Good morning, TeamUHN!

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

Key reminders and updates

  • Congratulations to Dr. Gelareh Zadeh, Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Co-Director of the Krembil Brain Institute, who has been awarded an inaugural Canada Gairdner Momentum Award from the Gairdner Foundation. This award recognizes two mid-career researchers who have produced exceptional scientific research contributions over their last six years that have a continued potential to impact human health. Dr. Zadeh was lauded for "advancing the molecular and genomic understanding of brain tumours, leading to better ways of discriminating, classifying, and managing subtypes with the potential to transform the clinical care of the disease." As Federal Health Minister, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, noted on social media, Dr. Zadeh is "forging new paths" in global health research. Our most sincere congratulations to this stellar surgeon-scientist who is changing how we understand and treat brain tumours. Read more about this recognition at UHN News and on the Gairdner Foundation website.
  • Congratulations to Dr. John Dick, Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, on his being named University Professor at the University of Toronto. This highly prestigious designation recognizes "unusual scholarly achievement and pre-eminence in a particular field of knowledge," and, according to the university, such appointments generally do not exceed two per cent of the tenured faculty. A world-renowned pioneer in the field of stem cell therapy, Dr. Dick continues to exemplify the best of UHN. Congratulations, again, on this well-deserved recognition. Learn more on the University of Toronto website.
  • UHN is delighted to welcome Kyla Kumar as UHN's new Vice President of Communications and Brand Strategy. Kyla comes to us from the YMCA of Hamilton, Burlington, and Brantford, where she served as Vice President of Marketing, Communications, Information Technology, and Government Relations. Kyla will be the senior leader responsible for refining our strategic communications and working with our amazing Foundations to develop and implement an overall brand strategy for UHN. She will begin her new role on May 15.
  • UHN is refreshing our Strategic Plan and we want to hear from you! UHN's 2019-23 Strategic Plan was built on the passion and ideas of TeamUHN and your thoughts are again central to helping inform our ambitions for the next stage of UHN's journey. Take a quick survey, sharing your thoughts on '3 Big Questions,' to help kick-start these activities. The survey is mobile-friendly and should take no more than five minutes. Those who complete the survey early will be entered into a draw for prizes. More details on that soon. Visit the survey website or scan the QR code below to get started! Questions? Email
  • UHN's 2023/24 Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) was approved by the Quality & Safety Committee of the Board, and submitted to Ontario Health last week. This year's QIP includes six key indicators that will be monitored quarterly through UHN's Corporate Scorecard: workplace violence reporting, patient experience, emergency department wait times for inpatient beds, and COVID-19 recovery metrics. These areas of focus were selected based on consultation with key portfolios across UHN, and overall alignment to system priorities, UHN's strategic priorities, and opportunities for improvement. UHN's QIP will be a complement to the variety of important QI projects and initiatives underway across UHN, and I look forward to sharing progress on our plans with you as the year progresses. Interested in reading more? You can check out UHN's 2023/24 QIP documents and previous years' submissions here.
  • The federal government released Budget 2023 last week, and while the spending plan includes important investments in public healthcare, the support for our research community is deeply insufficient. The budget – entitled "A Made-in-Canada Plan: Strong Middle Class, Affordable Economy, Healthy Future" – delivers $198.3 billion in total supports to strengthen our system by reducing backlogs, expanding access, and supporting provinces and territories on delivering timely care with $46.2 billion in new funding through new Canada Health Act measures. The budget also includes a multi-billion dollar plan to expand dental cares to families earning less than $90,000 a year. The impact of these funds is tempered, however, by a lack of critical research investments. As Dr. Rose Goldstein, Chair of Research Canada, has said: "In a budget which touts the successes of Canada's economy and health care system in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is very disappointing that Canadian health research is left out entirely. Canada's health research and innovation ecosystem played a critical role in achieving these successes. This is a missed opportunity for the federal government to recognize this and keep the promise of health research alive." Read Research Canada's full reaction to Budget 2023.
  • This week, Michener announces its new direct-entry MRI technology program that will get more imaging professionals into the system faster to meet the serious staffing shortages we're facing in this area. This program, which is designed for those wishing to enter the MRI field directly out of high school or with some post-secondary education, will take its first cohort in January 2024. It builds on Michener's current expedited MRI program for practicing health professionals while not poaching from other areas of imaging.
  • UHN Digital has asked users to immediately remove the social media application TikTok from all UHN corporate-managed handheld devices, in accordance with recent decisions from Ontario Health. While there have been no data breaches, this precautionary step has been demanded by the Province. Users who still have TikTok on their device on April 5 will receive notification that their device is not compliant with this new policy and will be asked directly to remove it. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Closing Notes

