Dear Colleagues,

I thought it was time for an update on our integration with Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (Toronto Rehab) as we are engaged in the consultation process about integration which started at the beginning of April and will be part of our work throughout the coming year.  Many of you have taken the opportunity to visit www.uhntorontorehabintegration.com which is the website dedicated to all of the information about the integration.  We will be posting this Straight Talk and Toronto Rehab's latest memo to all of their staff so I'm going to take this opportunity to address some of the themes in the comments which have come to the site.

The first theme that is emerging has to do with the relative size of the two organizations.  While I understand that joining a large organization can be daunting, I think that this will be something that we can rapidly address with our new colleagues. Toronto Rehab has an expertise in rehabilitation services and we'll be expecting our new colleagues to come forward with ideas as to how rehabilitation services could be better integrated with acute care and finding ways to ensure that acute patients benefit from the services available following an acute episode. This expertise, coupled with the excellent rehabilitation work that is already done in our hospital, will provide exceptional care for patients and I expect that we will develop new models of care which will be useful throughout the health care system.

The second theme that has emerged is a concern that length of stay in rehabilitation will be shortened because of the integration.  As Mark Rochon has pointed out, length of stay is something that all health care facilities must look at each and every day.  We are focused on it now and will continue to focus on length of stay after integration.  We have seen tremendous changes in the delivery of care as we work more collaboratively on behalf of our patients with the Community Care Access Centres and organizations such as Toronto Rehab.  The goal is to have the right care, delivered in the right place, at the right time and this will continue to be our goal following integration.  If patients need to be at one of Toronto Rehab's sites, then they will be there.  But, if we find better ways to deliver care which provide better outcomes for patients, then we will change our practice.

It is important to know that UHN and Toronto Rehab are in the process of due diligence which means that we are ensuring that both organizations know as much as possible about each other and are satisfied that there is no impediment to integration.  An Integration Working Group comprised of the Presidents and CEOs of Toronto Rehab and UHN – me and Mark Rochon; the VPs of Human Resources  - Donna Marafioti (TR) and Emma Pavlov; the VPs of Finance – Stephen D'Arcy (TR) and Justine Jackson;  the VPs of Marketing and Communications / Public Affairs and Communications  – Jennifer Ferguson (TR) and Gillian Howard; Marnie Weber (UHN); Ann Corbett and William McLean, Toronto Rehab's legal counsel from Borden Ladner Gervais and UHN's corporate lawyer, Bella Martin.  The project manager is Annabelle Bandurchin (UHN).

The Integration Working Group is discussing and developing:

  • the guiding Human Resources principles and processes that will be used by both organizations as we begin to bring our two organizations together in order to maximize employment opportunities and minimize involuntary job loss;
  • a consultation and communications plan to inform key stakeholders about our plans, and to establish input and feedback mechanisms to inform and guide decision-making, and to keep all stakeholders informed as our plans take shape; and
  • the due diligence review.

During May and June Mark and I will attend a series of meetings with patients, family members and staff at all of the Toronto Rehab sites.  We will also be working with our colleagues in other acute care facilities so that they understand our commitment to maintain their access to rehabilitation services.  In the long run, this integration will expand the ability to provide rehabilitation services to patients and this will serve all acute care facilities well.

We anticipate that the Toronto Central LHIN will address the integration at its board meeting on May 30 and that the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is aware that this integration is moving to conclusion at our board meetings in June.  I encourage you to visit the integration website as we go along and to send any questions you may have to me or through the website.

Bob

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