Good Tuesday morning,

I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend. Before we start another productive week, let's take a moment to thank our colleagues who were working during the holiday break in service of patients, families and caregivers.

1. North American first: Paired living liver exchange thanks to the involvement of 100+ members of TeamUHN

My weekly update typically starts with highlights on our Essentials but the impact and teamwork here warrants loud and enthusiastic celebration. Last week, Toronto General's De Gasperis Conservatory was filled with reporters keen to learn about the remarkable story of husband and wife, Muhammad and Hina Khan, as well as the incredible generosity of living liver donor Kelly Bryan. Kelly donated more than half of her liver to Muhammad, and his wife Hina in turn donated more than half of her liver to another stranger. This paired living liver exchange is the first in North America and saved the lives of two failing liver patients. Thanks to the many, many members of TeamUHN who made this happen including transplant surgeon David Grant and transplant coordinator Zubaida Mohamed. UHN is home to North America’s largest adult transplant program and this is another example of the remarkable work we support every day.

2. UHN's 2019 Board of Trustees Retreat

Another important topic: What we discussed at last week's annual Board of Trustees retreat, which was an opportunity to engage our Board in a focused conversation about UHN's future directions. UHN is fortunate to have an extremely high-performing Board volunteering its time and talents to help us deliver on our vision of A Healthier World. I had the opportunity to speak about the key areas that will allow us to do this and unlock our potential as a true health system – maximizing the "HN" in "UHN": physical and digital infrastructure renewal, business analytics, Health Information System, organizational development and design, Integrated Comprehensive Care Program, and health and social policy. Success in these areas will determine our ability to serve patients, families and caregivers and provide the best quality of work life for TeamUHN.

Many thanks to all our presenters who helped shaped an inspiring day:

Julie Drury (Chair, Patient and Family Advisory Council for the Ontario MOHLTC) who spoke about the evolution of patient engagement. In short, patients, families and caregivers are already "engaged" and we must take the next step in healthcare by creating meaningful partnerships. Julie and the Council have had direct input into how patients will be embedded into Ontario Health Teams moving forward – great news for our goal of co-designing tomorrow's care.

Deputy Minister of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) Helen Angus who shared her insights on the recent changes in Ontario healthcare – including how Premier Ford's government is open to innovative approaches on changing healthcare for the better while working towards a path of financial balance.

Carolyn Gosse (Vice President of St. Joseph's Health System) who shared the results of the integrated care work we did at St. Joseph's Health System – including improved patient and provider experience plus a 30% reduction in readmissions and Emergency Department visits. Signals an exciting future for UHN's Integrated Comprehensive Care Program, launching in June!

Andrew Boozary (Executive Director, Health and Social Policy, UHN) who spoke to our social mission and recent eye-opening data: Less than 8% of UHN patients make up 25% of our Emergency Department visits – and more than 50% of UHN's high-need patients with chronic disease are living in low-income neighbourhoods. If we're to deliver on A Healthier World at UHN, then we must drive forth a strategy that integrates the social needs of patients to improve health outcomes.

Panellists: Shiran Isaacksz (Senior Director, Connected Care, UHN), who shared more about the future of UHN's Integrated Comprehensive Care program; Heather Ross (Division Head, Cardiology, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre), who discussed using innovative technologies including Medley to maximize impact and lower costs; in addition to Carolyn, Andrew and Julie.

UHN Patient Partners who made time in their schedules to participate in the day and ask insightful questions, including how we can better partner with the City of Toronto to drive integrated care and our social agenda forward.

3. Highlights on UHN's Essentials

UHN's Essentials are essential to the work we do as a leading academic health sciences centre – hence the name! Below, you’ll find highlights on UHN's Essentials from last week.

Compassionate Care and Caring Reflect on lessons learned from patients and families: In advance of Patient Experience Week, some colleagues from UHN's Patient Experience team invited me to fill out a "lessons learned from patients and families" card at Toronto General's Patient and Family Library. Download, print and fill out this form [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available] and share it on Twitter or message This opportunity came on the heels of an exceptional presentation on patient partnership at our Board Retreat (see more below), so it was a prime time to reflect. Patients spend more than 8,700 hours per year living with a chronic illness and average two hours a day managing their condition. As we discussed at the retreat, patients are already "engaged." It's time to partner with them and bring them meaningfully to the table (we're making good progress with Patient Partners on every Quality of Care Committee at UHN!). Stay tuned for more.

Quality and Safety Work underway to prepare for Accreditation Canada’s visit (Sept. 16-20, 2019): Accreditation – the process where an organization's services are externally assessed against Required Organizational Practices – can be a stressful time but the intent is to ensure we're meeting all the standards deemed required of a high performing hospital. We value external assessment at UHN and Accreditation helps us see how we're doing on our quality and safety journey from an independent, third-party perspective. Because of the size and complexity of UHN, this year's survey will be focused on particular standard sets (See what's in scope for this year's survey). This is part of our move from a 4-year cycle to a more frequent 2-year cycle of smaller surveys. If you have any questions please email our Accreditation colleagues at

4. What we discussed at our Executive Leadership Forum meeting

For those catching up, we share the agenda items of our Executive Leadership Forum meetings in support of transparency at UHN. Last week, we discussed two agenda items:

  • Presentation from Medtronic: Canadian and U.S. colleagues from Medtronic engaged with UHN’s Executive Leadership Forum members on strategic directions related to predictive analytics, home-based monitoring and emerging technologies. We explored how, together, we could amplify our data collection capabilities to advance research. This was an informational presentation.
  • UHN Finance Update: Darlene Dasent, our Chief Financial Officer, presented an update on our 2019/20 operating plan, 2019/20 capital plan, and Health Information System (HIS) financing strategy.

Have a good week,


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