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Canadian Federation of Medical Students prescribe blood donation for the February blues
Canadian Blood Services and CFMS hold sixth annual blood donor challenge

Ottawa, February 1, 2005 – The Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS), in conjunction with Canadian Blood Services, will hold its sixth annual blood donor challenge during the month of February. The challenge involves many medical schools across the country, all of whom help promote awareness of the need for blood.

“We are proud to work with the medical students to raise awareness of the importance of blood donation,” said Dr. Graham Sher, Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Blood Services. “Not only will their involvement help those in immediate need, but we hope it will motivate them as future physicians to make improvements to the system and encourage their patients to donate.”

With only 3.5 per cent of eligible Canadians actually donating blood regularly, Canadian Blood Services hopes that building relationships with tomorrow’s medical practitioners will help meet today’s needs while also ensuring the future support and commitment of doctors to the blood system in Canada.

“The CFMS is delighted to partner with Canadian Blood Services for the sixth consecutive CFMS Blood Donor Challenge,” says Ryan McColl, the coordinator of the initiative and a medical student at the University of Alberta. “Who better to raise awareness among Canadians of the need for blood donors than future physicians who will rely on blood and blood products to treat many of their future patients?”

Canadian medical students, faculty, staff, friends and family can locate a clinic that is convenient for them by calling 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236-6283), or visiting the Canadian Blood Services Web site at www.bloodservices.ca.

About the CFMS
The CFMS is the voice of over 7,000 of Canada’s medical students, and is active in advocacy for a stronger health care system of tomorrow. The Federation provides services, communication and representation for medical students at a national level and works closely with many other stakeholders to search for solutions to the challenges of meeting the health needs of Canadians for many years to come. Further information about the CFMS can be found at www.cfms.org.

About Canadian Blood Services
Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the blood supply in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec and oversees the country's Unrelated Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Canadian Blood Services operates 42 permanent collection sites and more than 15,000 donor clinics annually. The Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health provide operational funding to Canadian Blood Services. The federal government, through Health Canada, is responsible for regulating the blood system. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.bloodservices.ca.

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For further information contact:
Derek Mellon
Media Room Relations Manager
Canadian Blood Services
(613) 739-2177
derek.mellon@blood.ca

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