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

  • Gathering safely at UHN. With TeamUHN at 100% vaccination and the holidays fast approaching, there have been many questions about guidance for social gatherings onsite. On October 29, UHN's Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) and Health Services teams shared the latest guidance on how to gather safely. I know it has been a great loss to limit social interactions with colleagues, and hope everyone has the opportunity for some in-person celebration in small numbers. However, with COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, please remember to do so safely, and keep in mind these recommendations may change. Planning to be able to pivot to a virtual platform if necessary, is wise, and please keep in mind that staff who are fully vaccinated can still get, and transmit, COVID-19. Though the risk of severe illness is low, it would still require quarantine from work. Managers need to consider what it may look like if there is a transmission event at a gathering, and some of their team needs to be quarantined for infection or exposure.
  • Updated guidance on travel. In last Friday's UHN COVID-19 Update, Health Services updated their Staff Toolkit for COVID-19 to reflect the latest travel guidance as per the Government of Canada's recommendations. UHN will continue to reference the Government of Canada's website for travel advice which can be found at and should be checked before making any travel arrangements.
  • That's a wrap on the 2021 Flu Campaign! As of November 18, 7,294 members of TeamUHN have received their flu shot at UHN and are better protected this flu season. If you have not yet received your flu shot, you can get one from: your primary care provider, participating pharmacies, or some public health units. If you get your flu shot from outside UHN, please upload your proof of vaccination to My thanks to all members of TeamUHN for getting the flu shot this year and to Health Services for another well-run campaign.
  • There is still time to nominate your colleagues for UHN's 2021 Local Impact Awards. The nomination categories for the Local Impact Awards are again aligned with UHN's Strategic Priorities. Submit your nomination by November 30 using this SurveyMonkey form.

What happened at the Executive COVID-19 IMS Table

In response to COVID-19, UHN activated its Executive COVID-19 IMS (Incident Management System) table. Membership includes our Executive Leadership Forum and other members of COVID-19 work streams. The group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is a snapshot of the discussion.

Third dose vaccination update

  • Background: UHN has been running third dose vaccination clinics since Monday, November 8, starting at the Michener Institute for Education and now at MaRS. Booking links have been sent to everyone at the five partner hospitals (UHN, Mount Sinai, Women's College, SickKids and Toronto Grace), and it is more and more likely that Friday, November 26 will be the final day for vaccinations at the MaRS site.
  • Who presented? Emily Musing (Vice President, Clinical)
  • What do I need to know? The clinic at MaRS is the epitome of organization and speed. So far, UHN's Vaccine Team have organized approximately 10,000 third doses for members of TeamUHN and staff at our partner hospitals. This week is the final week for everyone to be able to take advantage of the clinic, so everyone is encouraged to book your appointment this week. If that is not possible, anyone who is eligible and wants a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can do so at through the provincial booking system, mass vaccination clinics through the City of Toronto, and participating pharmacies. Proof of eligibility is currently required to received your third dose in the community, remember to bring an employment letter available through the Employee Self Service portal. The Ministry of Health defines 'fully vaccinated' as having received two doses of a Health Canada approved vaccine (or one dose of J&J), and UHN follows this guidance. While getting a third dose is not mandatory at this time, it is strongly encouraged.

What happened at the Executive Leadership Forum meeting

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 November 18, 2021.

Synapse Update

  • Background and why this was brought to ELF: As a project critical to UHN, Synapse updates will now be given on a bi-weekly basis to ELF. Ongoing and timely updates about are vital for successful implementation and operational readiness in advance of the go-live date: June 4, 2022.
  • Who presented? Sarah Muttitt (Vice President; Chief Information Officer) and Robert Slepin (Senior Project Director, Synapse)
  • What do I need to know? Recruitment of Super Users is going extremely well and this is encouraging as this group will be critical to helping everyone before and after Go Live.

