Good morning, TeamUHN!

It is a pleasure to connect with you across care, research, education through this weekly CEO update – all in service of A Healthier World.

Key reminders and updates

  • Welcome back from the Labour Day weekend. I hope you enjoyed time with loved ones and many thanks to those who were working in service of patients, families and TeamUHN.
  • Questions about protecting UHN against COVID-19 for the back-to-school season? Read the Q&A from IPAC (Infection Prevention & Control) via UHN News and the Q&A from Human Resources [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available](Corporate Intranet > COVID-19 Preparedness > HR Redeployment > Resources for TeamUHN > FAQs Return…)

Overview of last week

1. Guidelines available for patients requesting exemption from masking

Background: In order to keep everyone safe, UHN's Universal Masking Policy requires everyone to wear a mask when entering our sites. Members of TeamUHN and Essential Care Partners are not allowed exemptions – if you are unable to mask due to a medical condition, you must engage with Occupational Health to review possible medical accommodations. Exemption from masking may be granted to patients in rare cases for specific medical reasons.

What happened last week? Guidelines and instructions are now available for patients who are requesting exemption from masking due to medical reasons. Thanks to Brenda Perkins-Meingast (Director, Practice Based Education) for leading this work.

What do I need to know? Before entering our sites, patients must receive approval for exemption by a UHN physician or Nurse Practitioner. Review the necessary details here including appropriate mask types and masking of inpatients. (Corporate Intranet > COVID-19 Preparedness page > Screening Tools > Universal Masking Policy).

2. Working across TAHSN to safely reintegrate learners back into hospitals this fall

Background: Under the guidance of TAHSN (Toronto Academic Health Science Network) and alongside our academic partners, Education has been working with our colleagues in IPAC (Infection Prevention & Control), Occupational Health and many others to develop processes and recommendations for enhancing the safe return of learners to UHN hospitals this fall.

What happened last week? Required and recommended documents – including FAQs, UHN COVID-19 Orientation Checklist for learners, resources for supervising learners providing virtual care and more – are now available.

What do I need to know? You can access all the documents on the COVID-19 Preparedness Learner Reintegration page. (Corporate Intranet > COVID-19 Preparedness > Education Resources > Learner Reintegration…).

3. Mental health resources are available and you are encouraged to use them

Background: UHN is committed to becoming a healthcare employer of choice. Part of this means helping people flourish as individuals and ensuring they have a quality of work life that allows them to live a well-rounded existence – which is essential to honouring our shared vision of A Healthier World.

What happened last week? I read in Harvard Business Review that 97% of large U.S. companies offer Employee Assistance Program (EAPs) but that only 6.9% of people actually use them. This is partially due to a lack of awareness of mental health resources, but I suspect a more serious cause is fear of repercussion and stigma around using these resources. It will take a lot of work to improve our ability to support colleagues who are managing invisible and undefined challenges, and creating a culture where it is safe to be vulnerable. Let us start by remembering that compassion is one of UHN's five core values – and that compassion extends to how we treat one another.

What do I need to know? You can access free, confidential counselling services through UHN's Employee Assistance Program (1-800-387-4765). This program is run by an external provider, Morneau Shepell, and your confidential information will not be shared with UHN. Learn more on the Human Resources Intranet page [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available]. You can also download Morneau Shepell's My EAP app and arrange support directly from your smartphone. In response to COVID-19, we also launched the anonymous Peer-to-Peer Support Line at UHN (416-340-5443). For more details on the support line and other resources, visit the Staff Wellness & Support section of UHN's COVID-19 Preparedness page (Corporate Intranet > COVID-19 Preparedness > Staff Wellness). UHN's Research Wellness Committee has also put together resources tailored to the unique needs of lab staff and other research employees, which are available on the UHN Research Wellness Hub >(Research Intranet > Strategic Research Initiatives Development > Research Wellness Hub).


Your feedback is welcome and valued. Please reply directly to me or leave anonymous feedback here.

Have a good week,


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