Good morning, 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

  • New research by UHN scientists shows a deceased donor pancreas organ can safely be sustained outside the body for up to four hours when put on an ex vivo perfusion system. That's longer than any other study to date. This method of sustaining donor organs outside the body – 'ex vivo' – was pioneered at UHN and allows for organs to be repaired and treated so that they may become suitable for transplant. The results are a crucial step towards demonstrating ex vivo perfusion is a safe and viable method to recondition and repair a donor pancreas for transplant or islet cell isolation."This goes a long way to reaching our ultimate goal of increasing the donor pool and improving outcomes for patients in need of a pancreas transplant." says Dr. Reichman, Surgical Director of the Pancreas and Islet Transplant Program at UHN's Ajmera Transplant Centre. Read more on UHN News
  • As of July 11, the Joint Department of Medical Imaging (UHN, Sinai Health, and Women's College Hospital) is accepting digital referrals through Ocean eReferral. External providers are now able to send medical imaging requisitions to UHN using the Ocean eReferral system. This is a huge milestone for UHN's Outpatient Care Strategy! This will help streamline the referral process, meaning patients get appointments sooner. Providers and UHN teams save time through improved completeness of referrals, streamlined communication with referrers, and automated creation of electronic patient records, orders, and appointment information. Medical imaging is leading the way as the first UHN department to implement bi-directional integration between Ocean and Epic. Previously launched in November 2022 in The Division of Medical Oncology & Hematology and Radiation Medicine Program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, more areas across UHN will be implementing Ocean eReferral over the next few years, furthering our priorities to unleash the power of technology while putting the needs of patients first.
  • Congratulations to new Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow, who was sworn in last Wednesday. Chow, a former city councilor and member of Parliament, has made history as the city's first racialized mayor. She made several health-related promises during the recent mayoral byelection, including pledges to expand community crisis teams city-wide and establish an Emergency Response Transformation Team to explore ways to improve 911 response times. She also promised to create 1,000 new rent supplements to help those experiencing homelessness to exit the shelter system and build new 24/7 respite centres. The City of Toronto is a valued partner with UHN, including with the construction of Social Medicine Supportive Housing in Parkdale. We look forward to working with Mayor Chow to advance our ambitions.
  • I wanted to highlight two UHN News stories last week focused on TeamUHN members doing important work that doesn't always get the spotlight.

    The first article features Drs. Sarah Levitt and Daniel Rosenbaum, staff psychiatrists at UHN's Centre for Mental Health leading calls to integrate environmental determinants of health into mental health care practice. Recognizing the climate crisis as the "largest existential threat of our time," Dr. Levitt told UHN News it will “have a big effect on mental health at a population level and we need to be prepared for that." Read UHN News to learn more about the pair's efforts to educate and advocate on this issue.

    The second shone a light on UHN's Dental Oncology team and how Princess Margaret Cancer Centre provides dental care to patients as part of their cancer therapy. As Dr. Michael Glogauer, Chief of Dentistry at UHN, told UHN News, “dentistry often gets overlooked in a patient's medical journey." The dental team takes proactive steps to minimize risks for head and neck cancer patients who receive radiation, which can affect saliva production and spur tooth decay. Drs. Glogauer and Erin Watson, Deputy Chief of Dentistry at UHN, are leading Canada's sole dental oncology fellowship at the University of Toronto, and a cancer and transplant-specific dental management night clinic for dentistry students. Read the full story on UHN News.

  • Have your say and help shape the development of a new UHN Quality & Safety Strategic Plan. Share your thoughts on key priorities for improvement by taking this brief survey today. Interested in sharing further ideas? Attend one of two virtual Town Halls on July 26th 12-1pm, or August 15th 12-1pm. Enter your email to be sent the meeting-invite, and contact or for more information.
  • View the livestream recording from the Project Aspire Town Hall. Last week, Dr. Allan Okrainec and Ms. Kendra Willis, Clinical Sponsors of Project Aspire, hosted an employee Town Hall in the TWH Auditorium to provide important updates, as well as an opportunity to ask questions about what's happening as we prepare to build this exciting new surgical and patient tower. Watch the livestream recording of the town hall here, and visit the Project Aspire website to learn more.

What happened at the Executive Leadership Forum meeting

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 Thursday, July 13.

Strategic Plan Discussion

  • The Executive Leadership Forum gathered at the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation offices last Thursday for an afternoon-long, in-person meeting to discuss top priorities and considerations for UHN's future. Included in this discussion was a preliminary review of refreshed Strategic Directions for UHN, which are being built off of UHN's Strategic Plan 2019-23, and key takeaways from the TeamUHN Strategy Refresh Kick-off Survey and other engagement conducted to date. It's exciting to see this work take shape, and I look forward to bringing a broader strategy update to TeamUHN in Fall 2023.

Closing Notes

Registration is open for UHN Foundation's Rally for Rehab! As we know, patients at Toronto Rehab undergo rehabilitation to overcome the challenges of debilitating health conditions. As a continuation of their care journey after receiving treatment at UHN or elsewhere, patients come to Toronto Rehab to regain their strength, relearn vital life skills and discover new ways to approach daily tasks so they can return to their lives. TeamUHN works every day to help them thrive and reach their full potential. On Sunday, September 10 , join the annual Rally for Rehab, presented by BMO, for a day of family-friendly activities and an accessible walk. I encourage TeamUHN to participate in this event and rally for those who have benefitted from rehabilitation at some point in their lives, by supporting research, education, and enhanced patient care at Toronto Rehab. Join as an individual or round up your co-workers, family, and friends to Rally for Rehab. Register now!

I was proud to see UHN selected as one of Canada's Best Employers for Diversity 2023 by Forbes and Statista. While there is always more work to do, this recognition highlights our principle of valuing differences in background, culture, and ethnicity, and our understanding that diversity is an incredible strength. See the full list on

Don't miss this UHN News story on a cancer survivor who won The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation's Early Bird cottage prize in 2021, valued at $1.7 million. Eric Nguyen said his treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma in 2009 left him with a resolve to contribute to cancer research and efforts to find a cure. "I received first-class health care treatment from the Canadian health care system," he said. "I want everyone to have the same experience I had." Now cancer-free, Eric, his wife, and their two children spend more weekends at their cottage on Buckhorn Lake. The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation runs three lotteries annually to give away amazing properties and homes worth millions. The funds raised are directed towards the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre's highest research priorities and support programs. Since 1996, the program has raised more than $575 million for cancer research. Read the full story on UHN News. To learn more or to purchase a ticket, visit

And now.. our video of the week. In this clip, Dr. Charles Nator, Emeritus Scientist at Krembil Brain Institute and Director of Canadian Concussion Centre explains the five signs of a concussion.


Your feedback is welcome and valued. Please reply directly to me or leave anonymous feedback here.

Have a good week,


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