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

  • UHN's Board of Trustees met for an all-day retreat on Wednesday at the Scotiabank Conference Centre to discuss the organization's strategic direction for the coming years. The Board welcomed guest speaker Michelle DiEmanuele (Head of the Ontario Public Service and Secretary of Cabinet), who spoke to the provincial government's healthcare priorities and UHN's role in driving future change in the wider healthcare system. Other speakers included Dr. Kathryn Tinckam (Physician-in-Chief), who took the Board through our efforts to advance quality through the patient experience – a key strategic imperative – and Dr. Brad Wouters (EVP, Science & Research), who presented on the nuances of how success is measured in the global rankings of hospitals and academic institutions. The Board discussed early themes emerging from UHN's Strategic Plan refresh, including the feedback received to-date from TeamUHN through our ongoing Strategy Refresh Survey. Be sure to have your say! Board meets next on May 24, 2023.
  • Groundbreaking research led by UHN scientists has revealed storing donor lungs at a warmer temperature than the current standard markedly increases the length of time the organ can live outside the body. The study, led by a team of scientists at the Toronto Lung Transplant Program in UHN's Ajmera Transplant Centre, found donor lungs remained healthy and viable for transplant up to four times longer when stored at 10 degrees Celsius compared to the current standard of ice cooler preservation of roughly 4 C. Lead author Dr. Marcelo Cypel, Surgical Director of the Ajmera Transplant Centre, called it a "paradigm shift" for the practice of lung transplant. "I have no doubt that this will become the gold standard practice of lung preservation for the foreseeable future." To learn more, read UHN News and watch a recording of Dr. Cypel's presentation at a recent American Association for Thoracic Surgery event.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Andrea Furlan on the release of her new book, 8 Steps to Conquer Chronic Pain.A pain expert and physician at Toronto Rehab and Senior Scientist at UHN's KITE Research Institute, Andrea's book draws on 30 years of experience and the advice she has given to patients over her career, and aims to give chronic pain sufferers the knowledge and tools to discuss their pain with their care teams. "What I want readers to take away from the book is that people don't need to be passive recipients of medical interventions; that they can take an active role in their own health; and that self-management is the solution to the problem of chronic pain," she told UHN News. Last Tuesday, Toronto Rehab and KITE Research Institute hosted a book launch and signing party. Read an excerpt from 8 Steps to Conquer Chronic Pain that compares pain to the alarm system of a house.
  • Altum Health has received the highest accreditation marks! For three days last week, surveyors from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) visited Altum Health's clinics and sites. They reviewed hundreds of documents, interviewed clinical, leadership, and corporate support teams, and talked with several current and former clients as part of an assessment of Altum's processes and practices. CARF is an international, independent, non-profit accreditor of health and human services. Altum chose to undergo the voluntary accreditation survey to help ensure the right processes and practices are in place to deliver exceptional patient care. The Quality and Outcomes team at Altum spent months preparing for the accreditation visit, and their diligence paid off. The surveyors' report was nothing short of outstanding. After a review of ~2,000 standards, the surveyors determined that Altum is in full conformance and there are no recommendations in any area of care, a truly exemplary result. Among the many strengths highlighted were: client outcomes that are far better than any others seen by the surveyors, and the incredible collaboration and caring the teams show to the clients served. CARF accreditation is an objective source of assurance for clients that Altum focuses on quality care and continuous process improvement. Congratulations, TeamAltum!
  • UHN has launched a new Alternate Level of Care (ALC) Guide to help standardize our approach to ALC discharges. Imagine a scenario where every complex discharge progressed so seamlessly that the care team was able to spend more time helping the patient plan for their next destination and less time navigating through various options and roadblocks. UHN's new ALC Guide can help take us there. By standardizing our approach to ALC discharges; identifying the discharge streams available to ALC patients; and clarifying roles and responsibilities within each stream, the Guide supports TeamUHN in providing patients with the best care possible. I encourage all teams to leverage this valuable resource. We've made it as easy as possible to find by placing it on the right-side panel of the Corporate Intranet homepage. You can also find it here. I'd like to extend my thanks to the ALC Working Group, as well as our Home & Community Care partners, who were engaged in developing this important tool to ensure we are aligned in our work to improve this process.
  • UHN's Central Room Booking System has moved! To book one of the 55 meeting rooms across UHN that are managed by Facilities Management, Planning, Redevelopment & Operations (FM-PRO), you must now use Archibus, an online room booking system. This change improves the efficiency of booking the FM-PRO-managed meeting rooms and saves time for staff. Important: If you have any meetings booked – including recurring meetings – for May 1, 2023, or later, you must re-book via Archibus. Any requests made by email will not be processed. To learn more, check out these detailed instructions and tips for using the system, which are also available on the Room Bookings Corporate Intranet Page (Corporate Intranet > Departments > Room Bookings).
  • Be sure to take the three-minute, Strategic Plan refresh survey. TeamUHN is being asked to reflect on three big questions about where we've been, where we are going, and how we can best support our teams, now and for the future. There will be draws for prizes for those who complete the survey early. Visit the website or scan the QR code below to have your say.

