​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

  • We begin with our TikTok of the week. Last week was Support Services Week, an important opportunity to celebrate the teams who help keep UHN running. Watch as Lorna Mendoza, a housekeeper at UHN, shows how to clean a hospital room.
  • In an abundance of caution in the event the full funding of inflation and volume pressures are not able to be fully funded, UHN must have a plan to ensure we understand how we'd not overspend our budget. As a result, leaders and their teams will be involved in preparing 2023-24 budget scenarios. As we're seeing in broader society, the year ahead may be very difficult given inflation, the ongoing costs associated with COVID-19, and the increase in demand for UHN's services. We could have a significant fiscal challenge as costs are anticipated to grow at a faster pace than revenues. In speaking with my colleagues across the system, all are facing the same potential pressures. I know that this is very difficult to hear but my commitment is that I will keep you informed as we work on the budget and I welcome – as do all leaders – suggestions that will help us with using our resources as efficiently as possible. My other commitment is that UHN will be working closely with our colleagues at Ontario Health and the Ministry of Health so that there is a full understanding of the challenges ahead for UHN and the system and the solutions which can be implemented by working with our government colleagues.
  • I was pleased to take part in the Lawrence National Centre 2022 Policy Summit last Thursday, which focused on "Realizing Canada's potential in an era of global volatility." Though some pea-soup fog, unfortunately, kept me from flying to Ottawa to participate in person at the National Arts Centre, I appeared virtually on a panel focused on understanding Canada's labour market needs for tomorrow's economy. It was a pleasure to share a virtual stage with Angela Mondou, President and CEO of TECHNATION, and Michael Lindsay, President and CEO of Infrastructure Ontario. I spoke about how current human health resources challenges require fresh thinking around immigration, graduated licensing, scope of practice, and technology-powered healthcare.
  • We will hold an Open Forum tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 29 from 12-1 p.m. This meeting will give us a chance to discuss, among other topics, Escalation of Care at UHN. We are looking forward to taking questions from TeamUHN, which can be directed to Open.Forum@uhn.ca.
  • Last chance to complete the confidential IDEAA Self-Identity and Inclusion Survey before it closes Nov. 30. Don't miss this opportunity to share your perspective and experiences at UHN to help guide policies, identify the changes, and set priorities to make this a better place for everyone. Reminder emails from WorkTango (pulse@worktango.io) will continue to be sent to those who have not yet completed this work. Prefer that the survey is sent to your private email instead? Reach out to support@worktango.com. Have we mentioned it takes just 15 minutes? Don't miss this opportunity.

Closing Notes

December 1 is World Aids Day, a chance to remember the numerous lives lost to HIV-related illness and raise awareness about the current and ongoing challenges of those men and women living with and at risk for HIV. Founded in 1988 as the first global health day, World Aids Day urges us to come together to support and uplift people living with HIV, many of whom can now control the virus with a single pill each day or an injection every other month. Similarly, HIV may be prevented by pills and injections. Despite the improvements in therapy many living with HIV continue to face stigma and discrimination often because of a lack of education among the public and providers surrounding its transmission. For more than 30 years, the clinical and research teams at Toronto General's Immunodeficiency Clinic have worked to serve HIV patients and provide light and support in the darker moments. A multidisciplinary team provides exceptional care to hundreds of clients. The clinic's accomplished research team conducts clinical, basic science, epidemiologic and psychosocial studies that seek to provide new insights into the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS-related conditions and improve quality of life. Learn more about World Aids Day here.

December 3 is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. According to the United Nations, one billion people on the planet live with disabilities and 80 per cent of persons living with disabilities live in developing countries. UHN is grateful for the leadership of our Accessibility Advisory Council (AAC), a group of TeamUHN members, Patient Partners, and persons with disabilities who work to identify, remove, and prevent barriers to care, services, work, and learning. Led by co-chairs Dianne Barham (Talent Management, Human Resources) and Tim Tripp (Director, Library & Information Services), this group is seized with guiding our organization to maintain the highest standards of accessibility, using an intersectional lens to consider how people with disabilities who are Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, and members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities receive care and treatment. Learn more about the AAC in this UHN News story. Questions? Contact accessibility@uhn.ca.

A recent study from scientists at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute is shedding light on how chronic acid reflux affects the communities of microbes in the lung. Drs. Tereza Martinu and Bryan Coburn explored the effect of gastroesophageal reflux disease on lung health after transplantation. "We found that patients with chronic reflux had increased bacterial density with more species that are commonly found in the mouth," says Dr. Martinu. Read more on UHN News and take a look at the full study here.

My sincere thanks to the 2SLGBTQIA+ Committee and Spiritual Care for co-hosting a virtual memorial event last week to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance. We honour all those who have died as a result of transphobic violence and recommit ourselves to ensuring transphobia, homophobia, and all forms of discrimination have no place at UHN. A recording of the event is available online.


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Have a good week,


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