Countdown to CSTM 2024: A unique venue for ideas & reconnection

Dr. Matthew Yan

The Canadian Society for Transfusion Medicine (CSTM) annual conference, held in partnership with Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec, is taking place May 23-26 in Saskatoon. Each year, the CSTM conference provides opportunity for health-care professionals in transfusion medicine to share knowledge, learn about recent advancements in transfusion medicine, and connect with colleagues.

In lead-up to the event, we are featuring a series of blogs written by members of our Canadian Blood Services research and education network previewing their contributions to CSTM 2024. This blog features Canadian Blood Services medical officer, Dr. Matthew Yan.

Dr. Matthew Yan Headshot
Dr. Matthew Yan is a Canadian Blood Services medical officer, a transfusion medicine physician with Fraser Health Authority, and a clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia.

1. How will you be contributing to CSTM 2024?  

I am currently the Western Director on the CSTM Board representing the interests of the Western provinces/territories, as well as a member of the scientific committee (previously co-chair). The role of the scientific committee is to plan the workshops, scientific sessions and plenaries for the conference, selecting relevant topics that are cutting-edge and/or high-in-demand and covering a wide range of perspectives.  This includes the blood operators (Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec), hospitals, clinicians, nurses, medical laboratory technologists, donors and patients, to name a few.

My roles on the Board and scientific committee have been very rewarding. It is a privilege to be able to engage with individuals across Canada that are involved in transfusion medicine and are passionate about sharing our collective contributions as a country in the transfusion field. It is our responsibility to ensure that CSTM continues to deliver high quality content and sustains into the future.  

“Many ideas that come to fruition are a result of conferences like CSTM. Watching the conference unfold and witnessing how our amazing speakers initiate critical conversations with the audience will be wonderful to watch!” 

2. Why do you think it is important to share knowledge & research at CSTM 2024?

I feel it is important to participate in CSTM to help me stay connected to the transfusion community across Canada. CSTM is such an important fixture and has been the initial platform for many of our young scientists and physicians. I still remember my first presentation at CSTM 2017 in Ottawa and how it felt like a milestone! 

I think the theme of this year’s conference, “Bridging transfusion communities” really captures this. CSTM is such a valuable experience to network with existing colleagues and make new connections. It is a place where ideas are generated through thought-provoking sessions, or a collective experience is shared (i.e., when you realize that other sites are also having similar staffing shortages).  

“CSTM is one of the unique venues where you could be having a conversation with a medical laboratory technologist from a hospital, someone from the blood supplier, and a patient speaker all at the same time. Since parts of our day-to-day work can feel siloed at times, this helps provide a reconnection to elements of transfusion medicine you might not otherwise encounter daily.” 

3. What are you most looking forward to about CSTM 2024? 

I’m looking forward to the two plenary presentations planned this year – one on Indigenous health and one on hemovigilance. The decision to hold two concurrent sessions this year (instead of three) will help ensure our focus as an audience is less divided and, based on the speakers selected, I know these two sessions will spark important conversations within our audience and communities about how we can continuously improve and do better.  

The theme for CSTM 2024 is “Bridging transfusion communities”. Visit the CSTM website for more information about the conference (including the scientific program) and follow along with #cstm_scmt as it gets underway in May!  

Canadian Blood Services – Driving world-class innovation

Through discovery, development and applied research, Canadian Blood Services drives world-class innovation in blood transfusion, cellular therapy and transplantation—bringing clarity and insight to an increasingly complex healthcare future. Our dedicated research team and extended network of partners engage in exploratory and applied research to create new knowledge, inform and enhance best practices, contribute to the development of new services and technologies, and build capacity through training and collaboration. Find out more about our research impact

The opinions reflected in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Canadian Blood Services nor do they reflect the views of Health Canada or any other funding agency.