Weekly Avian Influenza A(H7N9) virus update: April 30, 2013
Several additional laboratory-confirmed human infections with the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus were reported since last week. Moreover, a new case was reported in Taiwan – the first infection that has occurred outside of China. There is now a total of 126 laboratory–confirmed A(H7N9) cases including 24 deaths. There is still no strong evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus; however, there are still some cases where human-to-human transmission has not been ruled out. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the United States, has warned Chinese health officials that they must be ready for the virus to mutate at any time.
April 26 – The Public Health Agency of Canada issued an Avian Influenza A(H7N9) ‘Interim Guidance’ document to provide infection prevention and control guidance to healthcare organizations in Canada – locatedhere.
April 25 – A Global News story on ‘Why the WHO is calling the A(H7N9) one of the ‘most lethal’ flu viruses so far’ can be readhere.
April 24 – Dr. Keiji Fukuda’s opening statement at the joint press conference on the China-World Health Organization Joint Mission on A(H7N9) can be reviewedhere.
April 24 – Taiwan reports first case of A(H7N9) infection – availablehere.
Summary, Risks, and Recommendations
Most new A(H7N9) infections have been contained to China; however, a new case was reported in Taiwan this past week. Expert researchers around the world are exploring the possibility of human-to-human transmission as certain cases of A(H7N9) have appeared to be contracted with no exposure to poultry. Canadian provincial health officers have issued updated preventative procedures for Canadian healthcare organizations and citizens. Moreover, the Public Health Agency of Canada is currently determining if antiviral drugs are effective against the virus; they’re also actively developing and testing new vaccines. Although there is emerging research that suggests the possibility to human-to-human transmission of the virus, the Public Health Agency of Canada is still reporting that the risk of infection to Canadians is low.
Total confirmed cases: 126
Total fatalities: 24
Countries with infection – China, Taiwan
Thank you for checking our weekly Avian Influenza summary, please check back next week on May 6th for next week’s update. For more information, please visithttp://www.bccdc.ca/default.htm
Fire rescue services are often the first to arrive at the scene of an emergency. However, responding fire fighters must work within the scope of theirEmergency Medical Assistants (EMA) License and within their of their level of training.
Iridia Medical currently assists fire departments interested in enhanced training opportunities. With our medical team having decades of experience in pre-hospital care and as the provider of medical direction to over 140 fire departments in British Columbia, Iridia Medical is in a unique position of assisting fire rescue services in improving their pre-hospital emergency skills and training.
Through collaboration between firefighters, paramedics and physicians, Iridia Medical has helped develop enhanced skills and training for rural and metro first responder programs, as well as assisted departments in transitioning from an EMA-FR to an Emergency Medical Responder license level.
One notable fire department on the path to their EMR license isDelta Fire Rescue Services. As Delta Fire moves towards the EMR license level the following key training modules have been introduced to all its current first responders:
Delta Fire is among a select few fire departments across the province have undertaken these advanced modules. As good fortune would have it, soon after completing their training, first responders from Delta Fire responded to an emergency where they put Iridia Medical’s advanced training modules into action.
Delta Fire Chief Dan Copeland on the incident:
“It was brought to my attention that on November 27, 2012 a shift crew was called to theLadner Leisure Centre to attend a patient having a severe allergic reaction. The wife of the patient informed crew members that the patient was suffering a severe reaction to shellfish and did not have his epi-pen with him. Now that Delta Fire & Emergency Services carry epi-pens, the crew was able to provide one for the patient who was then able to self-administer.
BC Ambulance Servicedispatch was contacted and provided information from the fire crew who monitored the patient until they arrived approximately 6 minutes after the fire crew.
In an anaphylactic situation, time is critical to a positive outcome for the patient and in this instance our crews were instrumental in a successful outcome for the patient.
I would like to compliment the crew who attended this incident for their quick thinking and providing excellent patient care. Also, compliments to our F.R. Instructors and all personnel for the smooth and efficient implementation of the 3 additional F.R. protocols.
