​​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

  • We begin this week with a note of thanks to all those who worked in service of patients, colleagues, learners, and their community over the Easter long weekend. Thank you for ensuring UHN could deliver excellent care to the patients we are privileged to serve. I hope everyone had a great weekend and is as excited as I am for the start of spring and the return of the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy tabled a $214-billion budget Tuesday that included billions in new funding for health care. The plan includes $965 million more in operating funding in 2024-2025, an additional $2 billion to increase access to home care and increase compensation for front-line workers, and $546 million more over the years to connect an estimated 600,000 more people to new and expanded primary health care teams. The Ontario government also announced plans for a York University medical school in Vaughan that will be primarily focused on family medicine. We appreciate the Ontario government's willingness to invest in health care and look forward to working with partners to deliver quality care, research, and education. Read the full 2024 budget – "Building a Better Ontario" – online. The federal government will release its federal budget on April 16.
  • My thanks to the Epilepsy Department at UHN's Krembil Brain Institute for hosting an interactive event at Toronto Western Hospital atrium on Purple Day (March 26), a national day of epilepsy awareness. This event showcased the comprehensive clinical and research programs at UHN and the community partners who help advance our work. It also featured a lot of fun activities, including a music concert, photo booths, and giveaways. This was a wonderful way to show how UHN is continuously striving to provide the best care, research, and treatments for those living with epilepsy, while raising awareness about this neurological condition. See more Purple Day photos on Instagram.
  • UHN researchers have uncovered how cells in blood vessels communicate with each other, offering new hope for treating cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis. Characterized by marked narrowing of arteries due to plaque buildup, atherosclerosis can cause heart attacks or strokes. The study from Toronto General Hospital Research Institute revealed a fascinating mechanism: when endothelial cells (ECs) lining blood vessels are triggered by inflammation, as seen in conditions like atherosclerosis, they communicate by releasing small packages called extracellular vesicles (EVs). Researchers determined that these cells released more EVs containing molecules linked to the disease, particularly regulators of inflammation. This discovery opens up possibilities for new therapeutics for cardiovascular disease. Learn more at UHN News.
  • The Globe and Mail has highlighted UHN's innovative approach to supporting people experiencing homelessness. The story, which explored how hospitals navigate rising homelessness rates across Canada, noted how UHN is looking “outside the traditional structures of medicine" for solutions. UHN's Stabilization and Connection Centre near Toronto Western Hospital is described as a "win-win": providing patients with more effective care from an on-call doctor and peer support workers, while drastically cutting ambulance offload times from hours to minutes. The article also notes how UHN and its partners are nearing completion of a supportive housing project in the Parkdale community, which will provide secure, affordable housing for 51 people from historically marginalized groups who frequently use hospital services. "The reality is that is very firmly in our lane, because the only other options for people are to come back to the hospital or try to seek other health care supports," said Dr. Andrew Boozary, Executive Director of the Gattuso Centre for Social Medicine at UHN. Read the full story.

Closing Notes

And now… our video of the week. To mark the end of Pharmacy Month, this clip explores how UHN's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre was the first in North America to use a robot for compounding hazardous oncology drugs in its pharmacy.


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Have a good week,


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