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Good Tuesday morning,

I’ll start by thanking everyone on TeamUHN who worked Family Day and also during last week’s snowstorm. Some of you were able to leave early on Tuesday (which I am glad to hear as safe travels are very important) but many stayed behind to meet the needs of those we serve and support each other. My deepest thanks for your enduring commitment to patients, no matter the weather.

1. Highlights on UHN's Essentials

UHN’s Essentials are just that - essential to the work we do at UHN – hence the name! We view them as our central responsibilities as a leading academic health sciences centre. Read here to learn more. Below, you’ll find highlights on UHN’s Essentials from last week. 

 People and Culture  Trying two new things at UHN’s next Open Forum: I’m hosting our next forum on March 4 at 12 p.m. in Michener auditorium and continuing the tradition of answering your anonymous questions. We have two new additions to our format I’m pleased to share:      

  • You can now submit and vote on questions in advance using this link. Not everyone can make these live events and this allows more members of TeamUHN to shape the discussion. All questions will be posted with no edits as usual so long as there is no personal identifying information. I encourage you to ask questions with respect and civility in mind and to submit ones that haven’t been asked on our Q&A page yet. See all responses here
  • We’re inviting Patient Partners to submit questions and watch via livestream on Chrome/Firefox. Important to involve them meaningfully and often in our conversations! 

 Quality and Safety  UHN recognized by Health Standards Organization (HSO) for our work with Patient Partners: We now have Patient Partners on every Quality of Care Committee at UHN – part of our broader effort to unite leaders, patients and caregivers in every realm possible so we can effectively create A Healthier World. I’m very proud to share that our practice of engaging patients was recognized by HSO as one of their Leading Practices, meaning they view our work as something that other organizations can adopt to improve quality of health services for all. Sincerest thanks to our colleagues in Patient Engagement, Caring Safely and our Patient Partners for making this possible and earning this valued external recognition for TeamUHN! 

 Operational Excellence  All sites experiencing critical patient transportation issues: Our staff are raising concerns about our ability to reliably transport patients using our non-emergency transport mechanisms, which is causing a ripple effect and impacting our ability to discharge patients. My thanks to our staff for their patience and commitment to patients despite this frustrating experience. We’re logging all the transportation issues and escalating the issue with our provider – and determining whether this issue is UHN-specific or happening across the city. If you’re experiencing patient transport issues, please notify Sharon Roberts (sharon.roberts@uhn.ca) and report at your daily huddle so we maintain situational awareness across UHN. 

 Operational Excellence  Managing our budgets: In Q3, we reported a $6 M deficit but can expect to close this gap by year end thanks to the wise and thoughtful assessment of many teams. In response to our environment – which remains fiscally constrained – all programs and departments have been asked to deliver savings for the upcoming year. This is due to the impact of inflation – collective agreement awards and increased cost of supplies and utilities.  My deepest respect and admiration for the groups who are setting the gold standard in operational excellence and lean practices. Our goal moving forward is to do a better job of replicating your work across UHN. We are home to many areas of excellence and sharing best practices as quickly as possible will be a focus of the coming year. Our major efforts will be in meeting the budget constraints while continuing to provide excellent care, education and research as well as being attentive to your quality of work life.

2. The Stanley Cup visits transplant patients, donors, and TeamUHN  

Thanks to the generosity of the NHL and Megan Porter’s leadership, the Stanley Cup came to visit patients, families and members of TeamUHN on our transplant unit. For those who don’t know Megan, she is one of UHN’s most dedicated supporters with visionary work on our LIVE ON Campaign which supports the work in the Transplant Program around living donation for patients needing a kidney or liver. Click here to see photos of the event. Our Board Chair Brian Porter was also in attendance, getting to know some of the people we’re privileged to serve – including living donors, transplant recipients and their families. The visit was a great opportunity to raise awareness for LIVE ON but most importantly broughtsmiles to patients and members of TeamUHN. Thank you to everyone in Public Affairs, the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation, IPAC (Infection Prevention and Control), Toronto General, and of course the NHL and Megan for making this visit possible. Additional thanks to the transplant inpatient unit – clinical manager Susan Kiernan and Patient Care Co-ordinators Lauren Craddock and Amanda Firth, and the ambulatory clinic – clinical manager Laura Byers and supervisor Bryan Anderson – who helped in organizing the event.

3. Celebrating women in science and healthcare

Last week was International Day of Women and Girls in Science – let’s give a round of applause for the remarkable women at UHN! This observance reminds me we're co-hosting our 2nd annual International Women's Day event with JLABS on March 7. Register here​ for free using code "UHN". Opening remarks will be delivered by Darlene Dasent (our CFO, named one of Canada's most powerful women this year!) followed by a panel on advancing your career in the hospital sector featuring Catherine Wang (VP, Clinical Operations & Diagnostic Partnerships) and Danielle Rodin (Radiation Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre). We are proud to support women in science and healthcare every day at UHN and I hope you’ll join us for this occasion.

Have a good week,

Kevin

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