Training on 3 protocols (pulse oximetry, blood pressure & epi-pens) began earlier in the year, with the support of Mayor and Council. Delta Fire instructors received training and attained instructor status on the 3 protocols. This training is part of a process to enhance training in an effort to attain their EMR license.
This incident provides encouraging testimony that enhanced training for fire fighters can improve pre-hospital patient care in the event that BCAS is unable to attend a scene immediately. Thank you for a job well done!”
Iridia Medical is thrilled with Delta Fire’s quick response to the anaphylactic emergency and their ability to aid in the positive outcome due to the enhanced training. Iridia looks forward to its continued relationship with Delta Fire and believe their enhanced role as first responders can be a model for other fire departments in the province.
Weekly Avian Influenza A(H7N9) virus update: April 22, 2013
China: Several additional laboratory-confirmed human infections with the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus were reported since last week. The total amount of reported infections is approximately 103 – there have been a total of 20 deaths since the outbreak of the virus. Chief epidemiologists at the China CDC have announced that approximately 40% of the A(H7N9) patients have had no history of exposure to poultry; this establishes the need for a wider investigation into how the disease is being spread.
April 18 – Experts gather to focus on H7N9 bird flu transmission mystery – CTV News story – availablehere.
April 17 – An additional 19 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with the avian influenza A(H7N9) virus are reported in various Chinese provinces – availablehere.
April 12 – The Canadian Public Health Agency issued an updated press release noting the low risk of the A(H7N9) virus to Canadians; however, cautioned Canadians to take preventative measures to protect themselves from influenza – availablehere.
April 11 – The National Health and Family Planning Commission notified the World Health Organization (WHO) of an additional 10 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with A(H7N9) virushere.
H7N9 spread as of April 15th 2013
Summary, Risks, and Recommendations
China has now seen 103 A(H7N9) laboratory confirmed infections – 20 have succumbed to the illness. Researchers in China are currently exploring the possibility of human-to-human transmission as certain cases of A(H7N9) have appeared to be contracted with no exposure to poultry. Canadian provincial health officers have stated that the level of risk to Canadians is still considered to be low, with reported cases limited to several different provinces in China. Canada does not import raw poultry from China, thereby further reducing the possible risk of the virus spreading. However, Canadian health authorities are still recommending Canadians practice good hand hygiene and washing hands regularly, coughing or sneezing into your sleeve, and staying home when sick to reduce your chance of getting sick or passing illness on to others.
Total confirmed cases: 103
Total fatalities: 20
Countries with infection – China
Thank you for checking our weekly Avian Influenza summary, please check back for future updates. For more information, please visit http://www.bccdc.ca/default.htm
To recap, the ACT Foundation is a national charitable organization that is establishing CPR and defibrillator training programs in all Canadian high schools as a regular part of the school curriculum. The program is built on a model of establishing community-based partnerships and support, whereby ACT finds local partners to donate equipment – such as training mannequins, AED training units and AED units – that schools need to set up the program. Training is also a key component. Teachers in secondary schools are trained in CPR and defibrillator use and they, in turn, will act as instructors for their students. The aim of the program is to ensure that all youth prior to graduation could effectively treat someone who is having a sudden cardiac arrest.
In continued support of this program, Iridia teamed up again with the ACT Foundation and withBC Ambulance Service(BCAS) earlier this month to help bring the program toFort Nelson Secondary School, with two teachers from this school participating in the teacher-training workshop. The workshop was delivered by BCAS’ paramedic and CPR instructor, Sirita Hoenen, who generously volunteered her time to teach the workshop. Iridia’s support comprised the donation of equipment – including AED training units and an AED – along with the provision of funding for the AED mannequins and program resources. As a result of the teacher-training conducted, over 70 Grade 10 students from Fort Nelson Secondary School will be trained annually by their teachers to potentially save lives.
“Increasing community access to AEDs and CPR training within BC has always been an important focus for Iridia”, saidVern Biccum, President of Iridia Medical. “Our company started with pioneering AED programs in the workplace and we have been active in bringing AEDs and CPR training to the community ever since. Collaborating with the ACT Foundation to now bring life-saving skills and equipment to the youth of our communities is an opportunity on which we place great importance and with which we’re proud to be associated.”
