Good afternoon, 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 Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is preparing for negotiations with the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) as the current contract expires on March 31, 2023. The OHA bargains on behalf of all hospitals in the Province of Ontario which have ONA locals. The bargaining process establishes a contract which stipulates the agreements reached at the bargaining table on pay, benefits, and working conditions for ONA members. With a contract in place, members and hospitals have a document which outlines pay, benefits, working conditions, and other elements reached at the table.

    The OHA has let all hospitals know that ONA plans a public campaign related to the upcoming negotiations. ONA members will be encouraged by their union to participate in this campaign which may include social media, stickers for members on the bargaining priorities, and other means of letting people know what the priorities for ONA are at the bargaining table. UHN respects the rights of members to participate in this campaign, and union leadership has told the OHA that there are no plans to affect the operations of any hospital.

    UHN is fully supportive of the approach that all negotiations should take place at the bargaining table rather than in the public domain. This means that communications to members and hospitals will come directly through ONA in the case of members and the OHA in the case of hospitals.

    Nurses are critically important to patients, family members, and to all members of TeamUHN. We recognize that the pandemic years have been extremely stressful and, through it all, nurses at UHN have risen to every challenge and have always been there for patients, families, and their colleagues. We know that the work of the negotiators is important and hope that the work at the table proceeds rapidly to a settlement that is supported by all parties.

  • Congratulations to Shereli Soldevilla, a nurse practitioner (NP) in cardiovascular surgery who was recently awarded the Ontario Award of Excellence from the Nurse Practitioner Association of Canada (NPAC). These annual awards recognize an NP in each province and territory who has demonstrated "excellence in clinical practice, leadership, advocacy, research, or education and has shown efforts to advance the image, profile, and visibility at the provincial and territorial level." Shereli's colleagues describe her as a passionate professional who brings enthusiasm to her role and any challenge. She has been at UHN since 2010, in a variety of roles, including nursing student, patient care coordinator, and ICU nurse, and in her NP role since 2017. A hearty congrats for making UHN proud, Shereli. Learn more on the NPAC website.
  • Starting this week, many UHN clinics will begin using the myUHN messaging feature with patients. This is very exciting as this is something our patients have been asking for and aligns with UHN's Patient Declaration of Values along with improving clinical efficiency. As we move into the Spring, additional clinics will continue to be onboarded to ensure that their workflows can be incorporated with the feature. Please see this SBAR for more details. For more information, please contact, Laura Williams or Vas Bakas at
  • Did you miss last week's seminar by Dr. Jaideep Bains, Director of the Krembil Research Institute, on the physiological impact of stress on the brain? Check out the recording of the event below, which was held on Bell Let's Talk Day and asked the question: "Is My Stress Your Stress?" Learn more about what science is telling us about the long-term impacts of stress on the most complex organ in our body. Dr. Bains also appeared on CBC Metro Morning to discuss his research.
  • My site visits continued last week with stops at the Princess Margaret 17A nursing station and the stroke unit at Toronto Rehab's University Centre facility. It has been wonderful to learn more about how each unit is contributing to UHN and finding ways to provide quality care for our patients and families. It is clear that TeamUHN goes above and beyond for the patients we are privileged to serve. I am enjoying speaking with TeamUHN members and look forward to more visits each week.

Closing Notes

Sunday was the National Day of Remembrance of the Quebec City Mosque Attack and Action against Islamophobia. We remember the six people who were killed and the 19 others who were injured six years ago during the horrific attack at the Centre culturel islamique de Québec in Sainte-Foy. We proudly stand with our Muslim colleagues and TeamUHN members to say that Islamophobia has no place at UHN or anywhere in our country. We remember the victims, we honour the resilience of the Muslim community in Canada, and we embrace our collective responsibility to confront and dispel Islamophobia.

In recognition of World Cancer Day, The Princess Margaret Ride to Conquer Cancer, which raises millions of dollars annually for UHN's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre will host an event in the lobby of The Princess Margaret on Feb. 3 from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. Ride participants, cancer survivors, and doctors will be spinning 200+ km, representing the challenge of The Ride. Princess Margaret/UHN Riders are invited to stop by, have a coffee and take a spin. The event will be hosted beside the Foundation desk located in the central part of the main floor at 610 University Ave. World Cancer Day is an international day marked on Feb. 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. This year's theme is "Close the Care Gap."

UHN is in the process of strengthening our employee experience and better preparing our people for the future of work. We understand it's been a very challenging past few years, and we know it is time for a change. Our People Survey will help us better understand what currently makes UHN a great place to work and where we can do better. We want to hear from you. Your voice is critical to designing a path forward for our workforce that is future-focused, impactful, and actionable. To access the survey, please click the link below. The survey will remain open until February 3rd. The survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete. The data we collect is 100 percent confidential and results are only reported in summary form only. If you have any questions about this survey, please contact Christopher Aiken, Leader, Strategy & Planning for People & Culture at UHN People Survey Link:

A happy retirement to Gloria Valderrama and Jennifer Lavia, an inseparable, powerhouse duo in UHN Nutrition Services who have worked together for 46 years. This UHN News story captures the wonderful friendship and collegiality these two have shared for decades and why they decided to retire together on Jan. 31. Gloria began her career with Nutrition Services as a dietary aide in 1975 at Toronto Rehab's E.W. Bickle Centre, then called Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Jennifer started in 1977 and, in time, they both moved to the Nutrition Centre at Toronto Rehab on University Ave. where they have worked in various roles. "I enjoy what I'm doing for the patients," Gloria told UHN News. We wish them both all the very best in retirement with lots of time for travel and well-earned relaxation. Read the full UHN News story for more.

A patient-led research team from UHN's Ajmera Transplant Centre has received a four-year funding grant of US$2 million from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to research primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a rare inflammatory pediatric disease. The team is working in partnership the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research at the University of Toronto, SickKids hospital, and patient partners organization, PSC Partners Seeking a Cure. As part of the research team, patient partners will give input throughout the study. "Team-based science is the future," said Dr. Ian McGilvray, a team member and surgeon who is Head of Liver and Pancreas Surgery at UHN's Sprott Department of Surgery. PSC is a chronic liver disease that damages the bile ducts inside and outside of the liver, causing damage that can lead to liver failure and necessitate a transplant to survive. Learn more about how researchers hope to unlock the mysteries of this rare disease.

Check out this UHN News story on how the widespread adoption of virtual care during the pandemic has been a silver lining for both patients and providers. The UHN Centre for Mental Health has seen more than 80 per cent of its outpatient appointments conducted virtually since the start of the crisis, with patients appreciating the greater flexibility and privacy of virtual appointments. "Mental health has been a shining star for virtual care," Jennifer Catton, Director, Outpatient Strategy & Diagnostic Performance, told UHN News. The story also captures how RESTORE, a completely free intervention designed by Dr. Kathryn Trottier, Clinical Lead of UHN's Eating Disorders Program, is helping people with extremely stressful experiences related to the pandemic find improvements with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. As we've long said, UHN aims to use the power of technology and virtual tools to create better experiences, outcomes, and efficiencies for our patients, families, and providers. Read the full story. Learn more about RESTORE here.

And now... our TikTok of the week. In light of World Cancer Day and its theme – "Close the Care Gap" – this video shows how UHN's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is fostering an inclusive environment with all-gender washrooms.


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Have a good week,


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