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

  • On Friday, we marked Canada Day – the 155th birthday of this beautiful, vast, complicated country we call home. Canada is a work in progress and a nation of immigrants, for many a beacon of diversity, peace, and multiculturalism to the rest of the world. While there is much to be proud of – including the universal healthcare system Canadians cherish – we know that there is unfinished work to help this country reach its full potential. Canada Day is not just about celebrating, but reflecting on how we must all walk the path of constant improvement. For many, Canada Day is also a time to recommit to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and seek to dismantle systemic racism and discrimination in all its forms. The Canadian story is still being written. It is incumbent on us all, in our own ways, to help build an even better country that will live up to the values of equality, compassion, and inclusion that we all hold dear. My sincere gratitude goes out to all members of TeamUHN who worked on the holiday in service of patients, colleagues, learners, and their community.
  • UHN will no longer require healthcare workers exposed to COVID-19 to self-isolate pending PCR test results if they are asymptomatic. This is based upon advice from Public Health Ontario. Health Services has updated this return-to-work policy in consultation with IPAC and other TASHN hospitals. Previously, TeamUHN members with an exposure to a COVID-positive individual for more than four hours had to have a negative PCR before returning under work self-isolation, and had to complete daily rapid antigen tests (RAT) for a set period of time related to their exposure. Given UHN healthcare workers are fully vaccinated and mandatory PPE practices continue to be implemented, TeamUHN members who are asymptomatic will now complete a RAT before their shift onsite, obtain a PCR test after exposure, and continue to follow work self isolation guidelines and daily rapid testing for a set period of time related to their exposure. RAT kits are available at pharmacies and are given out to those who book PCR testing at the Toronto Western Hospital – Krembil Discovery Tower. UHN is also coordinating distribution of more kits for staff working on site.
  • Consider getting your COVID booster. Looking to the U.K. and other areas of Europe, we see significant increases in cases again. Please strongly consider getting your booster as soon as eligible to protect yourself and our patients. Book through the online provincial portal.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Gary Levy on his appointment by Gov. Gen. Mary Simon as a member of the Order of Canada. Dr. Levy, a founder of the Ajmera Transplant Centre at UHN, was recognized for "his leadership and pioneering innovations as the former medical director of the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at Toronto General Hospital," now known as the Ajmera Transplant Centre. Dr. Levy served in that position from 1990 to 2013. His leadership and talent helped to create what has become one of the world's leading multi-organ transplant programs. The Order of Canada is considered one of Canada's highest civilian honours, recognizing people who have made "extraordinary contributions to the nation." See the full list of new appointees on the Governor General's website.
  • Congratulations are also extended to Dr. Dinesh Kumbhare, who was recently named the Schroeder Chair in Pain Assessment and Rehabilitation at UHN. Dr. Kumbhare is the Director of the Schroeder Pain Assessment and Rehabilitation Research Centre at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, a new clinic to provide comprehensive rehabilitative care for people suffering from chronic pain. He has a deep commitment to scholarship and research, having served as a professor and clinician scientist in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, and a scientist at KITE Research Institute, among other things. He was the principal author of the book, Buschbacher's Manual of Nerve Conduction Studies, which The Neurodiagnostic Journal dubbed the "gold standard in many EMG labs." Congratulations, Dinesh!
  • Congratulations to Dr. Tony Finelli on his appointment as Chair, Division of Urology at the University of Toronto, after an international search. He is following Dr. Neil Fleshner, who completed his 10-year term at the end of last month. Dr. Finelli joined the urology faculty at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PMCC) at UHN in 2005, served as head of the Division of Urology at PMCC, and is a professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Toronto. Dr. Finelli has an impressive track record of health research and scholarship and built a program focused on correlative studies to better our understanding of the natural history of localized kidney cancer. He has performed live surgery for teaching purposes in more than 10 countries and is renowned for his skills with robotic surgery. Congratulations, Tony!
  • Inclusivity in action at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre! Thanks to the Sexual and Gender Diversity in Cancer Care (SGDc) Program, Princess Margaret has its first all-gender washrooms. The SGDc worked closely with UHN's Facilities Management – Planning, Redevelopment & Operations Department (FM-PRO) to change single-use washroom signs on the main floor from gender binary icons to now be clearly marked as all-gender.
    Please read the following quote from a Princess Margaret patient on how important this is: "Knowing that there now are washrooms where no one will ask me questions is a relief ... These are basic needs that shouldn't cause patients stress. I applaud Princess Margaret for being progressive, inclusive, and taking one stress away from my stressful cancer experience. You are making cancer treatment easier for my community." Thank you to these teams for making Princess Margaret safer and more inclusive, by allowing everyone to choose a washroom that aligns with their gender identity. What a wonderful moment to mark the end of Pride Month!
  • This past weekend, approximately 1,000 residents, fellows, medical students, and other medical learners arrived at UHN and started using Epic. With that many new users, it was like another go-live, but this time we had our own experience to draw on. Extra supports were in place to reduce the risk of learners not having the necessary access to Epic, and, when there were issues, reinforced behind-the-scenes processes enabled quick resolutions. Most of TeamUHN now has a month of experience using Epic, and there's an abundance of evidence that people's comfort and mastery of the system grows each day. I know that we will all guide and support this cohort of learners as they use Epic as part of their medical education. Please also know that on July 5, Synapse will be sending a survey to TeamUHN to gain insight into people's experience using Epic. This is a standard part of implementing Epic, and the results will help shape conversations the Synapse Working Groups and leaders will be having with the Epic team during a series of post-live visits. Additional details will be shared in the email on July 5.

