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Good Monday morning,

I'll start by thanking everyone who worked over the holidays. Deepest gratitude to you for meeting the needs of those we are privileged to serve! And, a warm welcome back to everyone else.

1. Highlights on UHN's Essentials

In our 2019-23 Strategic Plan, we introduce UHN's Essentials, which represent our central responsibilities as a leading academic health sciences centre, and UHN's Strategic Priorities, which will guide the work that goes above and beyond our Essentials. The seven domains that fall under our Essentials – such as Quality and Safety – have been important to UHN for a long time and will now be identified with this new name to emphasize just how essential they are. Moving forward, I'll start my weekly update with related highlights.

 Quality and Safety  Toronto Rehab site breaks a safety record: Congratulations to our North Bickle team at Toronto Rehab for achieving 252 days without any pressure injuries (one of the six common Hospital Acquired Conditions we're tackling at UHN through our work in Caring Safely​). Impressive results and teamwork! 

 Operational Excellence  Flu outbreaks declared over: Though the holidays are over, flu season is not and there have been a few outbreaks across the city including at UHN. Thankfully, the outbreaks on Toronto Western's General Internal Medicine unit on 8B Fell and Princess Margaret's unit on 15A were declared over. As is standard with any outbreak, the Ministry of Labour visited UHN for a routine review of our outbreak practices. Thanks to TeamUHN for coming together and containing and managing these outbreaks while caring for other patients. As flu season continues, please continue to practice precautions in order to prevent the flu, and stay home if you are sick.

 People and Culture  What Bill 47 means for UHN: The Ontario Government introduced Bill 47, the "Making Ontario Open for Business Act" which was passed into law October 2018. The most impactful change took effect on Jan. 1 and removes personal emergency leave from the Employment Standards Act, replacing it with three separate unpaid leaves. We've taken a look at UHN's Family and Emergency Leave policy and see that it offers a greater benefit, so will be reverting to our previous policy. Note this only refers to non-union staff, unionized staff will continue to follow their collective agreements.

2. Introducing our 2019-23 Strategic Plan

Just before the holiday break, we introduced UHN's 2019-23 Strategic Plan which will guide our efforts across care, research and education over the next five years. Thank you all for contributing your ideas! Our plan will help us make important choices at UHN and presents our way to a better future – our vision of A Healthier World.

View the full plan and download a one-page version here. We'll be discussing our shared work in support of this plan in the coming months.

3. What I've been reading

I occasionally share the articles I'm reading on my Twitter account @KevinSmithUHN and these are a few I found interesting over the holidays:

  • "How might grant funding and career advancement – even the potential for fame – be biasing researchers?" (The New York Times)
  • "How physicians can help patients become less lonely while improving their health" (Harvard Medical School)
  • "Healthcare improvement leaders...discuss what their countries have learnt in efforts to deliver safer care" (BMJ)
  • "Memorial Sloan Kettering's Season of Turmoil" (The New York Times​)

These articles wrestle with big questions and are some of the many things we can reflect on together over the next year.

Looking forward to sharing a remarkable 2019 with you all!

Kevin​

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