​Welcome back from the long weekend, everyone. A big thank you to our staff who worked over Easter and Passover, allowing others to spend time with their families and loved ones. I know your colleagues appreciate it.

Last week, we celebrated Purple Day at UHN to raise awareness of epilepsy and help reduce the stigma associated with it. We've held annual Purple Day events over the last decade and it's always a special sight, seeing everyone come together at Toronto Western dressed in every shade of purple imaginable. ​

Purple Day at UHN

This year's event was especially busy as various labs from Krembil Research Institute joined, showcasing the work they're doing to improve the lives of epilepsy patients. Given that UHN has one of the largest epilepsy programs in the country, many Canadians diagnosed with this neurological disorder often end up under the care of our team. It's heartening to know when they come to UHN for the first time, they have such dedicated staff here to help. Congratulations to epilepsy nurse practitioners Darcia Paul and Alina Mednikov as well as researchers Chaim Katz and Sumayya Mehmood for running yet another successful event.

I'd also like to congratulate Dr. Frances Shepherd (Medical Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre) for receiving the prestigious 2018 Canada Gairdner Wightman Award. Having trained under Frances back in the early 1980s, I can't say I'm surprised she was selected. Learn more about her achievements here.

Today's message ends on a somber note. Last Wednesday, we learned about the passing of Peter Munk. For those of you who are new to UHN, Peter was one of our most loyal supporters and worked closely with us on the creation, evolution and growth of Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC). Over time, UHN has become one of the world's leaders in cardiovascular care. This is largely thanks to Peter's generosity and belief in the people here.

I'd like to include a reflection on Peter from Dr. Barry Rubin, Medical Director, PMCC:

"As we mourn the loss of Peter Munk, those of you who may have had any interaction with him over the years know how close each of you and PMCC was to him.  His admiration, appreciation and respect for you the staff and the work we do every day was deep and palpable… He also heard about the incredible dedication and expertise you bring to your work every day from countless grateful patients, their caregivers and family members, over the years. You were gifts to him. Your commitment rare gems."

I will be thinking about Peter and how he helped shape UHN as I walk through PMCC this week. Thank you all for honouring his legacy through the work you do every day. 


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