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.

Reminders and updates

  • University Health Network is delighted to soon welcome West Park Healthcare into the UHN family. At the Virtual Open Forum hosted at UHN last week, I was joined by West Park Healthcare CEO Anne-Marie Malek to announce that the Ministry of Health approved our plans for a voluntary integration, effective April 1. We thank all those who contributed to the success of our application through focus groups, interviews, and surveys. Catch up on the Open Forum here or by clicking on the image below.
  • UHN was pleased to host Dr. Karima Velji, Chief of Nursing and Professional Practice and Assistant Deputy Minister for the Province of Ontario, last week. Dr. Velji is a leader and advocate for nurses who challenges us to reimagine models of care to better serve patients. She toured Toronto Western, where she met with many UHN nurses. Earlier this month, Dr. Velji also delivered a virtual presentation for UHN nurses across our sites, where she encouraged nurses and health professionals to remain dedicated to the needs of patients, support learners and newly hired staff to provide high-quality care and keep an open mind to evolve novel, team-based models of care. UHN continues to work with the Ministry of Health on several important initiatives to retain and support nurses, including the Nursing Graduate Guarantee (NGG), which gives new graduate nurses in Ontario temporary full-time employment to support their tradition to practice. This fiscal year, UHN hired 186 nurses with the support of the NGG program – 155 Registered Nurses and 31 Registered Practical Nurses. We thank Dr. Velji for the visit and for promoting the indispensable role nurses play as clinicians, leaders, mentors, and researchers. Dr. Velji plans to return this spring to tour units at Toronto General Hospital, Princess Margaret, and Toronto Rehab.
  • UHN, always focused on technology and innovation to advance the patient experience, is using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help prevent colon cancer. Endoscopists at Toronto Western Hospital are among the first to perform AI-assisted colonoscopies in daily clinical practice, using the tool to detect potentially cancerous polyps that may have been overlooked by the human eye due to their shape and size. It has been a year since UHN began performing AI-assisted colonoscopies, and, among the 240 colonoscopies a month at Toronto Western Hospital, two-thirds have the help of AI. In an interview with UHN News, Dr. Thurarshen Jeyalingam said it is as if he has been given a second set of eyes. Please read more on UHN News, an excellent story to mark Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
  • Congratulations once again to Mark Spencer, UHN's new Executive Vice President, People & Culture. He has been appointed after a national search and comes to us from Revera, a national organization providing long-term care homes and retirement residences, where he served as Chief People Officer. Mark also taught and mentored future human resources professionals at Humber College. We are very excited that he is bringing his extensive human resources experience to UHN and the Executive Leadership Forum. His first day is April 2.
  • March 31 is the International Transgender Day of Visibility (ITDoV) which originated in 2010 to raise awareness of the discrimination and violence that trans communities face globally. While trans observances tend to be remembrances, the ITDoV celebrates the contributions of trans people, empowering authenticity, and promoting education to dismantle transphobia. At UHN, we are committed to continue learning about the issues trans healthcare professionals and patients face. In observance of ITDoV, consider viewing the previously recorded Health Talk, hosted by Patient Education & Engagement in collaboration with the UHN 2SLGBTQIA+ Committee, in which issues faced by trans people are discussed along with ways to counter transphobia. Trans people's identities also intersect across racial, ethnic, and sexual orientation identities among other identities of oppression. We thank the UHN 2SLGBTQIA+ Committee for its leadership and continued solidarity with UHN's Indigenous Health Program, Accessibility Advisory Committee, Black Legacy Committee, Pan Asian Committee, Jewish Advisory, Salaam Committee, and all equity-seeking groups at UHN.

Closing Notes

Season 3 of the Krembil Brain Institute's award-winning podcast 'Your Complex Brain' has officially launched! Upcoming episodes include: What women need to know about stroke prevention and recovery; Can loneliness re-wire your brain?; And key lifestyle modifications that can reduce your chances of Alzheimer's by up to 40%. Hear from patients living with neurological conditions and their families, as well as KBI experts & collaborators from CAMH, The Hospital for Sick Children and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. To listen & subscribe:

And now… our video of the week. In this clip, Dr. Susy Hota, Division Head of Infectious Diseases at UHN, explains the four main things to know about measles, a highly contagious infectious disease that is unfortunately on the rise. Reminder: TeamUHN members whose Health Services electronic records do not have two documented doses of the measles vaccine or blood tests confirming immunity have been emailed by with instructions for providing vaccine receipts or obtaining bloodwork to demonstrate immunity.


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Have a good week,


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