Presentation of UHNWomen's Strategic Plan

  • Background and why this was brought to ELF: Over the last nine months, the UHNWomen Steering Committee has worked diligently to determine the vision and strategic objectives for UHNWomen, which are aligned to an overall organizational mission of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for everyone. This work included an extensive literature search, external scan and survey of TeamUHN for their thoughts on the strategic path forward for UHNWomen. This feedback was carefully reviewed and incorporated into a strategic plan for the program. Read more about UHNWomen and its Project Purpose here.
  • Who presented? Catherine Wang (Vice President, Clinical; UHNWomen Executive Co-Sponsor)
  • What do I need to know? This work supports the larger UHN strategic priority to empower and invest in a diverse TeamUHN. While the mission of UHNWomen is to promote equitable and inclusive opportunities for all TeamUHN members who identify as women to lead, grow and achieve professional fulfillment in their careers and lives, we recognize and embrace the principles of inclusivity and intersectionality. Partnerships and collaboration with many existing committees and programs at UHN will be essential for the success of this strategic plan. Such partnerships should include: People & Culture, the Black Legacy Committee, the LGBTQ2S+ Committee, the Social Medicine Program, UHN Education, and the IDEA Committee, among others.

Overview of last week

Recognition of Members of TeamUHN

  • Background: Last week, Shiran Isaacksz (Vice President, Altum & Business Development) and Phil Anthony, his partner from Michael Garron Hospital for the City of Toronto's Mobile Vaccination Strategy, were named one of the Top 50 Most Influential Torontonians 2021 by Toronto Life. Shiran's work would not be possible without the hard work and support many members of TeamUHN, as Shiran has been very quick to note. Andrew Boozary (Executive Director, Population HSocial Medicine) and Isaac Bogoch (Infectious Disease Specialist) received Honourable Mentions for their work in health care advocacy. Siba Haykal (Plastics and Reconstructive Surgeon), was named a recipient of "Canada's Top 40 Under 40" award for 2021 by executive search firm, Caldwell. The award recognizes her work as a surgeon and advocate for patients needing reconstruction, particularly after cancer surgery. Watch the video created by the Sprott Department of Surgery to recognize her award.
  • What happened last week? Toronto Life and Caldwell released their annual recognition lists which included members of TeamUHN.
  • What do I need to know? We are very proud to see recognition from the wider community for these immense contributions made by members of TeamUHN to healthcare and the health of citizens of Toronto and Ontario. I hope you will join me in congratulating Shiran, Andrew, Isaac, and Siba as well as members and volunteers for UHN's Vaccine Team for these well deserved accolades, we are fortunate to count them among TeamUHN. The Toronto Life issue of Most Influential Torontonians 2021 will be on newsstands in December.

Meeting of UHN's Board of Trustees

  • Background: Last week's message contained updates for several Board Committee meetings held in advance of the Board of Trustees meeting. All of the Board's Committees presented their updates this past week.
  • What happened last week? The Board continues to recognize the enormous work and effort made by all of TeamUHN throughout the pandemic. As the current hospitalizations for COVID-19 remain stable, the Board will continue to focus on supporting the successful implementation of Synapse which goes live on June 4, 2022.

Closing notes

November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. According to the United Nations, 1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime; most frequently by an intimate partner. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, emerging data and reports have shown that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has intensified. During Wave 1 of the pandemic, Statistics Canada surveyed Canadians and found that 10 per cent of women reported concern about the possibility of violence in the home, and a 7 per cent increase in domestic disturbance calls to Toronto Police Services. This documented prevalence of gender-based violence and misogyny is opportunity to reflect on our individual contributions to correcting the harm that still exists today for women and girls of all identities including, LGBTQ2+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two spirit), gender-diverse and BIPoC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour). Here are a list of resources from the U.N.

New Gattuso Centre for Social Medicine website. UHN's Social Medicine Program has launched a new website. As we all know, especially after important learnings during the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot can be done to eliminate historic and systemic barriers in order to truly promote& universal, equitable health care in Canada. I encourage all members of TeamUHN to visit the Gattuso Centre for Social Medicine website to learn more about the amazing work this team is leading in partnership with community organizations. Additionally, in anticipation of the upcoming expanded vaccine eligibility for third doses, the Centre will be partnering with Vaccine Hunters Canada. Look out for updates on how this partnership will further develop digital tools to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines, and provide informational resources and support to those who need it most.

UHN was named a finalist at the LinkedIN Talent Awards in the category of Diversity Champion – Healthcare. This is a wonderful testament to our commitment to championing inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility at UHN. Congratulations to all!


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Have a good week,


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