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University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in
Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international
source for discovery, education and patient care.
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of our experts for an interview. It's also the place to find UHN media policies and catch up on our news stories, videos, media releases,
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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.
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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