Dear Colleagues,

Well, it's my first day in a new role and I thought I'd start by sharing some of my thoughts with you about how I'll work with the organization and where I think University Health Network is going.

As you can see from this note, I've learned from a master - Tom Closson - about the need to open a dialogue with everyone in the organization. I'm going to tell you what I'm thinking about the health care issues of the day, what I think they mean for UHN and how we're going to work together to ensure that this organization continues to thrive. Tom Talks, Tom Listens, and What You Told Us have worked exceptionally well for the past five years and I have every intention of continuing the tradition, with a new name. So, with this note I'm starting the dialogue as Straight Talk from Bob and you can either respond by hitting Reply and let me know what you think, send me an e-mail at Robert.Bell@uhn.on.ca or use the What You Told Us button to send your thoughts along.

Following Tom Closson is humbling and there's some ambiguity in my emotions. Pride that I've been entrusted with the responsibility of leading UHN which is undoubtedly the finest academic hospital in the country, some trepidation as to whether I can live up to Tom's leadership, and resolve that I will take the lessons I've learned from Tom and apply them to new situations. In particular, I am very lucky that Tom has developed a terrific Senior Management Team. Working as part of that team makes my transition easier.

In the coming weeks and months I'll be listening, asking questions and getting to know UHN in all its diversity. I count on you to make sure that I hear about what works, and what could use some work. In particular, I need to know about how we can improve patient centered care at UHN.

In becoming President & CEO I also take on the responsibility for ensuring that UHN responds well to our environment and plays its role in the changes that are coming to health care. As you know, Local Health Integration Networks will become a reality very shortly. It is my understanding that the government will be announcing the leadership for Ontario's 14 LHINs very soon and I want everyone at UHN to know that I support the concepts of the LHINs and will commit UHN's support to ensuring that we develop the concept of the LHIN into a functional and useful system for all patients in the Province of Ontario.

UHN needs to be agile and open to change. We need to be accountable for the resources that are entrusted to us and we need to ensure that those resources serve the greatest number of patients possible. We must harness the talents and energy of everyone at UHN in a way that takes the system forward, allows our expertise to shine and lets all individuals have their voices heard. We need people to continue to feel that this is a great place to work and a great place to grow in their careers. And, sometimes, we need to let go of what we've always done, because there's a better way to do things.

I welcome your thoughts and I look forward to meeting you in the months ahead. Thank you for the warm welcome and good wishes that you have already sent my way.


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