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Last week, we turned a corner in the fight against COVID-19 with a few important milestones at UHN. As of last Wednesday, there were no active COVID-19 patients in the
Medical Surgical Intensive Care Unit (MSICU) at Toronto General Hospital (TGH) and as of last Friday, there were no active COVID-19 patients in the
Medical Surgical/Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (MSNICU) at Toronto Western Hospital (TWH). That does not mean there weren't any patients who were admitted for COVID, but rather none testing positive for the active virus in those units. Across UHN, we have about 100 patients with us who were admitted with active COVID and are now recovering. We also closed the last COVID-dedicated inpatient unit at TWH. UHN still has one COVID-dedicated unit open at TGH, but we anticipate it too will close in the coming days.
Having no active cases in our ICUs and the closure of the dedicated inpatient units are incredible milestones in this long fight against COVID-19. My thanks to all members of TeamUHN who supported these units and the many COVID-19 patients in our care throughout the pandemic. Sadly, this does not mean we can let our guard down as we are seeing cases reported among those who are partially or fully vaccinated.
This has been a long and difficult road for all of TeamUHN and our colleagues across the entire health system, and it is important to celebrate these victories – both big and small. These past few weeks have given us much reason for optimism, and hope that a return to some semblance of normal life is on the horizon, but we are not yet out of the woods. It is important we stay steadfast in our fight by getting both doses of the vaccine, and continuing to follow all hospital policies, Public Health guidelines and the current guidance from all levels of government. We have come so far, and I have faith that a cautious and steady approach to reopening, supported by strong rates of vaccination will see us through. So, let's celebrate these milestones together, and continue cheering each another on – which includes staying safe by following the Public Health guidelines. Your dedication to patients, colleagues, and the community throughout this long and tiring pandemic has been remarkable, and I am deeply grateful to you all.
In response to COVID-19, UHN activated its Executive COVID-19 IMS (Incident Management System) table. Membership includes our Executive Leadership Forum and other members of COVID-19 work streams. The group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is a snapshot of the discussion.
UHN's Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) represents a broad range of voices and skill sets from across the organization and provides direction and oversight in service of patients, TeamUHN and our vision of A Healthier World. See the full membership on
Today is National Indigenous Peoples Day, an opportunity to recognize, learn, reflect and celebrate the diverse cultures and many contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. June is also National Indigenous History Month, which began under painful circumstances with the discovery of 215 Indigenous children found buried on the grounds of a residential school in Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc territory (Kamloops). UHN's Indigenous Health Program
held a ceremony to honour the children and all those affected by Residential and Day Schools earlier this month. While there is still much work to be done, it is important to acknowledge the achievements and progress made as well. UHN's first Indigenous healing garden has taken root at The Michener Institute of Education at UHN;
you can read about it in UHN News. The Indigenous Health Program welcomed another member,
Leonard Benoit of Qalipu Mi'Kmaq First Nation, a long-time nurse who is serving as the Regional Indigenous Cancer Patient Navigator for Toronto Central (Toronto Regional Cancer Program). Today, and moving forward, I urge all members of TeamUHN to think about what part you'll play in working towards reconciliation in Canada.
Happy Father's Day to all fathers and father figures, whom we celebrated yesterday. The pandemic has created many challenges for parents young and old in the face of ongoing school and childcare closures as well as the need to social distance and limit contact and travel. Thank you for your ongoing dedication and commitment, especially during such a difficult time. This past weekend was more hopeful than the previous Father's Day, a sign that there are better days ahead as things start to look up across the country.
June is Thyroid Awareness Month: There are many forms of thyroid disease, including nodules and thyroid cancer, and it often goes undiagnosed. As a leader in clinical care and point of care testing, the
Thyroid Program at UHN provides access to tumour and familial genetic testing and counselling for prevention and early detection of thyroid cancer. Working across Toronto General, Princess Margaret, and Toronto Western hospitals, the multidisciplinary, collaborative program receives and manages the highest volume of thyroid cases in Ontario, and is a national leader in management of radioiodine refractory and metastatic medullary thyroid cancer, with one of the few centres in Canada offering clinical trials in systemic therapy to patients with unresectable, metastastic or radioactive iodine refractory disease. Learn more about the
Surgical Thyroid Programs at UHN.
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