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I am very pleased to tell you that, following today's board meetings at both UHN and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute we are well on our way to becoming one organization as the boards both agreed to an integration of our two hospitals that will become effective July 1. I would like to welcome Dean Connor, Chief Operating Officer – Sun Life Financial, Tom MacMillan – Chairman CIBC Mellon & I3 Advisors Inc., and Barbara Stymiest – Group Head RBC Executive to the board of UHN and give everyone at Toronto Rehab my personal commitment to seeing that this is a change which will benefit all of our patients and everyone associated with Toronto Rehab. I look forward to welcoming Toronto Rehab staff to UHN and, to that end, I am asking for your support in welcoming our new colleagues.
The decision of the boards means that Toronto Rehab and its services in rehabilitation, complex continuing care and long term care, becomes the tenth program of UHN and the fourth site – although this is a bit misleading as Toronto Rehab is on five sites through the city. Leadership for Toronto Rehab will see Susan Jewell become clinical and site operations Vice President, Toronto Rehab, mirroring the roles of Sarah Downey, Marnie Escaf, Kathy Sabo and Scott McIntaggart while Dr. Gaetan Tardif will assume the role of Medical Director, Toronto Rehab and Physiatrist in Chief for UHN.
By July 1 we will have a new organizational chart for UHN showing all reporting relationships for everyone in rehab, long-term care and complex continuing care. For most staff, very little will change, at Toronto Rehab or UHN, as it will take some time to integrate all of our various systems, policies and procedures, and ways of working. My guess is that, by summer of 2012 we will operate, feel and look like one health care system – but that it will take that amount of time to become fully integrated.
I look forward to meeting everyone at Toronto Rehab and I will be spending July and August with Sue and Gaetan as we visit every unit at all six sites. I also anticipate that we will have UHN's intranet available to everyone at Toronto Rehab by early July and that everyone will be able to read about the progress we're making on integration as it happens.
If you know people at Toronto Rehab, please find ways to welcome them to UHN. Change is always a challenge but I know that a welcoming and open spirit will go a long way to creating the culture we all desire for UHN following this integration.