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

  • Federal Direction On Mandatory Vaccination – I know all of you have been following the decisions of the provincial and federal governments with respect to mandatory vaccination. I am really pleased that both levels of government are attempting to make Canadians as safe as possible as we enter the fourth wave of this persistent illness. I see these recent decisions as markers of healthy public policy and the best strategy to prevent further deadly mutations of this virus. As Canada's leading academic health science centre we will focus our attention in the next few days on refining our position, so that UHN can be the safest possible healthcare facility in Canada for patients, families and TeamUHN. Stay tuned.
  • Synapse Readiness & Engagement Forums are a good opportunity to start discovering what you need to know – and do – to prepare for the implementation of UHN's new Epic HIS (Health Information System) which will go live on June 4, 2022. Everyone across TeamUHN – especially front-line managers – are encouraged to attend or watch the recordings of these sessions. A new topic is presented each week by the members of TeamUHN closest to the subject. Recent forums covered End User Devices (i.e., the hardware needed to use the software), the Patient Experience, Training Roles, Research, and more. Upcoming topics include Digital Skills Development and Data Conversion. The calendar of topics, recordings, and presentation decks with speaking notes that can be used as resource materials for team meetings can all be found here.
  • United Way Campaign this Fall. Last week, I attended a meeting of the United Way Cabinet and presented an overview of the work being done by Dr. Andrew Boozary, Executive Director, Social Medicine Program and his team. This work includes a wide range of projects such as: the Memorandum of Understanding we have signed with the City of Toronto and the United Way to develop modular housing on some of the land at the Bickle/Lakeside site; participation in the community vaccination efforts with community agencies; and work with UHN's Emergency Departments to support individuals experiencing homelessness and who are under-housed by connecting them with community support services. Given the pandemic, we did not run a United Way campaign at UHN last year, but intend to do so this fall.

No Executive Leadership Forum meeting was held last week

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 The last ELF meeting was held on August 5, 2021.

Overview of last week

Federal Election Called

  • Background: There had been rumours that a federal election would be called for some time. The writ dropped on Sunday. In advance of the call, UHN had invited the leaders of the major federal parties – Justin Trudeau, Jagmeet Singh and Erin O'Toole – to come to UHN for a tour and a discussion about health with a focus on funding for health research. All three leaders have accepted and we will begin working with their tour organizers to arrange three visits during the election period.
  • What happened last week? The election call means that Canadians will go to the polls on September 20th.
  • What do I need to know? Polls are generally open until 8:00 pm and advance polls are also held to ensure that as many eligible voters as possible have an opportunity to vote. We can also expect that Elections Canada will be in touch with UHN to enable patients in the hospital to vote. Calls from Elections Canada should go to Volunteer Resources as they work with Elections Canada to facilitate the voting process for patients on election day.

Closing notes

Time for rest and relaxation – I have mentioned many times that I hope all members of TeamUHN have been able to take some vacation these last few weeks. After that last few challenging months, we all need to make time to rest and recharge. I will be taking some time these next two weeks and look forward to connecting with you again when my Weekly Update resumes in September. Please continue to follow all public health measures and enjoy the rest of the summer safely.

Congratulations to Atul Kumar and Deepali Kumar on their recent research published in the New England Journal of Medicine which demonstrated that a third shot of the COVID-19 vaccine increased the immune response in transplant patients. And, Andrea Furlan's YouTube channel which helps people around the world in managing their pain. There are 131,000 subscribers to the channel and some videos have had over a million views. Both achievements contribute to A Healthier World!


Your feedback is welcome and valued. Please reply directly to me or leave anonymous feedback here.

Have a good week!


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