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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.
I would like to start by thanking all of TeamUHN for being here for our patients and each other, every single day. The Omicron Wave is testing us in ways that we never could have imagined when we chose a career in healthcare, but I will start the new year focusing on the things I am thankful for, even during this challenging time.
I am immensely thankful to the global research community. Scientific research over the last 20 years, has not only allowed us to have the COVID-19 vaccines we have today, but also yielded other possibilities to overcome the pandemic, such as the paxlovid pill which is shown to ease symptoms in infected people before they worsen and require hospitalization. Yes, you can still be infected even after receiving three doses of a vaccine, however, in virtually all cases, it is a mild infection and does not lead to hospitalization. With the numbers of positive cases in the province currently in the tens of thousands, just think where we would be today without vaccines, the vaccination effort, and everyone's willingness to become vaccinated.
I also want to thank the many learners who chose UHN to advance their knowledge and mastery in disciplines too numerous to name. Your flexibility during this pandemic – literally shifting learning objectives and modalities repeatedly – and always with good humour, demonstrates what great professionals you have become.
I am also thankful for the people who serve as volunteers on our Board of Trustees. While most of you do not see the support they offer to UHN, I see it on a daily basis. UHN's Board of Trustees attracts individuals with wisdom and experience in leading very large organizations and they are always there for us and never more so than in this pandemic.
I will close by thanking our patients who entrust us with their care at one of the most difficult times in their lives. To be ill during this challenging time is to be deprived of the support of family and friends or to be scheduled for care, only to be rescheduled – possibly a number of times. It is an almost impossible situation for patients, their families and the people who care for them while they are with us. I know many of you step in to roles normally reserved for family and friends and that it takes a toll. Thank you for bearing that burden and for your humanity and compassion in accepting it.
In response to COVID-19, UHN has re-activated its Executive COVID-19 IMS (Incident Management System) table and we are meeting on a daily basis. Membership includes our Executive Leadership Forum and other members of COVID-19 work streams. This is a snapshot of the discussions this past week.
UHN's Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) represents a broad range of voices and skill sets from across the organization and provides direction and oversight in service of patients, TeamUHN and our vision of A Healthier World. See the full membership on
The last ELF meeting was held on January 6, 2022.
Synapse Update: The mission of the Synapse project is to have a safe and effective transition to a new health information system (HIS) powered by Epic on June 4, 2022. We are entering the homestretch of this project. While the pandemic once again presents unexpected circumstances, the team dedicated to the project — and the thousands of stakeholders from across UHN who contribute to this clinical transformation — continue to rise to the challenge to ensure we stay on track for delivering a better future for patients and all of TeamUHN. Training the 16,000+ members of TeamUHN who will use the Epic system is essential. Managers and providers are encouraged to visit the Training Registration page of the Synapse site for information about the registration process and how the Synapse project team is ready to help you complete this critical task.
On January 7th, many of our colleagues celebrated Orthodox Christmas which occurs every January 7 because the Orthodox Church celebrates the birth of Jesus according to the Julian calendar. The Gregorian calendar, in use today, led to a new Christmas Day on December 25 because of the changes to the calendar year. On behalf of UHN's Board of Trustees and Senior Management Forum, wishing those who celebrated on January 7, a joyful and merry Christmas.
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Have a good week, Kevin