Late last month, I was pleased to join Carolyn Gosse, Vice President, Clinical, UHN at Home and Seniors Care, for a Longwoods Breakfast Series discussion on how integrated care creates better healthcare experiences. We were happy to discuss this innovative model of care alongside our partners from VHA Home Healthcare, President and CEO, Dr. Kathryn Nichol, and Vice President of Strategic Solutions and Partnerships, Courtney Bean. Please check out the recording.

April is Parkinson's Awareness Month. More than 100,000 Canadians are currently living with Parkinson's disease (45,000 in Ontario alone), which is one of the world's fastest-growing neurological diseases. According to a recent Ontario Brain Institute report, 62% of those living with Parkinson's have a co-occurring brain disorder, such as dementia, stroke, or brain injury. The Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson's Disease and the Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital, both part of the Krembil Brain Institute (KBI), are the largest and most comprehensive centres in Canada, providing care for more than 9,000 patient visits per year. Learn more about KBI's world-leading team of researchers and clinicians, and how patients are helping to redefine Parkinson's research, in this episode of KBI's Your Complex Brain podcast. For more information:

strong>April 4 is National Caregiver Day, a chance to celebrate and thank the family members, friends, and neighbours who do the difficult work of providing support for those facing life-limiting challenges. One in four Canadians will be a caregiver for someone with a long-term health condition, disability, or challenges associated with aging, at some point in their lives. Unpaid caregivers save the Canadian healthcare system billions of dollars each year, but this service often comes at a cost to their mental health. The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre's Caregiver Support and Skills Program recognizes how essential caregivers are to the cancer care team and seeks to ensure they feel supported. With the group's Caregiver Support and Skills Course, delivered online, caregivers are given the tools and information to thrive in their role while maintaining their well-being. The course covers topics ranging from cancer treatment to strategies for organizing daily dynamics and self-care. Learn more about this program online.

April is Earth Month and at UHN we're dedicated to delivering A Healthier World through a sustainable environment. Please join FM-PRO's Energy & Environment team for live and virtual events – from seed swaps to restoring a local parkland and sustainability workshops – all month long! By participating in Earth Month events and weekly quizzes, you'll be entered for the chance to win prizes. For more information, visit the Energy & Environment blog Talkin' Trash, or connect with

April is also BeADonor Month in Ontario. About 1,400 people in Ontario are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, and every three days, someone will die waiting for an organ transplant. Over four million Ontarians have formally registered their consent to organ and tissue donation to, but the need for awareness is dire. The success of organ and tissue donation in Ontario relies on the hard work and dedication of our hospital partners, and I encourage everyone in TeamUHN to have conversations with their colleagues and loved ones about organ donation. At UHN, the Ajmera Transplant Centre – one of the largest programs in North America – will be sharing stories and posts throughout the month about the impact organ donors have. On April 7, we also celebrate Green Shirt Day and we invite everyone to wear green in support of organ and tissue donation.

World Health Day is celebrated on April 7, marking the 75 th anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). This year's theme – "Health For All" – speaks to how everyone around the world is entitled to health and well-being, and we all share a collective responsibility to make that happen. As one of the best hospitals in the world, UHN is focused on having a global impact and building A Healthier World. Learn more about World Health Day on the WHO website.

And now… our video of the week. In this clip, an expert at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre explains how cancer treatment can affect your teeth. Be sure to also check out this recent UHN News story on dental oncology.


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Have a good week,


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