​​​I'll start by thanking everyone again who worked over the holiday period.  I'm told that the Emergency Departments are really seeing the effects of the flu season with the surge starting just as 2018 arrived.  Of course, there are over 200 respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses with symptoms similar to the flu but, if patients were admitted, they were swabbed and we'll have a fairly good idea in the coming days just how severe this season will be.  So, I'll remind everyone, wash your hands frequently, wear mask when caring for patients with flu-like symptoms, monitor your own health and stay home if you are ill.  You can find information about flu either on the Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) intranet page or the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) page.

And while I'm on the subject of ED, I wanted to pass along Anil Chopra's appreciation for the team at Toronto Western's ED.  He wrote:  "A big thanks and congrats to the teams at TW for being amongst the top three performers for ED LOS in terms of 'improvement' in the entire province for the fiscal year 2017-18. Quite an achievement given the increasing volumes we face. Now the TW funding rank is close to that being achieved by Mt. Sinai and St. Mikes".

It's fitting that I'm talking about flu as I want everyone at UHN to know that Michael Gardam is leaving UHN to take on the role of Chief of Staff at Humber River Hospital, a critical step in his role as a physician leader and Humber is fortunate to have recruited him.  Michael has been a stellar contributor to UHN having taken a critical leadership role as IPAC medical director during SARS, building and leading the IPAC team, and recently serving as the Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee.  Michael has also worked around the world in the area of change management, leading a consulting practice with contracts in New Zealand, Ireland and New York.  This practice contributed to UHN's budget every year and allowed us to develop and grow the IPAC team.  On behalf of everyone at UHN, thank you Michael for your commitment to patients, their safety and to our understanding of new approaches to change. 

I also want to make note of Geoff Fernie's inclusion in the New Year's honour list from the Governor General of Canada.  Geoff was made a Member of the Order of Canada, recognition of his outstanding service to the field of rehabilitation science and his passionate advocacy for practical and applicable science which solves real problems for people.  Anyone who has spent any time with Geoff knows that he'll continue his work and his advocacy as he steps away from his role as Director of Research at Toronto Rehab.

And finally, a warm welcome to Michael Burns who joined us on January 2 as the new President & CEO of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.  You can find the announcement about Michael's appointment here.


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