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Good Monday morning,

Last week, UHN’s Board of Trustees held their quarterly meeting. Much was discussed but, with respect to our current challenges, the message was frank: It is very tough to deliver the highest quality care, research and education in Ontario’s hospitals – especially at UHN – due to the challenges with capacity and flow. Our demand is up especially through our emergency rooms and our occupancy is over 110% of funded activity. We are working with the LHIN (Local Health Integration Network) and Ministry of Health to try and attract the funding required to serve patients and families, as well as offer a reasonable quality of work life for TeamUHN. 

Despite all this, we just received our 2019 Accreditation Canada results and UHN has maintained an exemplary standing. Achieving this result took a lot of hard work – so on behalf of the Board, thank you. We are working harder than ever to make a difference for patients, families and all of you. In the spirit of transparency, a dedicated email summarizing the Board meeting will be sent shortly.

1. Highlights on UHN's Essentials

UHN’s Essentials are essential to the work we do as a leading academic health sciences centre – hence the name! Read here to learn more. Below, you’ll find highlights on UHN’s Essentials from last week.

Quality and Safety   Flu shot rates – 55% of TeamUHN have been vaccinated: Congratulations to the Michener Institute of Education for achieving the highest vaccination rate at 61% and Toronto Western for achieving 58.8%, making it the leader of our clinical sites. Peak flu season is around the corner and we are already operating beyond our maximum occupancy levels. Let’s do all we can to avoid spreading illness. Visit Occupational Health & Safety to get your flu shot if you haven’t already and remember best practices when it comes to hand hygiene, what to do when you’re sick etc. Read this story on UHN News if you would appreciate a refresher on best practices.

Compassionate Care and Caring  Read this profile on UHN’s Integrated Care program on UHN News: We agree the needs of patients come first at UHN – however we must never forget that achieving this is directly tied to TeamUHN’s quality of work life. I’m thrilled to share that Integrated Care at UHN is accomplishing both. Our colleagues in thoracic surgery are reporting that Integrated Care is improving their quality of work life by reducing their frustration with system issues and bringing more satisfaction to their work. Many thanks to Shiran Isaacksz (Senior Director, Connected Care) and Melissa Chang (Director, Strategy & Change, Connected Care) for bringing this program to life. Thanks to Tom Waddell (Division Head, Thoracic Surgery), Jocelyne De Romana (Nurse Manager, Thoracic Surgery and Respirology Inpatient Unit 10ES) and the many colleagues who are making tomorrow’s care possible. Next steps are launching Integrated Care for other pathways and planning our first medical and social medicine pathways.  

People and Culture  Attending Toronto Western’s Fall Long-Service Tea: It was an honour to present long-service pins to members of TeamUHN who’ve reached milestone anniversaries. We had the pleasure of presenting a 40-year pin to Debra Klatt (Family & Community Medicine). What amazing lives dedicated to caring for others. We know recognition is most effective when given at the time of the happening – but these celebrations hold a special place in UHN tradition. If you are interested in improving the way you recognize colleagues on a daily basis, I suggest this article from Harvard Business Review: “Recognizing Employees is the Simplest Way to Improve Morale.” 

Partnerships  University of Toronto (U of T) named one of the top 10 medical schools in the world: UHN has a symbiotic relationship with U of T – as an internationally renowned university, we mutually contribute to the excellence of the other. U of T most certainly contributed to our recognition this year in Newsweek as one of the top 10 hospitals in the world. In turn, we’re proud to partner with them as Canada’s largest medical university. The University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine was ranked #6 in the world by Times Higher Education. Congratulations! 

 
2. Donate in support of UHN’s 2019 United Way campaign   

It is a privilege to serve at Canada’s top research hospital. The fact is, we are in the enviable position of making a profound difference in the lives of others. We are also located in Toronto, a city increasingly recognized as a global destination. Yet while we maximize the benefits of living in a diverse, world-class city, the GTA is also the poverty capital of Canada. 1 in 7 households in Toronto lack reliable access to nutritious food and more than 116,300 people are struggling to put a roof over their heads. At UHN, more than half of the high-needs patients we serve with chronic disease are living in low-income neighbourhoods or lack stable housing.

These are realities we will not ignore. For those who don’t know, we struck a formal partnership in September with United Way Greater Toronto and the City of Toronto so we can collectively improve health and social outcomes for Toronto residents. This is part of the work we are doing at an organizational level to help some of the city’s most vulnerable people. This year’s United Way campaign provides an opportunity for you to help at a personal level. Many of us have already donated using the personalized link that was sent to our respective inboxes on Nov. 13. If you have not received an email with a link, please email UnitedWay@UHN.ca. Thanks to our campaign Co-Chairs Andrew Boozary (Executive Director, Health & Social Policy) and Shiran Isaacksz (Senior Director, Connected Care) for driving this year’s campaign.

3. What we discussed at our Executive Leadership Forum meeting

Here is what we discussed at last week’s Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) meeting. See who attends these meetings on UHN.ca:

  • UHN Bedside Patient Experience Solution
    Presenter: David Wiljer (Executive Director, Education, Technology & Innovation)
    We have a contract with an external vendor that helps run the telephones and TVs in our inpatient rooms. Over the past several years, we found that very few people were buying the television service as they were bringing in their own smartphones and tablets. This contract is now expiring so our Digital colleagues presented ELF with options for next steps. The option approved by ELF is the one where patients are encouraged to bring their personal devices and use UHN’s guest Wi-Fi, and to remove the existing telephones and TVs from inpatient rooms as they’ve been identified as sources of potential infection. We are determining a process for people who do not have their own device.
  • United Way Campaign
    Presenter: Shiran Isaacksz (Senior Director, UHN Connected Care) 
    As one of UHN’s United Way campaign co-chairs, Shiran provided an overview of this year’s campaign. While UHN has historically raised a significant amount of money in support of the United Way thanks to our previous co-chairs, we are falling behind our peers in healthcare when it comes to the percentage of employees who donate. If 1,000 members of TeamUHN donated $25, United Way could provide 1,000 frost prevention kits (including scarf, hat, gloves and pocket warmers) to people experiencing homelessness. Imagine bearing a Canadian winter without the appropriate gear. Please consider showing your support.


Have a good week, 

Kevin


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