​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

  • Happy Halloween! Last week, UHN was gifted two very, very big "treats."
  • First, the Rogers Foundation unveiled a $90-million donation to the Ted Rogers Centre for Health Research (TRCHR), a gift that will usher in a new era in cardiac health. The donation builds on the $130-million gift given in 2014 to establish the TRCHR, a collaborative effort between UHN, SickKids, and the University of Toronto. The combined gifts of $220 million represent among the most meaningful philanthropic investments in Canadian history. This donation will allow the centre to do more to predict, diagnose, correct, and prevent health failure by better understanding the genetic, biological, and environmental profiles of patients. Martha Rogers, chair of the Rogers Foundation, told UHN News that this gift was championed by her mother, the late Loretta Rogers, a much-loved member of the UHN family. The gift is being matched with $94.2 million in institutional support and additional fundraising. Read more about this donation at UHN News.
  • The John and Myrna Daniels Foundation announced a landmark $52-million gift to UHN to establish the Myrna Daniels Seniors Emergency Medicine Centre at UHN. This represents the largest single donation to emergency medicine in Canada. The new centre will be the first of its kind in the world with every element – from the lighting to the non-slip floors – designed to meet the unique and complex needs of older adults. In addition to a full Geriatric Emergency Department, the centre will have a comprehensive research and education program. The centre will be built at Toronto Western and is scheduled to open in 2025. The centre will initially care for 6,200 older patients before expanding care over time. Learn more.
  • On Thursday night, I had the pleasure of seeing UHN's Dr. John Dick awarded the prestigious 2022 Canada Gairdner International Award. The Gairdners are often thought of as the precursor to the Nobel Prize as so many laureates have gone on to receive a Nobel. Dr. Dick, Senior Scientist at UHN's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, was recognized for "the discovery and characterization of leukemic stem cells, providing insights into the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of acute myeloid leukemia." Learn more about his work in this UHN News story. Congratulations again, Dr. Dick.
  • Last Tuesday, we participated in the hybrid UHN Education Forum at the BMO Conference Centre located at the Toronto Western Hospital. The event, which was also broadcast virtually, highlighted the many opportunities UHN has to grow its already sterling reputation for excellence in learning due to the contributions of the incredible people and teams across Education and their collaborations with portfolios across UHN. Dr. Brian Hodges, Chief Medical Officer and EVP of Education, delivered a terrific presentation, called "After the pandemic: A vision for education at Michener and UHN." This was one of the first times we have been able to gather in person, adhering to IPAC guidelines, since the start of the pandemic. It was wonderful to see representatives from UHN's senior leadership, the Michener Board of Governors, and various teams across UHN.
  • The IDEAA Self-Identification and Inclusion Survey administered by WorkTango has been extended beyond the two-week period. My thanks to all who have already completed the confidential survey, which takes only 15 minutes and can be done by phone, tablet, or computer. As we've said, this is an extremely important initiative to better understand our staff and the challenges facing equity-seeking people in our organization. All information shared is confidential and anonymous, and will ultimately help guide our vital work on advancing anti-racism policies, inclusion for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and TeamUHN members from different generations, accessibility, and other areas of the work at UHN. Reminder emails from WorkTango will continue to be sent to those who have not yet completed the survey. Each employee who has not completed the survey will be emailed a secure link from pulse@worktango.io to direct them to the survey. You do not need an Employee ID to access the survey via the WorkTango email. Check your spam folder or "other" section of your inbox if you have trouble finding the email with the survey link and contact support@worktango.com for more help. Further questions? Contact your.voice.matters@uhn.ca and consult the Survey Toolkit, which includes FAQ.
  • UHN's Flu Campaign ends November 3rd. By now you've read our myth-busting story, reviewed our Flu FAQs, enjoyed our social media pushes, and received reminders from all levels of leadership. If you haven't gotten year's flu shot yet, there's still time. We hear some colleagues say you're tired of rolling up your sleeve. That this feels like another ask UHN is making of you, in the name of protecting yourself and those around you. That we haven't felt the flu burden in the past few years, due to COVID restrictions. And those sentiments are fair. But as I write this, I think about the rise of flu cases in parts of the world where COVID restrictions have been lifted. I think about our resources, which are already stretched so thin. I think about the well-being of TeamUHN, whose resilience seems to have no bounds. I think about the devastating impacts a serious flu season has the potential to make on our already fragile ecosystem, and I ask each of you to help head it off. If you still have questions about whether the flu shot is right for you, speak with your healthcare provider, or for general inquiries, you can contact Health Services at 416-979-4441. UHN's 2022 Flu Campaign runs until this Thursday, November 3rd, and any member of TeamUHN can book an appointment at TG, TW, and PM here or walk-in during this time. Flu shots can also be obtained at some of the entrances at TG, TW, and PM, on units as carts roam the hospital, or are booked by leaders for your area. Flu shots are also available in the community, through your family doctor's office, or a local pharmacy, and should be reported to Health Services using this link.
  • Do you know a TeamUHN member or team whose exceptional work deserves recognition? Nominations for the 2022 Local Impact Awards have officially launched. I'm proud to join Gillian Howard, our Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications, in co-chairing this effort to celebrate our amazing staff with 10 different team and individual awards based on our strategic objectives: Inspire, invent, and deliver tomorrow's care; Empower and invest in a diverse TeamUHN; Drive the convergence of care, research, and education; Unleash the power of technology and innovation; and Elevate Canada as a world destination for commercialization and discovery. Entries are open until Nov. 23 and can be completed using submission forms on the Intranet (Corporate Intranet > Departments > Public Affairs and Communications > UHN 2022 Local Impact Awards Submission Form)

