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

  • Congratulations to Dr. Tak Mak for having been awarded the 2023 International Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research. The award from the Pezcoller Foundation and the American Association for Cancer Research recognizes researchers who have made significant breakthroughs in basic or translational cancer research. A Senior Scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Tak has been recognized for leading the group that cloned the human T-cell receptor beta chain. We at UHN are so fortunate to have Dr. Mak continuing the work toward conquering cancer in our lifetime. Visit the Pezcoller Foundation to learn more about the award and Dr. Mak's tremendous career.
  • Please take some time to read UHN's COVID-19 Pandemic After Action Report (AAR), which provides an examination of how UHN handled and responded to the unique challenges posed by this highly disruptive, community-based pandemic. The AAR, spearheaded by the Emergency Preparedness team, paints a picture of the scale and complexity of both our organizational response to the crisis and the pandemic's impact on our individual lived experiences over the two-year period between Ontario's Declaration of Emergency on March 17, 2020, and April 2022. Through feedback collected via 53 one-on-one interviews with UHN's leadership, the COVID-19 TeamUHN Experience Survey's 4,456 respondents, and the COVID-19 Patient Experience Survey's 3,840 respondents, this report captures vital firsthand insight into our pandemic response. It is not meant to provide a comprehensive overview of the many remarkable activities UHN undertook during this challenging period of time, but instead delves into an assessment of UHN's response to identify what went well, areas for improvement, and the key lessons we learned. Critical components of UHN's response were explored, including the pandemic's impact on patient care, which revealed that 92% of patients felt their healthcare needs we met, 90% felt their healthcare providers were accessible, sensitive, and responsive to their needs, and 69% were supportive of onsite limitations to Essential Care Providers or visitors. From the TeamUHN perspective, the report's findings show support for UHN's response, with 89% in agreement with the mandatory vaccine policy as a means of ensuring patient and staff safety, while also highlighting the pandemic's negative effects on the mental and physical well-being of our staff, with 73% of TeamUHN respondents indicating their mental and/or physical health was negatively impacted. By reflecting on these experiences and leveraging the knowledge they impart, UHN can strengthen our response to future emergencies. My sincere thanks to the Emergency Preparedness team for this excellent work. Read the full report.
  • UHN was privileged to host a delegation from Hospital Moinhos de Vento in Porto Alegre, Brazil last Thursday at the Toronto General.The delegation included the hospital's Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Parrini Mutlaq, President Eduardo Bier, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Luiz Antonio Nasi, and Dr. Sheila Cristina Ouriques Martins, Head of Neurology & Neurosurgery Service. Representatives from TeamUHN shared highlights of key initiatives underway in the areas of new models of care, research, commercialization and innovation at UHN, and how the Michener Institute of Education at UHN is advancing important work to help build the clinical workforce of the future. My thanks to all those who helped organize and facilitate this visit, which highlighted UHN's impact and the importance of global collaboration in healthcare.
  • We are delighted to welcome Julie Quenneville to TeamUHN as the next CEO of UHN Foundation. Julie comes to us from McGill University Health Centre Foundation, where as President and CEO she grew revenue by 140 per cent and won numerous accolades and a reputation as a change agent. “Philanthropy plays an essential role in medical research. It provides the seed funding to launch big ideas and secure important grants. It makes the difference between quality and excellence and ensures that we can recruit top talent to care for our community," she told UHN Foundation. “I am honoured to have the opportunity to help make UHN the very best hospital in the world." She takes over the reins in September after the retirement of Tennys Hanson, UHN Foundation's extraordinary CEO for 23 years. UHN is so grateful for both our remarkable Foundations – UHN Foundation and the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation – for all they do to promote and inspire excellence at UHN. Welcome aboard, Julie! Read more about this appointment on UHN Foundation.
  • UHN's Black Excellence Series, hosted by the Black Legacy Committee and IDEAA, launches this week with a conversation on March 21 with Toronto psychotherapist Stacian Watts about mental health and self-care. Stacian, the founder of the virtual wellness and therapy centre, Watts Psychotherapy, will answer questions from 12-1 p.m. This event is the first in a series that will move beyond the traditional Black History Month celebrations we saw last month to programming that promotes education, safe space, and recognition of Black UHN community members year-round. To join, click the Zoom link that will be automatically added to your calendar prior to the start time.
  • You're invited! Please join me for the Toronto Western Hospital New Patient Tower Employee Kick-off Event on Thursday, March 23 at 12 p.m.! You can tune into the event livestream here, where you'll learn more about upcoming pre-construction work, hear from a Patient Partner who's been part of the project planning process, and find out the new project name – and who won the naming contest! The new tower is a milestone project that will position UHN for the future of patient care and create a state-of-the-art working environment. I hope you'll join in on the excitement and tune in. If you can't make it for the live event, it will be recorded for viewing later. For more information on the New Patient Tower, visit the project website. See you Thursday!

