As we all prepare for Dr. Kevin Smith’s arrival as incoming CEO on May 22, I realize that I will miss these weekly opportunities to reflect on UHN. Last week was especially moving and explains why I never tire of saying how proud I am of our people.

Mayor John Tory proclaimed April 12, 2018 “Jersey Day”, inviting everyone to wear jerseys in support of the families of the Humboldt Broncos. I was moved by how our staff came together so naturally and instinctively in this sign of compassion and proud to see many jerseys in person and through numerous photos sent my way. 

Jersey Day
Staff from Occupational Health and Safety and the Division of Medical Oncology & Hematology (Princess Margaret) show full support for Jersey Day

Another thing for us to proud of: The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre team received some well-deserved recognition for their work to improve patient care. The Canadian College of Health Leaders honoured them for their work with Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC). For those who don’t know, PMCC partnered with TBRHSC to bring cardiovascular services to underserviced communities in northwestern Ontario—meaning that patients living in the area are able to access the high-quality care they’d receive at PMCC without the stress and expense of having to travel 1,000 km. UHN is renowned for delivering comprehensive, innovative care so it is important we partner with other hospitals like this to share our knowledge and maximize the number of patients we can help. Congratulations to all involved.

Last week, I also had the pleasure of personally touring some supporters through some of our sites. We ran into Geoff Fernie and delegates from the Netherlands while touring the labs at Toronto Rehab with Milos Popovic, the Director of Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. Our guests seemed impressed by this and the fact we recently had the Honourable Reza Moridi (Minister of Research, Innovation and Science) in the same space just a few months ago. We get the opportunity to host many high-profile guests across UHN and this is really thanks to the results of everyone’s consistent hard work and dedication. So thank you.

Touring some guests with Milos and Netherlands delegation
Touring some guests with Milos; Geoff and myself with the Netherlands delegation


Speaking of dedication, this week is National Volunteer Week. I encourage you all to make the personal effort to thank at least one of our volunteers—you can spot them by their maroon vests. These folks generously donate their time and are vital to what we do. Take a lookat these stories on UHN News if you don’t know what I’m talking about. We are also lucky to have an engaged Board of Trustees who volunteer their time and talents to make UHN a better place for our patients, staff and communities.

On a sobering note, I must tell you that last week there was a very serious accident that happened on University Avenue involving one of our nurses and a student. They were both hit, with one person sustaining serious injuries. In the past I have been one of the people dashing across between Princess Margaret, Toronto Rehab and Toronto General. But, this is a sobering event and I will be crossing at the lights from this point forward. Better to be a few minutes late to a meeting than risk your life. Please take the time to cross at the lights and keep yourself safe.

And finally – and I know this message is a long one – the week ended with the March for Science on Saturday. It was a cold and wet day at City Hall but our UHN team was out in full force. The signs say it all – Research Saves Lives – and my thanks to everyone who attended and to the StRIDE team who organized all of us for the March for Science. You’ll see the whole UHN group in the photo below and can read more about the March for Science here from The Conversation.


March for Science 2018
UHN staff at the March for Science. (Photo credit: UHN Strategic Research Initiatives Development - StRIDe)


Thanks for a great week. Looking forward to the one ahead.


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