As a result of the program and Iridia’s participation in it, Fort Nelson Secondary School will now have an AED available for their use, along with the associated skills and knowledge, should a student, staff or visitor to the school suffer a sudden cardiac arrest.
Iridia will continue to partner with the ACT Foundation, with another workshop scheduled for June to be provided to schools inKitimat andTerrace.
The ROC consists of 10 Regional Clinical Centers (RCCs) and a Data and Coordinating Center that provides the necessary infrastructure to conduct multiple collaborative trials to aid rapid translation of promising scientific and clinical advances to improve resuscitation outcomes.
The ROC is the first large-scale effort in the world to conduct clinical trials focusing on the early delivery of interventions by EMS to better optimize patient survival.
As a first responder medical director,Dr. Allan Holmes(founder of Iridia Medical) is involved with the ROC through the collaboration of many fire rescue services throughout British Columbia.
Fore more information and statistics about the ROC collaboration within British Columbia, please see April 2013 BC ROC Report:
Human Infection with influenza A (H7N9) virus in China
Over the past two of weeks there have been a number of people infected with the lesser-known H7N9 virus in China.TheH7N9is a subtype of the Influenza A virus and normally circulates amongst bird populations with some variants known to occasionally infect humans. The H7N9 virus was first reported to have infected humans earlier this year.
April 2 – China reports 4 cases of the new H7N9 bird flu – Viewhere.
April 5 – British Columbia’s provincial health officer releases a statement on H7N9 influenza in China – Viewhere.
April 5 – The Public Health Agency of Canada releases a Travel Health Notice for China – Viewhere.
April 7 – China closes down multiple live-poultry markets to curb H7N9 spread – Viewhere.
April 8 – Poultry sales are halted in more Chinese cities – Viewhere.
April 11 – The National Health and Family Planning Commission notified theWorld Health Organization(WHO) of an additional 10 laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with H7N9 virus – View here.
Summary, Risks, and Recommendations
China has seen approximately 33 new H7N9 infections. These new cases have prompted China to close down various poultry markets, urging consumers to “no longer pursue the kind of eating habits where they buy fresh chickens that are butchered on the spot.” However, Canadian provincial health officers have stated that the level of risk to Canadians is currently considered to be low, with reported cases limited to the eastern provinces of China. As well, to date in China, there have been no reported cases of human-to-human transmission. To mitigate risk, it is recommended that we all practice good hand hygiene and washing hands regularly, coughing or sneezing into your sleeve and staying home when sick to reduce your chance of getting sick or passing illness on to others.
Total confirmed cases: 38
Total fatalities: 10
Countries with infection – China
Thank you for checking our weekly Avian Influenza summary, please check back for future weekly updates. For more information, please visithttp://www.bccdc.ca/default.htm
Several years back, Mastercard ran a highly successful series of advertisements, each of which itemized a list of small purchases that ultimately combined to create a moment in time whose value far and away exceeded the costs of the individual items purchased. Fittingly, each ad concluded by describing the moment as “Priceless”.
In many ways, our rebranding journey has played out like a Mastercard advertisement. Beginning in May of 2011, we recognized that our logo could use a facelift. While the heart rhythm on a gold oval had served us well, we believed that it could be improved upon. And so we set out in search of someone who could assist us in that endeavor. Initially, we tried to crowd source our way to a solution, but the designs provided simply didn’t resonate. With that lesson under our belt, we then tried working with local logo designers. That too proved fruitless.
By August, we were discouraged by our progress, but still held out hope that we could chart a successful way forward. It was at this time that we were introduced to the Living Blueprint (LBP) team. Via discussions with their team, we recognized the value of looking at our brand more holistically and digging deeper than simply at the logo in isolation. Through a series of introspective questionnaires and group discussions with our senior leadership team, we laid the foundation upon which the ultimate rebrand would occur. By now, it was November.