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, March 16.

2023-2024 Quality Improvement Plan (QIP)

  • Background and why this was brought to ELF: In accordance with The Excellent Care for All Act passed by the Ontario legislature in 2010, all hospitals must create and make public a Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) that is submitted to Ontario Health each year. A QIP is a formal, documented set of commitments that healthcare organizations make to patients, staff, and the community to improve quality through focused targets and actions. Representatives from Corporate Strategy & Planning sought ELF's endorsement of this year's QIP indicators and performance targets.
  • Who Presented? Sarah Smart (Senior Corporate Planner), and Joel Montesanti (Director of Strategic Projects and Planning)
  • What do I need to know: ELF approved the submission, which includes six key QIP indicators focused in the following areas: workplace violence reporting, patient experience, ED wait times for inpatient beds, and ongoing clinical and surgical recovery. The submission will now proceed to the Quality & Safety Committee (CSC) of the Board for approval and submission to Ontario Health by the March 31 deadline. The QIP submission will be posted to in Spring 2023. You can view past UHN QIP submissions here.

Closing Notes

I enjoyed this conversation between Registered Nurse Danielle Lyle and UHN's Chief Nursing Executive Pam Hubley on the important work underway to build a future at UHN that our much-valued nurses want to remain a part of. A new UHN Nursing Strategy, to be developed after soliciting feedback from UHN nurses in virtual planning sessions running through mid-April, is a key element of that goal. “There are so many brilliant people – practitioners who are also scholars and mentors – who inspire us every day. Together, we can enable nurses to push boundaries, be champions of change, and to lead and develop the next generation of providers. That's pretty awesome!" Pam said. I couldn't agree more. Nurses interested in helping to shape the new strategy can complete an anonymous survey here or sign up for one of the focus groups running until April 11. Questions? Please email Read the full interview on UHN News.

World Tuberculosis Day is observed on March 24, commemorating the date exactly 141 years ago when Dr. Robert Koch unveiled his discovery of the bacillus that causes TB. This day gives us a chance to shine a light on The Toronto Western Tuberculosis Clinic, a specialized clinic that addresses and treats people with both Active TB and Latent TB infection. Symptoms of TB include cough, fever, chills, night sweats, tiredness, loss of appetite, weight loss, and chest pain. Though TB can be treated and cured, more than 4,100 people around the world lose their lives to this disease each day, according to the World Health Organization. TB is known to persist in marginalized communities. While the risk of the disease for most people in Canada is low, there are higher rates of TB in people born outside of Canada and rates of active TB are much higher among Indigenous populations. According to Health Canada, the rate of TB in the Arctic homeland of the Inuit is more than 300 times higher than the Canadian-born, non-Indigenous population, and the rate of TB among First Nations living on reserve is more than 40 times higher than the non-Indigenous population. We thank UHN's TB Clinic for its exceptional work, particularly during the pandemic, which has resulted in more people affected by TB than usual.

We're delighted to share this quarter's list of honourees through UHN Foundation's Honour Your Hero program. From November 2022 to January 2023, 232 staff members were honoured by grateful patients. View the report here. Honour Your Hero provides patients and their families the opportunity to express gratitude to hospital staff for exemplifying UHN's value of excellence in patient care with compassion and kindness, by making a donation in support of UHN. Join us in recognizing the accomplishments of our TeamUHN colleagues. Your care inspires patients to give. To learn more, visit

And now.. our video of the week. This video gives us a glimpse at a day in the life of a registered dietician. Happy Nutrition Month!


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Have a good week,


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