Dear Colleagues, 

I am pleased to announced the appointment of Ron Ward to the position of FIPPA Coordinator for UHN. Ron brings with him a wealth of experience dealing with access and privacy matters built up over his 20-year career, most recently with the Archives of Ontario where he managed the FIPPA unit. He has demonstrated unwavering commitment to transparency and upholding the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) in Ontario, and we welcome him to our UHN family.

As you will recall, starting January 1, 2012, FIPPA legislation will apply to all Ontario hospitals. The right of Ontarians to access public records is based on the premise that it is good practice, and a measure of a healthy democracy. We believe public bodies spending taxpayer dollars must be transparent and open to scrutiny.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be adding a FIPPA section to the UHN public site. It will spell out in detail how members of the public can request records held by UHN and where requests should go. If by some remote chance a FIPPA request should ever land in your inbox, please just forward it directly to Ron (foi@uhn.ca), and he will take care of it.

In the meantime, you can access background information on FIPPA, and what it means to you at intranet.uhn.ca/home/foi (or find the link along the left sidebar of the Intranet homepage). It's also a useful resource for tips on handling records, best practices for email and much more.

I would also encourage each of you to make time in the coming weeks to take stock of your existing records and do some organizing. You can find tips on organizing your records on the FIPPA site on the Intranet.

As we welcome Ron, I want to extend thanks to the FIPPA Working Group Committee, led by the tireless Abigail Carter-Langford, UHN's Corporate Privacy Officer. Abigail and her team, composed of staff from across UHN—Darlene Dasent, Bella Martin, Stephanie Saull-McCaig, Christian Cote, Kim Bellissimo, Jane Murgatroyd, Lisa Alcia, Sharon Rogers, Anita Tepfers, Mikail Zaitssev, Christopher Lam, Charlene Loncoa, and Matt Fong—put in many extra hours to ensure our organization is prepared for January 1.

For those of you with questions for our new FIPPA Coordinator – Ron will be answering your questions in an upcoming Virtual Coffee with UHNews. Please send in your queries by next Thursday, December 22.

Bob Bell

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