Good Monday morning,

1. Highlights on UHN's Essentials

UHN's Essentials are essential to the work we do as a leading academic health sciences centre – hence the name! Read here to learn more. Below, you'll find highlights on UHN's Essentials from last week.

Quality and Safety Thanks to everyone for a successful Accreditation week – we met every Required Organizational Practice! This was a great opportunity for UHN to receive frank feedback from external surveyors and see how we compare to national standards. Special shout out to our seven Patient Partners who attended a focus group with Accreditation Canada. No members of TeamUHN were present to ensure the frankest discussion possible, and I was proud to hear the surveyors report that our Patient Partners feel like true partners at UHN.

Some of the areas the surveyors saw great strength in:

  • Our focus on safety, quality and high reliability
  • Strong interprofessional care and teamwork
  • Engaged and committed staff
  • Patient Partners
  • Our bold vision
  • Partnerships and collaboration
  • Our agenda on innovation
  • Medical staff leadership and engagement

Challenges included:

  • Aging facilities, deferred maintenance
  • Balancing the obligation for community care with tertiary/quaternary demands
  • Digital transformation to enable processes
  • Patient flow is an everyday challenge

  • We will receive UHN-wide Accreditation results once we complete our second on-site assessment in September 2021. Thank you to UHN's Accreditation team (especially Elisa Chimonides, Tegan Mannisto, Alicia Brancier), community partners and TeamUHN – especially colleagues at Princess Margaret, Toronto Rehab and the Family Health Team at Toronto Western – for all their work to prepare.

    People and Culture A personal reflection on inherent bias: Last week, I was able to express my sincere apologies for a mistake I made when visiting a patient receiving treatment at UHN. During the visit, two women dressed in scrubs walked in so I excused myself and said, "I'll leave you with these nursing colleagues." Much to my embarrassment, I was later informed that these colleagues were surgical residents and that I had made an incorrect assumption. I followed up with these colleagues to express my apologies – and am especially sorry because I suspect they face assumptions like this on a too-frequent basis. I will be frank and say I've come up with excuses for my assumption. My friend mentioned their nurse would be coming in shortly when I asked about their progress, and I told myself that had framed my thinking. The reality is I have to confront this as an example of inherent bias and view this as an important learning opportunity. The underlying notion we are trying to move past is that a woman is more likely to be a nurse than a doctor, or that a man is more likely to be a doctor than a nurse. As a society, we are also evolving but not nearly there yet as I demonstrated. Thank you to the two residents for accepting my apology so graciously and for the work they do every day with their interdisciplinary teams to best serve patients, families and colleagues. From a UHN perspective, we just launched a bias awareness eLearning module which is available on UHN's eLearning Centre. We will also be encouraging UHN leaders to take the Harvard Implicit Attitude Test. Two tactical examples from our overarching strategy to empower a diverse TeamUHN.

    Partnerships Toronto celebrates its inaugural Rehabilitation Day: UHN was delighted to receive a proclamation from Mayor John Tory declaring the third Tuesday of September as Rehabilitation Day in Toronto moving forward. Acute care is often what gets the most public attention but we know that rehab is an essential part of the patient journey. Rehabilitation Day gives us an exciting opportunity to shout loudly and proudly about its importance! During the celebration, I had the chance to meet Danielle Kane once again, who received treatment at UHN as a survivor of the Danforth shooting. She is an incredible person and I want to publicly thank her for being so generous with her time and coming to our University Centre site to talk about her experience. I was also delighted to reconnect with Peter Kyriakides who spoke at our recent Report to Our Community.

    Compassionate Care and Caring Recognizing living organ donors and recipients, as well the creation of the Soham & Shaila Ajmera Family Transplant Centre: Last week, I had a few opportunities to express my deepest thanks to the living organ donors and recipients we are so privileged to serve at UHN at our living donor event. We were fortunate to hear remarkable stories from both donors and recipients and truly marvel at the generosity and bravery of both. I also had the chance to celebrate some exciting news – that our transplant program Transplant has now been named the Soham & Shaila Ajmera Family Transplant Centre in honour of the Ajmera family's extraordinary generosity. We are proud to associate their family's name with our world-class transplant team and program. A pleasure to meet generations of this remarkable family at the event and hear about their compelling approach to philanthropy and pursuing good deeds for others.

    2. Submit and vote on questions anonymously for UHN's next Open Forum – topic is TeamUHN!

    We have our next Open Forum on Oct. 4 at 12 p.m. (Michener Institute auditorium, livestream link here). In the next installment of our "A Healthier World" series, we will focus on the UHN Strategic Priority "Empower and invest in a diverse TeamUHN" and invite members of TeamUHN to help answer questions about respect and civility, wellness, career advancement and more. As always, we will take questions based on most votes so please ask and vote at your earliest convenience.

    3. UHN Board of Trustees meeting and Board Orientation

    Last week, we held an orientation session for UHN's three new Board members – Janice Fukakusa (Chair, Board of Directors, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation), Raj Kothari (Chair, Board of Directors, Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation) and Jaime Watt (Executive Chairman, Navigator). We also held our quarterly Board of Trustees meeting. As per our commitment to transparency and open communication, I will be sending out a dedicated email reviewing the meeting highlights shortly. Stay tuned.

    4. What we discussed at our Executive Leadership Forum

    Here is what we discussed at last week's Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) meeting. See who attends these meetings on

    • Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) at UHN (Karen Martin, Chief Practice Information Officer; Madeline Li, outgoing MAID Physician Lead): We reviewed a business case for funding UHN's MAID coordinator role. The current funding is insufficient – important to address this given our commitment to patients and preventing the prolonged pain and suffering of individuals who are candidates for MAID, as well as our legislative requirements.
    • UHN People Strategy 2019-23 (Eric Beaudoin, Director, People Strategy and Innovation): We heard how UHN's People Strategy aligns with UHN's corporate strategy and discussed the importance of addressing TeamUHN wellness. UHN's People Strategy will provide details about planned activities in the Fall of 2019.
    • Senior Management Response to 2018 Engagement Survey and Thoughtexchange (Venita Indeway, Director, Organization and Employee Development): We discussed employee and physician engagement scores. We also reviewed the ideas that were crowdsourced through our recent Thoughtexchange event and how we will move forward with them.

    Have a good week,


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