In January 2012, we came to a crossroads. We had invested, and would continue to invest, significant energy, time, and money into the rebrand process. The goal was to uniquely position ourselves in the market so as to better reflect the unique services we provided. In other words, we felt a compelling need to differentiate from the competition. With this as our goal, we had to ask a fundamental question – could we differentiate with Global Medical Services as our name? A little bit of research showed that more than 450 companies in British Columbia had “Global” in their name, and broadening the search to all of Canada left us with over 2700 companies using “Global” in their corporate identity. Clearly, differentiation with GMS as the name, while not impossible, would certainly be more difficult. In the end, although difficult, we elected to commit ourselves to finding a new name.
And so began a new chapter in the rebrand.
As optimistic as we were about the ability to whip up a logo, we were more so when it came to the name. All we wanted was a name that resonated with us, and helped us tell our story. Surely that would be simple, after all, creating a logo required artistic skills, but a name ….that was just wording. Or so we thought. Working closely with the LBP team over a three month period we produced more than 300 candidate names. Early on, we realized that simple English words were seemingly all taken by existing companies. We resorted to splicing names from different language roots. Some held promise (e.g. Impera Medical), and others, not so much so (e.g. Fapalena Medical ). Through several rounds of voting, we ultimately narrowed our search down to four candidate names, and turned it over to our staff for a final vote. The clear winner was Iridia Medical.
But that wasn’t the end of the naming process. Although we had a solid name, and cerebrally understood the merits of making the change, putting it to action was challenging. We had to start using it, hearing it, and feeling it to the extent that one can “feel” a name. We finally signed off on the name Iridia Medical in May 2012.
And then there was the logo.
While focusing on the name, we had abandoned efforts on the logo. With renewed passion, we dove back into logo development. As with the name, we were insistent on having a logo that represented us and helped tell our story. All told, we vetted over 300 logos before finally arriving at the tri-coloured, stakeholder engagement-themed logo that will represent us going forward. At signoff, the calendar was now showing August, a full 15 months since we initially thought of changing our logo.
We now had a name and a logo, but what about a tag line – that all-encompassing, pithy statement that serves to distill the essence of what you do down to a few key words. What would a rebrand be without a tag line? The challenge for us became identifying a common link amongst the diverse products and services we take to market. Fortunately for us, this did come quickly. We saw that people weren’t really buying AEDs, or consulting hours from us, but rather they were securing peace of mind. And so, Enabling Peace of Mind became our tagline of choice.
Next up was divisional taglines, descriptions, and feature bullets. In essence, this was itself a mini-branding exercise trying to find the best way to describe what each division of the company offered to the marketplace while still paying homage to the overriding company tagline already selected. Opinion differed, but through discussions, we landed on Tools to Save Lives (Products), The Right Care at the Right Time (Paramedics), Facilitating Practical Healthcare Solutions (Consulting), and Empowering People to Save Lives (Education).
With the name, logo, taglines, descriptions, and feature bullets addressed, we then turned our attention to developing marketing collateral. Questions abounded. What types would we need (banner stands, one-pagers, business cards, folders, etc., etc.)? What would they look like? How many would we print? Offset versus digital? Seemingly the variables were endless. But again, we stuck to it, and persevered.
The hallmark of our online presence, we clearly needed a new website designed to meet our growing needs and to be reflective of our fresh new brand. Thus, in parallel to the efforts outlined above, we were also engaged in the website design/layout process. When it came time to build the site, yet another player was introduced into the mix in the form of a website architecture firm. Working with IdeaLever over a period of 8 months, the website design drawings became a reality.
Now armed with all the brand elements needed, the final step was to simply switch company operations to Iridia Medical. “Simply” being the operative word. While no one task was overtly back breaking, the sheer amount of effort that went into flipping to a new brand identity was nothing short of staggering. It was not unlike trying to halt and redirect a fully loaded tanker ship powering along in the shipping lanes at full throttle. We had so much momentum attached to the name Global. Indeed, all of our documents had to be changed, all of our vendor and client accounts required updating, our phone system messaging needed the new information, our building signage had to be enhanced, etc. Coordinating all the moving parts in a timely fashion was akin to the challenge of conducting an orchestra wherein selected instruments are brought to bear at the right moment so as to bring about a very specific musical effect. Once again, as with every other step of the rebrand journey, we rallied and made it happen.
