​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

  • The continued violence in Gaza, Israel, and the region is heartbreaking and tragic. We know many at UHN who have family and friends in the region are struggling as they witness these tragedies. We hope and pray for a rapid ceasefire so further innocent lives are not lost, hostages are safely released, and a long-term peaceful solution for Palestinians and Israelis can be pursued. Please access support through our EAP provider, TelusHealth, including a Crisis Support Line and visit Wellness@UHN (Corporate Intranet > Wellness) for tools and resources.
  • It was a pleasure to host federal Health Minister, Hon. Mark Holland, at Toronto Western Friday for an exciting research announcement. Minister Holland unveiled $26.6 million in funding over five years from Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) to support 13 research projects and a knowledge mobilization hub under CIHR's Transforming Health with Integrated Care (THINC) initiative. Two UHN-led projects – one to better understand the impact of integrated care for older adults; the other to evaluate innovations in care delivery for chronic pain – have received grants of $1.7 million and $2 million, respectively, from CIHR and partners. UHN is proud of its pioneering work with integrated care and applauds CIHR and the federal government for recognizing the tremendous potential of this model of care. The investments will allow UHN to broaden its impact on a national scale, working will colleagues in Alberta and Saskatchewan to spread this impactful work that means so much at UHN. After the announcement, Minister Holland visited the Karun Singh lab at UHN's Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute. Read more at UHN News.
  • Congratulations Dr. Tim Jackson, Medical Director, TW OR, and the entire Sprott Department of Surgery at our Toronto Western campus for international recognition of their commitment to safety and quality of care. The team at Toronto Western should take great pride for being named a 'meritoriously performing ACS NSQIP hospital,' an honour bestowed by the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP). All of TeamUHN thanks this team for their focus on safety, and for their relentless efforts to improve the care we offer our patients. The American College of Surgeons (ACS) is recognizing the surgical team at Toronto Western for performing better than 700 hospitals in surgical outcomes related to issues like pneumonia, unplanned intubation, and renal failure.
  • Last week, Toronto Rehab was honoured to welcome a distinguished delegation of senior medical officers from the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the British Army, and Canadian Armed Forces, as Ukraine focuses on building capacity to meet the growing rehabilitation needs of its population. The group toured Lyndhurst's Spinal Cord Program and University Centre's Acquired Brain Injury Program, to understand key elements of our world-class rehabilitation model. This included a focus on multidisciplinary teams, specialized services, such as mental health, and the role of telerehabilitation, which can be especially beneficial for individuals living in remote areas. I'd like to extend my personal thanks to our colleagues who made time to support this visit and share important insights and approaches to exceptional patient care.
  • A Canadian first – UHN Dental Clinics go live on Epic! Once again, UHN is leading the way in innovative, patient-centred care with Canada's first install of the Epic Wisdom Dentistry module. Early this morning, dental clinics at Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab went live on Epic's Wisdom Dentistry, joining clinics across UHN in their ability to contribute to a single source of truth for patients and their care teams. Congratulations to the dental clinics, the Synapse project team, and all other key stakeholders for a successful launch, representing the continuation of UHN's clinical transformation. The implementation of the dentistry module at UHN is part of the Specialty phase of the Synapse project, which also includes the implementation of the Beaker Anatomical Pathology module in April 2024. For more information, please visit the Epic@UHN site.
  • Last week, I had the pleasure of attending UHN Foundation's 11th annual Diwali - A Night to Shine gala. This spectacular event was attended by more than 560 guests and celebrated the sights and sounds of Indian culture. Congratulations to UHN Foundation for hosting an incredible event and raising $1.5M to help Toronto Rehab build A Healthier World. Since its inception in 2011, Diwali - A Night to Shine has raised more than $13 million for programs at UHN. Thank you to all staff who attended, fundraised, and volunteered for the event. I'd also like to thank Scotiabank for being our dedicated presenting sponsor for the past seven years and thank Sprott Inc. for their commitment for the next five. I'm pleased to share with you Dr. Alex Mihailidis' inspiring patient story that was screened at the event. For more information, visit here.
  • The Coalition for Canadian Research has launched an advocacy campaign calling on the federal government to increase funding for Canadian research in Budget 2024. The group, comprised of research hospitals, post-secondary institutions, students, and scientists across Canada, notes Canada spent only 1.55% of its GDP on research in development in 2022, well behind the OECD average of 2.71%. At UHN, we know underinvestment in research puts our health security at risk and repels talented researchers. Research Canada, one of the organizations in this coalition, has prepared an advocacy toolkit and more resources.

Closing Notes

This week is Canadian Patient Safety Week and UHN is focusing on Safety Culture. In an organization with a strong safety culture, everyone is responsible for safety! This week, take a moment to review UHN's Safety Behaviour & Error Prevention Tools which are foundational communication tools that help us prioritize patient and TeamUHN safety. Also, I encourage you to share your opinion on UHN's safety culture through our Safety Culture Survey. By completing the survey, you will help us identify accomplishments and opportunities for improvement related to UHN's safety culture.

October 22-28 is Canadian Intensive Care Week, an opportunity to celebrate our ICU colleagues and their tremendous service to UHN and our patients. Our critical care teams care for our sickest patients and provide support to their families when they are at their most vulnerable. They make difficult decisions daily, and provide support for one another whenever it is needed. Please join me in expressing sincere gratitude for our critical care colleagues, whose resilience and composure keeps our ICUs running efficiently. Learn more about Canadian-Intensive-Care-Week.

October is Hungarian Heritage Month in Ontario, which gives us all a chance to reflect on the indelible contributions Hungarian Canadians have made to our province and country. From the Hungarian immigrants in the early 20th century who worked in steel mills and helped build the Welland Canal connecting two Great Lakes to those who continue today to make remarkable contributions to business, arts, sports, science, law, and medicine and technology, we know Hungarian Canadians enrich our societies. More than 37,000 Hungarians were welcomed in Canada after the Hungarian Uprising on Oct. 23, 1956, which sought political reform and independence from the Soviet Union. The acceptance of Hungarian refugees during that period was considered a turning point for Canada and helped shape more welcoming immigration and multiculturalism policies. We celebrate alongside all TeamUHN members of Hungarian descent! Learn more about Hungarian Heritage Month online.

And now.. our video of the week. This clip highlights the importance of the flu vaccine and shares how TeamUHN members can get their shot this season. Let's keep up the momentum.


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Have a good week,


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