​I'll start by thanking everyone at Toronto Western for making me feel welcomed in my first week on-site.  I'm located in the Management Offices and look forward to meeting people at TW throughout the next two months.

I want to draw your attention to the U of T Magazine's story on Caring Safely, our joint program with Sick Kids which can be found here.  I hope everyone at UHN is proud of the efforts we are making on behalf of our patients, their family and friends, and our staff to make this the safest place it can be.  The article describes some of the work and some of our successes.  It is a way of being that will take time but we want everyone thinking about safety and speaking up for safety whenever they see something that isn't right.

Last week Brad Wouters sent out an e-mail about the restructuring in the Research and Science portfolio and you can see the Research Support Service's structure here.  Brad's e-mail said that the new structure "more fully integrates Research and Clinical operations at UHN and build strong, effective, and experienced research teams within UHN Finance, Facilities, Digital, HR, and Legal."   These changes mirror the integration efforts within UHN Digital and Business Operations and all of this work allows us to leverage the talent in these areas across a larger scope of practice. 

Speaking of research, The Honourable Reza Moridi, Ontario's Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, visited the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine last week. Gordon Keller, Brad Wouters and team led Minister Moridi through a tour of the labs and highlighted the incredible work our researchers are doing in regenerative medicine. We're fortunate to have attracted so many talented researchers across the organization—I think that's clear thanks to the discoveries and publications we have on record. But I'd like to take this opportunity to thank our research teams for the discipline and energy they bring to work every day in between those more exciting milestones. Creating scientific progress takes not only innovation but also patience and rigour.

Congratulations to UHN's Multi-Organ Transplant Program on becoming the largest adult transplant centre in North America in 2017, with 639 transplants. Much of this is due to the innovation and research in the program, superior survival rates of donor organs at UHN, a boost in Ontario organ donor rates, and the hard work and collaboration of everyone in the program. A key focus on research with potential therapeutic benefits is helping the program achieve unprecedented results. Last year, the Transplant Innovation Fund was launched along with innovative clinical trials such as using organs from patients with hepatitis C, expansion of Ex-vivo approach which allows more donor organs to be used safely. In addition, active living donor liver and kidney programs have helped further expand the donor pool.

My final note from last week is about the session I attended on Enterprise Risk Management and Risk Appetite which was organized by Frank Tourneur and featured discussions with Barb Stymiest, one of our most experienced Board members in this area and two individuals she has worked with in the private sector – Kevin Nye (RBC) and Nadeem Mansour (George Weston).   I think it is fair to say that our approach to risk at UHN is not as sophisticated as it needs to be and the work we will do with our Board in the years ahead will help us mature in our approach and management of risk.  Clinically, we manage risk each time we see a patient, but enterprise-wide we have a long way to go in managing risk while at the same time ensuring that we take the risks necessary to move UHN ahead.  With the expertise available to us on our Board of Trustees and within UHN, I am confident that we will make great progress.


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