support the cord blood bank to help save even more lives.”
“The donation to Héma-Québec’s Public Mothers’ Milk Bank will ultimately save many premature babies. We feel privileged to have the support of such an extraordinary partner, who shares our vision of excellence and innovation in health care”, declares Patrick Bérard, Executive Director of the Héma-Québec Foundation.
Toyota will also be announcing an innovative collaboration with a very different organization; coming together the goal of improving the lives of Canadians through the blood supply chain in Canada.
About Toyota Canada Inc.
Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) is the exclusive Canadian distributor of Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles. Toyota has sold over 4.6 million vehicles in Canada through a national network of 285 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships. Toyota is dedicated to bringing safety, quality, dependability and reliability in the vehicles Canadians drive and the service they receive. TCI’s head office is located in Toronto, with regional offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Montréal and Halifax and parts distribution centres in Toronto and Vancouver. Toyota operates two manufacturing facilities in Canada. Having produced more than six million vehicles, popular Canadian models built at these facilities include Toyota RAV4, Toyota Corolla, Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h hybrid.
About Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services manages the national supply of blood, blood products and stem cells, and related services for all the provinces and territories (excluding Québec). We operate an integrated, pan-Canadian service delivery model that includes leading an interprovincial system for organ donation and transplantation. Our national scope, infrastructure and governance make us unique in the Canadian healthcare landscape. Canadian Blood Services is regulated as a biologics manufacturer by Health Canada and primarily funded by the provincial and territorial ministries of health. Canadian Blood Services is a not-for-profit charitable organization.
About Héma-Québec Foundation
The mission of the Héma-Québec Foundation is to provide financial support for the creation and development of innovative projects that will help to keep Héma-Québec at the forefront of knowledge and services in all its areas of activity and expertise, allowing them to do more, do it better and do it faster.