Dear Colleagues, 

As some of you will recall, the integration with Toronto Rehab meant that we needed to take a look at our brand and our visual identity. We issued an RFP for this process and have been working a firm that is of great assistance in helping us think about our brand, the way we represent UHN and the way we talk about what we do.

I've included a link –​1120 – which is the video that started us thinking about what we need to do to raise awareness of UHN. It is an interesting snapshot of the challenges of having people understand UHN and I'm sure many of you will identify with the idea that UHN is not a household word, but the concept of UHN is one which is easy to embrace!

In the coming months, we will be reaching out and asking you to tell us stories about this organization, your colleagues, our patients and the work that goes on throughout UHN. The theme is courage – a quality which I know is found throughout UHN. I also know that courage happens in the quiet moments and sometimes isn't recognized. For me, the brand of UHN is created by the people who work here – your drive, your determination, your compassion and your support of our patients. It's also about your desire to lead and your desire to share knowledge locally, and globally.

Below, I've included a couple of responses from people who were asked for their stories and I hope you will send your story along to me at

It often takes a whole new way of looking at things to achieve a breakthrough. New perspectives come from taking risks, and in science, risk can take many forms. It may involve being a trail-blazer and forging new, unexplored territory. Or perhaps reexamining what we thought we once knew and presenting it in an entirely new way. 

Everything begins with an idea which is useful when transformed to reality. The courage to make our ideas reality lives in our scientists. - Jerome Valero 

We're sitting in Druxy's, having just come from Dad's appointment to get test results. The drug he takes at home isn't working because the tumours have started to grow in his liver. As always, logical and direct, he's got the answer he needs from his doctor about the second round of chemo. Daily chemotherapy at PMH with perhaps an additional two or three months of life is what she says, after hesitating a bit because she can't really say in an individual case. 

He looks at me, takes a sip of coffee. 'Not going to spend the time I have left sick as a dog and coming here every day.' My eyes well, as do his and there's a lump in my throat. 'I know Dad. And, you'll be leaving the house feet first.' He laughs and we talk about the weekend. This is the last visit to PMH and he dies four months later at home. For three of those four months he sees friends, goes to the racetrack most days, rereads some of his favourite books, drinks good scotch and we all visit more often. 

The choice he's made is about quality of life and he's able to make it because his doctor was compassionate and honest. Her decision and his both took courage. - Gillian Howard

I hope you will share your stories with me.

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