Good Monday morning,

Last week, we announced the creation of the Krembil Brain Institute. This is more than a name change as this recognizes that the neuroscience researchers in the Krembil Research Institute and the clinicians and clinician-researchers in the Krembil Neuroscience Centre have joined forces as the Krembil Brain Institute. I know the formation of the Krembil Brain Institute has been a long-term goal for the neuroscience community at UHN so hearty congratulations! This move will help synchronize their academic direction and productivity, better integrate models of patient care, and focus our important fundraising activities and strategies.

I know you will all wish to join me in acknowledging our distinguished colleague and a predecessor UHN CEO: Deputy Minister Dr. Bob Bell has announced he is stepping down upon the recruitment of his successor. UHN owes a lot to Bob, who served as our organization's President & CEO from 2005 to 2014. Ontario equally owes a great deal to Bob for his distinguished service during his term as Deputy Minister. We salute Bob for his impact on Ontario healthcare!

Some great teams and individuals were highlighted at our Annual Meeting during the awards ceremony, but there were many nominees we didn't hear about – so over the next several weeks I will highlight some of what was said about those nominated by their colleagues. We should be proud of the breadth and scope of work here and while my notes don't come with a crystal award, I assure you they won't fall out of anyone's hands and break on stage!

  • Lizette Biclar from Toronto General: Lizette is the Manager of the Echocardiography Lab. She was nominated for building and sustaining a strong culture of teamwork and lives UHN's values by treating all colleagues with trust and respect. Her colleague said Lizette helps the team grow and achieve excellence by providing meaningful constructive feedback whilst maintaining a positive professional environment.
  • Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program at Princess Margaret: AYA patients typically fall between pediatric and adult oncology systems. To bridge these gaps, Dr. Abha Gupta and Laura Mitchell (Clinical Nurse Specialist) created the AYA program with a steering committee. Approximately 800 newly diagnosed AYA patients undergo treatment annually at Princess Margaret, where the team addresses their unique psychosocial and medical needs.
  • Regina Sawh from Toronto Western: Regina is a Clinical Nurse Specialist with the Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry (CLP) Team. She brings an interdisciplinary approach to the management of patients, working with physicians to manage patients with complex physical and mental health conditions, and behavioural issues. Regina's impact is seen through improvements on the team's number of Code Whites, use of PRN medications, restraints and frequency of staff injuries.
  • Carol McAnuff and Diane Leber from Toronto Rehab – Lyndhurst Centre: Carol is Lyndhurst's Clinical Nurse Specialist and known affectionately as the "Bandage Queen" because of her dedication and compassion to patients. Her team reports seeing improvements in patient care across her three units since starting at Lyndhurst. Diane is their Certified Enterostoma Nurse and nominated for going above and beyond the call of duty to put the needs of patients first.

I've also mentioned how I'm a big proponent of simplicity. While UHN is large and complex, job descriptions and role expectations needn't be. We now have a Role Clarity Working Group at UHN reviewing all clinical leadership roles and job descriptions. Let's aim to make these clear and simple.

  • Thanks to the working group's review, our Nursing Administration Coordinators (NAC) now have the title Administrator-on-Site which more accurately reflects their scope of work.
  • Each Administrator-on-Site provides administrative and clinical support at Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret during non-business hours, weekends and statutory holidays. They serve as our staff's main point of contact for escalation after-hours.
  • Congratulations to each Administrator-on-Site and thanks to Joy Richards, Brenda Perkins Meingast, CAP leadership and the Role Clarity Working group for helping make this a reality.

Since Day 1, I've talked about how quality of work life is our collective priority at UHN. Diversity and inclusion are fundamental to creating an environment that supports staff and I am grateful for the observances that remind us to pause and reflect. This month, we celebrate Pride Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day.

  • Thank you to our LGBTQ2S committee for their excellent work to raise awareness, educate and provide resources. Wonderful to see pride flags raised at all of our sites.
  • I am also proud of the work UHN's Indigenous Council (which includes Indigenous Elders) is doing. As we are dedicated to the health of everyone in our community, I would challenge us to look at the recommendations from Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available]. This includes recognizing the value of Aboriginal healing practices and using them in the treatment of Aboriginal patients – something we have already introduced to UHN.
  • I'd like to acknowledge Jacqueline Silvera who works with various diversity committees at UHN, helping us create an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.

Finally, if you'd like to help shape next year's Annual Meeting, please fill out this short survey. And if you weren't able to join us, a reminder that the video recording is available online.

Thanks for your time,


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