Good Monday morning,

1. Highlights on UHN's Essentials

UHN's Essentials are the things essential to our work at UHN and represent our central responsibilities as a leading academic health sciences centre. Read here to learn more. Below, you'll find highlights on UHN's Essentials from last week.

Quality and Safety Report on the HACs: Last week Emily Musing sent out the end-of-year report on the progress on Hospital Acquired Conditions (HACs). I have included the link here [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available] because it is well worth looking at the accomplishments of our teams. The complete list may be seen by clicking the link at the bottom of the page. What is most important is to think that every fall, infection and/or pressure injury prevented represents a patient who may otherwise have been hospitalized longer, suffered pain, or possibly made worse by their hospitalization rather than better. Yes, we avoid cost and can help more people as a result – but even more important is knowing that the work of our teams returned people to their lives without further health problems caused by their hospitalization. My thanks to everyone who has focused on preventing hospital-acquired conditions and my hope that you will keep going with the work in 2019.

Compassionate Care and Caring UHN's Fantastic Nurses: One of my highlights last week was reading a letter from a the wife of an inpatient on 14 B/C at Princess Margaret who we are caring for. Her husband had an allogenic stem cell transplant and spent three months on the unit, before being readmitted and released, then readmitted once more due to medical complications. The letter reads: "I told you all this to let you know that everyone, every single nurse, has been absolutely FANTASTIC… No one ever panicked, or showed us panic, even though there have been some dicey times… Hopefully this journey ends on a positive note, but should it not, it hasn't been from lack of compassion, nor inattentiveness." What a generous letter and a humbling statement that reminds us of how privileged we are to care for patients and families.

People and Culture Bella Martin Leaves UHN and Marc Toppings Joins: At the end of December Bella Martin finished her 26-year career at UHN. Many of you would have worked with Bella on some difficult issues over that period of time and in the words of one admirer, who wrote to me: "She brought not just legal expertise but a deep well of common sense and a fine concept of guarding the institution's values." And, as Bella leaves, we welcome Marc Toppings today who joins us as Chief Legal Counsel. Please give Marc a warm welcome as he joins TeamUHN and ensure that legal questions and issues continue to go to our very able legal team.

2. Toronto Rehab Research Day

Last Wednesday I had the privilege of speaking at the opening of the Toronto Rehab Research Day, organized by Milos Popovic's team. What was very clear to me was the passion in the room and the applicability of the research to health problems across UHN and throughout the world. With over 400 staff, students and scientists in attendance, Milos introduced KITE as the new symbol and identity of the research group at Toronto Rehab. KITE, an acronym of Knowledge, Innovation, Talent and Everywhere, is a call to action for all researcher to allow their ideas to soar to new heights. The keynote speaker took us through a dizzying array of what might be possible through clothing designed to sense, support and relay information. If a tenth of what was described is possible, it bodes well for our ability to keep people in their homes, bring them to care before conditions become debilitating and help in creating A Healthier World.

And Then There Was The Snow….

While nobody suggested that 'the army' be called in on the day it snowed, I know that many of you had very difficult trips to get to and from work. A word of thanks for your commitment to our patients and their families as they need you in the hospital, whatever the weather!

Have a good week,


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