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 Thursday, April 20.

UHN Nursing Strategy

  • Background and why this was brought to ELF: Nurses are integral to all we do at UHN and the organization is focused on ensuring these professionals want to build their careers here. A dynamic new UHN Nursing Strategy, developed over planning sessions with TeamUHN nurses, is key to that objective. The Chief Nursing Executive updated ELF on the development of the strategy, which seeks to advance a vision and mission of UHN Nursing that will see these professionals as global leaders in the practice of nursing.
  • Who Presented? Pamela Hubley (VP, Chief Nurse Executive)
  • What I need to know: The strategy reflects the crucial imperative to support all nurses to thrive in their careers at UHN and reach their full potential. The plan speaks to the importance of agility amid changing healthcare needs, innovation, technology, and creating work experiences to meet the needs of our multigenerational and diverse workforce. The strategy, which aims to transform nursing at UHN over the next five years, will be unveiled during National Nursing Week (May 8-14).

Dr. Mark Britnell presentation

  • Dr. Mark Britnell, a globally acclaimed thought leader in health systems, also spoke to the Executive Leadership Forum about his international study on health human resources (HHR) and key takeaways from his most recent book, Human: Solving the Global Crisis in Healthcare. He provided an overview of international HHR challenges, noting the World Health Organization estimates there will be a health worker shortfall of 18 million by 2030, and shared insights on what other countries are doing to address these challenges, from the Netherlands and Singapore to Israel. He recommended several ideas to tackle the crisis, developed over a career advising systems around the world for three decades in his former capacity with the National Health Service, including new models of care, building and shaping an agile and motivated workforce, and expanding the scope of practice of professionals. He also provided his thoughts on how UHN can expand its role as a foremost leader in Canada's system and a key global player.

Closing Notes

Be sure to read this excellent story in The Globe and Mail lauding ALLO@Home, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at UHN's new at-home program for allogeneic stem cell transplant patients. Since the fall of 2021, the program has provided care for close to 20 patients in their own space, be it at home or a nearby condo. Jonas Mattsson, Director of the Hans Messner Allogeneic Transplant Program at the Princess Margaret, is leading the program. He told The Globe about how beneficial it is for stem cell transplant patients to receive care at home. "I've never seen such an impactful effect on treatment," he said. This is yet another example of how UHN is unlocking tomorrow's care today to serve our patients in bold new ways and build A Healthier World. Read the full Globe story and a recent UHN News piece on this program to learn more.

Check out this UHN News story on Garry Herridge, a renowned Canadian artist and former Toronto Rehab inpatient, who is saying goodbye after nearly 20 years of volunteering at UHN. Gary became an inpatient at Toronto Rehab's Lyndhurst Centre in 1999 after sustaining a spinal cord injury while colliding with another player during a slow-pitch baseball game. Working with multidisciplinary teams to increase his functional independence, Garry improved his fine motor skills and began to paint watercolours while still an inpatient. In 2004, he became a volunteer in therapeutic recreation, leading weekly watercolour painting sessions for inpatients at Lyndhurst Centre, alongside a recreation therapist. "I wanted to give back in a way that allowed me to relate to patients as a peer, and introduce them to something that may be new," he said. Garry's one-hour sessions would begin with him sharing his personal story of recovery through art, captured in the book of watercolours he created as an inpatient. "Through Garry's class, I not only got to forget my limitations and have fun, but I developed a love for painting," said patient Gabriele Markle. We thank Garry for his service, which highlights the incredible difference that volunteers make at UHN. After a pause during the pandemic, we are all thrilled to be welcoming back our volunteers and programs. Read the full story at UHN News.

April 28th is the National Day of Mourning, a time to commemorate and remember all those who have suffered a workplace death, injury, or illness. Also known as Workers' Memorial Day, this occasion is marked in about 100 countries, according to WSIB Ontario, by wearing black and yellow ribbons and observing a moment of silence at 11 a.m. for those lost due to workplace tragedies. TeamUHN members, such as those in our emergency and rehabilitation departments, often care for people left severely injured or fighting for their lives after a workplace incident. I encourage you all to spare a thought today for those workers who left their houses one morning and who either never returned or came back forever changed because of a workplace accident. For more, visit WSIB Ontario.


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Have a good week,


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