Closing Notes

November is Osteoporosis Month. Thank you to our colleagues at UHN's Osteoporosis Program and Centre of Excellence in Skeletal Health Assessment (CESHA) at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret, and Toronto Rehab – Lyndhurst Centre for their remarkable work across care, research, and education. The program led by Angela Cheung, with multidisciplinary clinics led by Lianne Tile (TGH and TWH) and Cathy Craven (TRI), looks after patients with osteoporosis and other metabolic bone diseases, including rare bone diseases, atypical femur fractures, and those with spinal cord injury. As part of the Schroeder Arthritis Institute and the Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program, it has expanded to become one of the world's largest specialized centres and a leader in clinical care, research, and education in musculoskeletal diseases. Members of the faculty have led various national and international initiatives, such as the Osteoporosis Canada Scientific Advisory Council (Rowena Ridout), Paralyzed Veterans of America bone health guideline (Cathy Craven), and International Society of Clinical Densitometry 2023 Position Development Conference (Angela Cheung). At least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime. At UHN, a quality improvement project in the Fracture Clinic at TW is bridging the gap between osteoporosis and fractures, highlighting that a fracture is a bone attack (similar to a heart attack), and making sure patients with fractures are looked after and their recent fracture is their last.

November is Falls Prevention Month. Thank you to everyone across UHN who support the safe mobility of our patients, both in the hospital and as they transition back to the community. At Toronto Rehab, our ABI inpatient teams have been trialling Therapeutic Falls – a designation for falls that happen during a higher-risk activity a patient has chosen to practice to promote independence and recovery. In the journal Disability and Rehabilitation, our rehab colleagues argue that, in certain circumstances, taking risks during rehab may actually help better prepare some patients for a safer transition home. You can learn more about their shared decision-making approach here. At The KITE Research Institute, researchers are using FallsLab's state-of-the-art platform and gantry to assess how people stop themselves from falling after they lose their balance, and how different conditions affect the control of balance and gait. Their goal is to develop therapies for people with conditions that increase their risk of falling and to design and test technologies that prevent or mitigate falls. UHN Altum Health, rehabilitation professionals work with clients every day to identify and assess their risk of falls and often treat injuries that may result from falls. Many fall-related injuries are caused by factors such as age, muscle weakness, and comorbid chronic health conditions, as well as environmental factors such as weather, unsafe work environments, and home conditions. Altum's care teams provide recommendations for a variety of modifications to mitigate potential risk factors. This can be demonstrated while in clinic to improve independence, safety, and accessibility in a client's workplace, home, or community. Taking a preventative approach can result in reduced risk of falls and help to avoid the negative, and often costly, impacts to the daily lives of clients.

The Office of Research Trainees has launched the 'Seeds of Science' podcast, a podcast by UHN trainees for UHN trainees (and students of any age who are interested in going into research). The podcast showcases the academic journey, scientific discoveries, and the personal growth of junior researchers, as they work through their graduate studies or postdoctoral positions in various fields across UHN's institutes. Each episode will explore the unique experience of a single trainee, providing a snapshot into their research, their achievements, the obstacles they've faced, and their life outside of research. Watch this promo video and click here for more information and a link to the podcast.

Dr. Laura Dawson, a radiation oncologist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, presented the findings of a 10-year study last week that show radiation therapy combined with drug therapy can extend the lives of patients with advanced liver cancer. Dr. Dawson presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology in San Antonio. "We can now say without hesitation that radiation therapy is an effective treatment for patients with unresectable liver cancer that are not suitable for standard invasive or local regional therapies," Dr. Dawson told UHN News. Read more about the study here.

University Health Network won first place in the Waste Reduction Week (October 17-23) Inter-Hospital Challenge, led by FM-PRO's Energy & Environment team! UHN has hosted this friendly competition for the past seven years and this year was the biggest challenge yet with eight hospitals from across Ontario participating. The average score on the quiz was 74%. While most knew PPE belongs in the garbage, a common unknown was that paper coffee cups also belong in the garbage, so as to not contaminate recycling. Congratulations to Energy & Environment and its 700 Green Team volunteers for another successful Waste Reduction Week. Read more about UHN's big win on their blog Talkin' Trash with UHN.

Finally, our TikTok of the week! Today, we take a fascinating look inside our Organ Repair Lab, where surgeons repair donor organs so that UHN can save more lives. This video has already been viewed more than 86,000 times!


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Have a good week,


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