Dear Colleagues

I am writing to everyone at UHN on the second day of my appointment as Interim Chief Executive Officer, to say that I am honoured to be asked to serve in this role as the Board of Trustees searches for UHN’s next CEO.  I have had conversations and e-mail exchanges with many people at UHN and some people externally.  I thank all of you for your support and encouragement.

In conversation with Brian Porter, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, it is clear that the Board wants all of us to continue on the foundational elements of Caring Safely, Patient Experience, Operational Excellence and People and Culture.  It strikes me that we all want to work in a place where teamwork and support is the norm, and where our patients experience the very best care in the safest of environments.  To do that, we all need to leverage our resources to ensure that every dollar we’re given is spent to the maximum benefit of our patients.  Having been at UHN for over twenty-two years, I can say that this has always been true and the work of the past two and a half years since Peter arrived has driven a focus and a commitment in these foundational elements.

A couple of weeks ago I completed the last of the leadership sessions for Caring Safely.  The final session was capped for me by a scenario in which a member of the standardized patient program was part of a role-playing debrief of a critical incident.  I’d like to thank Brian Hodges for suggesting that this role-playing would bring to life for our leaders the feelings of a staff member who was involved in a critical incident.  I could see the emotions in the room as the actor vividly portrayed what it felt like to be a novice nurse who knew something was wrong as a patient’s condition deteriorated but didn’t know how to ask for help or perhaps was afraid to ask for that help.  The scenario was based on an incident that happened here at UHN.  I came away thinking that the training, the discussions and the focus we have on Caring Safely is essential to creating a culture of safety where we all do what we can to ensure that no patient and no colleague comes to harm.

I’ll end this first note by saying that I will be in touch every week and that your questions or concerns can be sent directly to me at​  and I will do my best to respond – either by e-mail to the sender or, if the topic is one of general interest, through this weekly message.

Again, my thanks for your support.


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