​Dear Colleagues, 

About a year ago, Toronto Rehab joined forces with us and we became a new organization. As part of that integration, we looked for external assistance in thinking about our brand and how we would visually represent the new organization. An RFP was issued and a company named Naked Creative (unusual name, I know!!) was the successful firm in that selection process. We have worked with a smaller group of senior leaders in the organization to think through our brand, what we needed to say about UHN and how we would incorporate all of the diversity that is UHN. The team which worked on this was made up of myself, Gillian Howard, Nizar Mahomed, Chris Paige, Sue Jewell, Paul Alofs, Brian Hodges, Ed Cole, Shaf Keshavjee and Joy Richards.

If you read my Straight Talk which asked for your stories of courage and watched the embedded video, you'll have a taste of the challenge that this group worked through with Naked Creative. Essentially, we found that most Torontonians didn't know what hospitals are part of UHN, but they did think that hospitals working together was a good idea. You can watch the video if you missed it the first time I sent the link.

With guidance from Naked Creative and a lot of work from members of the team we are well on our way to a fully developed Brand Book and now have a positioning statement which speaks to the heart of what UHN is and why we all work here. That statement is:

UHN – Courage Lives Here

I believe that this describes an essential element of UHN. Our patients are courageous when they agree to participate in clinical trials or test new treatments. Our staff are courageous when you refuse to settle for 'that's the way it is always done' and instead think of new solutions and new ways to care. Our teachers are courageous each day as they pass on the skills and knowledge to the next generation of health care providers. Our volunteers are courageous in giving so freely of themselves and their time and our researchers are courageous in thinking about old problems in new ways. In the coming weeks, we will be asking for your stories of courage, launching a website where we'll tell those stories, and working through all of the details around the introduction of a refreshed visual identity.

In our new visual identity, UHN is big and bold and all four hospitals are named so that people will have a visual clue as to what makes up UHN. The Brand Book will give guidance on all of these elements, and in the next few weeks we will do the necessary work which means that the next time you order stationery, use a template or order business cards it will carry the new visual identity for UHN. It also gives guidance on the use of our positioning statement which is strong, vital and descriptive of what happens within our walls.

In the meantime, I encourage you to keep thinking about and sharing your stories of courage. You can send them to me at courage@uhn.ca.

Many thanks,

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