And then the big day came.
With staff nervously excited, we flipped the switch and became Iridia Medical on March 11th, 2013. The sum of the team’s collective efforts boiled down to that one moment in time on a date that will remain special to all of us.
And so, in looking back, it truly was a Mastercard commercial type of experience. How so? Let’s review….
We started with a desire to tweak a logo, and added:
• 1 year, 10 months, and 10 days (680 days) • Countless hours • Untold number of meetings • A heavy dose of introspection • >300 candidate names • >300 candidate logos
• A new name, logo, and brand that resonates with our team, tells our story, and infuses us
As outlined in a previous blog post (Global Became Iridia, But Why?), our branding journey began with a simple desire to “tweak” our logo. The familiar golden oval with the heart rhythm tracing through it had served us well, but we felt that we could do better. Much as BMW had designed a logo that was both clean and meaningful (the white triangles representing an airplane prop spinning against a sky backdrop – the blue triangles ), we felt that we could produce a logo that would also make people smile when they understood the spirit behind it.
In creating our new logo, we tried several approaches. We engaged individual logo designers to lend a hand. We tried crowdsourcing. We asked friends, employees, and anyone we felt had a creative touch to give the design a shot. All proved fruitless.
We then began to recognize the unique opportunity that lay before us. Instead of merely changing a logo, we had the chance to redefine our brand identity, and along with it, how we would be perceived in the marketplace. By thinking more holistically in this way, we were forced to step away from the logo design process and focus at a much higher level about what we were trying to accomplish. Through introspective thinking and frank discussions, we emerged with a clearer picture of what made us unique and also had a new company name to boot.
Stepping away from the logo design process was a blessing in disguise. When we returned, we were refreshed, and buoyed with optimism based on our recent success in having zeroed in on what we thought was an excellent new name in Iridia Medical. Despite this, the process was not a quick one. To us, the logo had to be well thought out, which in our world meant it had to have meaning and it had to help tell our story. Sound familiar? These were in fact the very same non-negotiables we tabled for any new name we considered.
All told, we reviewed over 300 logos throughout our rebrand journey before finally landing on the one you see below.
But what makes this one so unique? In truth, a great many things.
Firstly, in appearance, we feel the logo has good symmetry and balance, and we quite honestly love it.
Beyond first impressions, however, when you look directly at the logo, you will note three circles with a curved line wrapping around each. The circles represent the heads of three people, and the curved lines are the shoulders and arms associated with each person. In this way, you should see three people with hands interlocked. To us, this is symbolic of stakeholder engagement which resonates very well with us as the solutions we deliver to our clients, and our overall corporate success, are directly dependent upon the collaborative involvement of a great many people. The symbolism is made all the more concrete as a core competency of our consulting division is physician engagement services.
Shifting now to the choice of colour, each of the three colours chosen was selected for its specific meaning:
• Red represents our passion and entrepreneurial fire, • Blue represents our strength and tranquility, and • Yellow represents our caution and intellect.
We feel that the colour choice is fitting as not only do we embody each of these attributes, but we have had to rely on each individually and collectively, to realize the successes we have had to date.
It is also fitting that the red, blue, and yellow primary colours appear in the logo as the name ‘Iridia’ was derived from the element Iridium which, in turn, was named after Iris, the Goddess of the Rainbow. In using the primary colours, we retain the ability to leverage additional colours in the future as we brand new service categories that come online.
Lastly, even the font itself was also subjected to its fair share of scrutiny. We ultimately settled on a modified Gotham font that was tailored to better reflect the professional nature of the services we deliver to market.
Only time will tell if smiles appear on peoples’ faces as they hear the story behind our logo, but if first impressions count for anything, we think we are well on our way.
We can only hope that one day the Iridia logo is cited in a blog post as embodying a standard for logo design the way that BMW was here.