Closing Notes

This Tuesday, July 5 is National Injury Prevention Day, a chance to raise awareness about how we can avert serious injuries at work, at home, on the road, and at play. Unintentional injury is the top cause of death for Canadians 1 to 44, and such harms are often predictable and preventable. UHN is focused on injury prevention in many programs, with renowned talent in the areas of research, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation – from Toronto Rehab's 10-week falls prevention program to the work being done at the KITE Research Institute to better understand the science behind why people fall and how to stop them from doing so. Altum Health is a leader in return-to-work focused rehabilitation, with expertise in musculoskeletal injury, concussion, post-COVID care, and mental health. Altum's team of allied health professionals supports clients at all stages of recovery, focusing on developing personalized care plans and providing tools for injury prevention. Learn how Altum Health on University is supporting TeamUHN closer to home.

The Government of Ontario passed an amendment to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA) in November of 2021 known as Bill 27: Working for Workers Act. Bill 27 introduced the requirement for employers to have a written policy on "disconnecting from work," which means: not engaging in work-related communications, including emails, telephone calls, video calls, or sending or reviewing other messages, so as to be free from the performance of work. In accordance with the amendments to the ESA, the requirement for compliance and issuance of the policy takes effect immediately. UHN's People & Culture team has prepared and launched the new Policy, along with a FAQ, to ensure compliance with new legislation and to answer any questions members of TeamUHN might have. If you have any questions, please contact your People Consultant. (Corporate Intranet > Departments > People & Culture > Contacts > People Consultants)

The entrance to Toronto General Hospital from the MaRS building is expected to reopen on Monday, July 11. This entrance has remained closed throughout the pandemic because we did not have active screening in that location. Facilities Management – Planning, Redevelopment & Operations (FM-PRO) consulted both MaRS and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) on the most appropriate timing to reopen this entrance, in light of the shift to passive screening effective today. There will be a mask dispenser and signage outside of the TGH entrance to remind people to wear a well-fitted, medical-grade mask before entering the hospital site. This is no doubt welcome news to the many TeamUHN members who have wanted this entrance re-opened as a route for patients and staff to enter the hospital.


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Have a good week,


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