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

  • TeamUHN and the community came together on June 21 to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day and the Summer Solstice with a sunrise ceremony at the Michener Gitigan (garden). We thank the Indigenous Health Program (IHP) for hosting such a meaningful event and all those TeamUHN members who were there at 6 a.m. to participate. As Indigenous History Month nears its end, the IHP encourages TeamUHN to continue to join community events offering opportunities to learn more about the contributions and traditions of the First Nation, Inuit, and Métis peoples of this country.
  • A team from UHN's Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute and the University of Toronto's Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences performed a record 190 surgeries over four days on a recent teaching and surgical mission to Costa Rica. Dr. Allan Slomovic and colleagues from U. of T., Drs. Amandeep Rai and Randal Ulate, began bringing surgical fellows and senior residents to the Central American country seven years ago to train ophthalmologists and perform cataracts, corneal transplants, oculoplastics and pterygium surgeries. This year, TeamUHN members, including residents and a cornea fellow, shared their skills at a local hospital in Puntarenas, where 2,000 patients are on the wait list for eye surgery. As Dr. Slomovic told UHN News, the trip is not just about serving patients in a country with low surgical capacity but training the next generation of surgeons – all in service of A Healthier World. "Some of these patients have waited for up to six to seven years for a cataract surgery," Dr. Slomovic said. “Knowing that we are able to help them to see again is incredibly rewarding." Read more in UHN News. Be sure to check out this Instagram video on their journey.
  • Congratulations to Janet Griffin, Chair, and the six new members of the West Park Foundation Board of Directors. Janet, a Corporate Director and Independent Financial Services Professional, has been a member of the Board since 2017 and has served as Vice-Chair since 2020 as well as Chair of the Foundation's Finance & Audit Committee. We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to Georgina Steinsky for her leadership and years of service, steering the Foundation through West Park's redevelopment and the launch of the Get Your Life Back capital campaign. Georgina was a member of the Foundation Board from 2015-2024, serving as Chair since 2018.
  • The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation is proud to announce the launch of its 2024 Annual Report. The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre's team of renowned scientists, researchers, and health care professionals are making cancer breakthroughs that transform patient outcomes around the world. Their revolutionary discoveries inspired this year's theme: The Future of Cancer Breakthroughs. The annual report features the team at The Princess Margaret and how they continue to innovate and achieve life-changing results for cancer patients, including Luana Locke who has overcome six different cancer diagnoses since the age of 25 thanks to breakthroughs in early detection and donor-funded research. The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation extends deep gratitude to its proud community of supporters for their steadfast commitment to Conquering Cancer In Our Lifetime.
  • June 19th was Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) Awareness Day. SCD is an inherited blood disorder. Under stressful conditions, the red blood cells of people with SCD become crescent-shaped, causing intense pain and damage to bones and organs. While SCD can impact all people, in Canada, SCD disproportionately impacts Black communities, who face a distinct form of discrimination. In 2023, Ontario Health launched its SCD Quality Standard, affirming anti-Black racism is real. The Anti-Racism & Anti-Black Racism policy commits UHN to understanding how systemic racism yields unequal access for Black, Indigenous, and racialized peoples. UHN leaders can request anti-racism education to better serve equity-deserving groups. UHN's Red Blood Cell Disorders Clinic (RBCD) is dedicated to managing SCD using a wholistic approach that recognizes the resilience, coping strategies, and dreams of impacted people. Learn more by visiting the RBCD Hub – the official Blog of the RBCD Clinic!

Video of the Week

And now… our video of the week. In this clip, UHN Porter Paige Papagiannis shows off the benefits of new self-propelling stretchers.


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Have a good week,


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