Good Monday morning,

Before we start the week, let’s give a big UHN round of applause for the Raptors making history! Proud moment for us as Torontonians and Canadians.

1. Highlights on UHN's Essentials

UHN’s Essentials are essential to the work we do as a leading academic health sciences centre – hence the name! Read here to learn more. Below, you’ll find highlights on UHN’s Essentials from last week.

Compassionate Care and Caring  Last week, I stopped by one of our sites to visit a friend who is receiving treatment. I observed an impressive nursing student who introduced himself and why he was there, and asked what he could do for each patient in the four bedroom. As discussed in this enduring BMJ post, introducing yourself to patients and families is not just a courtesy and a key part of the patient experience – it is essential to high quality and safe care.

People and Culture  CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research) recognizes UHN’s Tak Mak with the 2018 Gold Leaf Prize for Discovery: Tak is receiving this prestigious national award for his breakthrough discovery of the T-cell receptor, often referred to as “the holy grail of immunology.” Toronto is a global destination for renowned scientific talent and Tak is a perfect example of how our city is home to some of the world’s best and brightest. UHN is truly fortunate to enjoy the long term leadership of Tak whose exemplary science has changed the landscape and understanding of genetics, oncology and biochemistry.

People and Culture  Joy Richards (UHN’s Chief Health Professions and Vice President, Patient Experience) was nominated and selected to become a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing: Hearty congratulations to Joy, as this is one of the highest honours that can be given to a nursing leader. The Fellowship recognizes a lifetime of commitment to the profession of nursing and mentorship of young professionals. We know at UHN that this work extends to all health professions and to supporting the organization in its work to embed patients as partners in everything we do.

Quality and Safety  Safety achievement for the Coronary Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre: 419 days since the last case of Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia (VAP). Key to achieving results like these are relentlessly following the standard approach – every time. Hats off to the team in the CICU!  

Partnerships  Digital Health & Discovery Platform – which includes UHN’s Princess Margaret Cancer Centre – receives $49 M from the Government of Canada: We express our deepest thanks to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada for granting these needed and impactful funds through their Strategic Innovation Fund. To learn more about what this means for cancer research and how the platform will power the Marathon of Hope Cancer Centres Network, read the UHN News story here.  

Partnerships  The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade launched Round 10 of the Ontario Research Fund’s Research Excellence program. Research is integral to growing a vibrant economy and more than 18,000 researchers and research staff work in Ontario’s hospitals. UHN looks forward to applying to a program that supports internationally significant research and A Healthier World. Application guidelines to be released soon. We are especially grateful that Premier Doug Ford and our Government of Ontario are making these needed and worthy investments in research that really matters.

2. UHN’s Health Information System (HIS): Introducing Barry Rubin and Terri Stuart-McEwan as our advisory committee co-chairs

As you know we’ve begun our journey of clinical transformation – which will be a marriage of clinical excellence, compassionate care and advanced technology. To help us navigate this implementation, we’re forming an Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee which will be co-chaired by Barry Rubin (Program Medical Director, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre) and Terri Stuart-McEwan (Executive Director, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre). Thank you to both of these esteemed colleagues for accepting this important role. They are both experienced leaders with a track record of making principled decisions in the face of challenging operational constraints. Together with the entire committee, they will work with all of you to help drive decision-making throughout our clinical transformation and hold us accountable on our commitment to patients, families and TeamUHN.

3. Increasing transparency at UHN: Highlights from UHN’s Board of Trustees meeting 

This week, I’ll be sending an email to everyone containing highlights from our May 22 Board of Trustees meeting. In addition to giving you the heads up, I want to note this is part of our ongoing commitment to transparency at UHN. Here are some of the efforts we’ve made over the last year:

  • Open Forums – an event where members of TeamUHN are invited to submit anonymous questions: At these events, I respond to the questions with the most votes on Slido (our Q&A platform) in person. I know many groups including Nursing, the Toronto Western Family Health Team, and Finance have also started using Slido to facilitate transparent two-way dialogue within their own team. I am a huge supporter of this. We’ve also taken your suggestions in the feedback surveys and made adjustments to the format, including reading the questions verbatim instead of paraphrasing.
  • Open Forum Online Q&A page: I’m committed to providing written responses to all your anonymous questions in partnership with many colleagues here. My apologies at the delayed response time – I look forward to catching up over the summer when things hopefully slow down a bit.
  • Executive Leadership Forum​ Meetings: We share the agenda items from our bi-weekly items now in my weekly update.
  • Board of Trustees Meetings: Moving forward, we will be sharing highlights will TeamUHN.

The expectation of TeamUHN – especially leaders – is that we communicate with respect, civility and transparency in mind. If you have any ideas on what we could do to increase our shared sense of trust and partnership, please reply and let me know.

Have a good week, 


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