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

  • Thursday, September 30th, is the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day. The Government of Canada has declared this day of recognition to provide an opportunity for all Canadians to work to understand, commemorate and reflect on the tragic history and ongoing legacy of residential schools, and to honour all those affected. The Indigenous Health Program (IHP) at UHN will be hosting a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day ceremony on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Michener Gitigan. All members of TeamUHN are welcome to attend this ceremony. For those who cannot, a recording will be shared.
  • Last week, a COVID-19 vaccine passport system went into effect across the province, requiring people to show proof of vaccination for entry into thousands of non-essential venues across the province. This is a welcome step to protecting our healthcare system from being overburdened. You can download your proof of vaccination from this provincial government website. You need your OHIP card to log in to the site. Once you download the certificate showing you've had two doses of the vaccine, you can either print a hard copy or store the PDF on your phone.
  • As of last Wednesday, 96% of UHN employees have chosen to get vaccinated against COVID-19. This is a big milestone on our road to 100% vaccination of every member of TeamUHN. While this is an overwhelming majority, there are still some people who have not yet been vaccinated. In accordance with our Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, as of Friday, September 24th, 2021 UHN managers were given data indicating who of their direct reports remain unvaccinated. To ensure that UHN can continue to provide support to our patients, I encourage any unvaccinated staff to inform their managers as soon as possible should they decide to get vaccinated. If you wish to obtain further information concerning the COVID-19 vaccine, please reach out to Health Services or phone or email the Connected COVID Care team at 437-488-1650 or You will need your employee number to start the process. All consultations on any questions are kept confidential.

What happened at the Executive COVID-19 IMS Table

In response to COVID-19, UHN activated its Executive COVID-19 IMS (Incident Management System) table. Membership includes our Executive Leadership Forum and other members of COVID-19 work streams. The group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is a snapshot of the discussion.

Overview of COVID-19 in the Community

  • Background: As the COVID-19 IMS Table works they are informed about what is happening with case counts, hospital admissions, ICU admissions, testing, and outbreaks.
  • Who presented? Susy Hota (Medical Director, Infection Prevention & Control) and Marnie Escaf (Clinical Vice President)
  • What do I need to know? The case count is holding steady while testing is increasing so this is encouraging. Hospitalizations across the Province are down and ICU admissions are stable. There are cases in schools across the province, with about 14% of the Province’s schools having reported one case or more in the past months. Capacity is tight in hospitals across the GTA and there are staffing level challenges at most hospitals.

What happened at the Senior Management Forum meeting

UHN’s Senior Management Forum (SMF) represents a broad range of leadership 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. This group meets once a month.

  • Background and why this was brought to SMF: UHN's Outpatient Care Strategy will be launched for all of TeamUHN in October 2021. The strategy provides the framework by which we will guide decision-making in outpatient environments. Strategy development was informed by extensive input from areas and people inside and outside UHN, including a patient engagement consultant group. The strategy will be implemented over the next five years.
  • Who presented? Catherine Wang (Vice President, Clinical), Ed Cole and Richard Ward
  • What do I need to know? The Outpatient Care Strategy has established a vision to deliver compassionate care coordinated with patients and their Essential Care Partners. The strategy will be implemented over the next five years. The year one focuses, which are in direct alignment with Synapse implementation, will be shared with TeamUHN in October 2021. As a first step, our patient partners have asked that outpatient care replace ambulatory care in our lexicon to foster a more inclusive environment.

What happened at the Senior Management Forum meeting

UHN’s Senior Management Forum (SMF) represents a broad range of leadership 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. This group meets once a month.

  • Background: Financial planning for the upcoming fiscal year, 2022-23, is underway. Given the challenges of COVID-19 and the additional revenues received this year from the government, it is hard to predict at this point in time what the funds coming from government will be, but planning assumptions are that we will return to the baseline budget of the hospital before COVID-19, with some inflationary adjustments. This will require new revenues and/or budget savings to meet financial targets.
  • Who presented? Darlene Dasent (Vice President and Chief Financial Officer)
  • What do I need to know? The Clinical Operations Group / Medical Leadership Committee (COG/MLC), comprised of Clinical Vice Presidents and Program Medical Directors, will lead the process of identifying budget initiatives for the upcoming year. As we work through the budget process and the implications over the next few months, we will share information, process and principles.

Overview of last week

Remembering Allan Slaight

  • We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of one of our long-time supporters, Allan Slaight, on September 19, 2021 at the age of 90. Over the years, Mr. Slaight and The Slaight Family Foundation have helped UHN advance many healthcare initiatives such as the Gattuso Slaight Personalized Cancer Medicine Fund, the Slaight Family Centre for Advanced MRI and the Mental Health in Medicine Clinic as well as many seniors initiatives across UHN and more. The impact of his generosity will be felt for years to come, and we extend our sincerest condolences to the Slaight and Gattuso families.

$50 Million Gift to the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute

  • Donald Johnson has been involved with the UHN Foundation for 22 years and has supported UHN in many, many ways. Last week, he announced a donation of $50 million which is an enormous vote of confidence in UHN and the institute names in his honour. On behalf of everyone at UHN, I want to extend my thanks again for his support and belief in the excellence of our teams. This new investment will significantly increase research capacity and bolster the ability of scientists, in partnership with clinicians, to translate discoveries into treatments more quickly. This includes expanding the Clinical Trials Program into a dedicated Clinical Research Unit, providing the long-term infrastructure, resources and sustainability to retain and recruit top experts, and propel future discoveries – ultimately, improving outcomes for patients suffering from vision loss in Canada and around the world.

Closing notes

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. It's imperative that TeamUHN can identify and avoid phishing emails, know how to protect our online identities, and know where to report suspicious activity. In October, the Digital Security team will be running several phishing exercises and sharing helpful tips on remote work, ransomware, and password protection. Your participation in the month’s activities will not only give you a refresher on cyber security best practices, but it will give you many chances to win great prizes! As always, use the “Report Phish” button in your Outlook application’s toolbar to flag any suspected spam or phishing attempts.

The Super User Program for Synapse kicked off this week. Super Users get additional and early training on using the Epic system so that they can support peers during training and practice, as well as at go-live and beyond. Every team with Epic users will have Super Users to help UHN have a safe and effective transition to Epic. There will be more than 1,000 Super Users from across programs, divisions, and sites. Learn more about this important and exciting role by clicking here.


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Have a good week,

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