Good Monday morning,

1. Highlights on UHN's Essentials

UHN's Essentials are essential to the work we do as a leading academic health sciences centre – hence the name! Read here to learn more. Below, you'll find highlights on UHN's Essentials from last week.

People and Culture UHN's Strategy Forum convenes for the first time – thank you to the programs and departments who presented including Human Resources (People Strategy), The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Patient Experience, Surgery & Critical Care, and Connected Care: We have five generations of people working at UHN and more than 50% of our colleagues represent the millennial workforce. If we are to deliver on our quadruple promise (care, research, education and quality of work life), it's essential we include next-generation leaders in our decision-making. This is why we created UHN's Strategy Forum – also part of our work to "Empower and invest in a diverse TeamUHN." For those getting up to speed, UHN has brought together a group of highly engaged TeamUHN members to help drive our vision of A Healthier World. We invited applications from the entire organization (and were overwhelmed with the response!) and then brought the list of names forward to our Professional Advisory Committee to determine this year's cohort. Every quarter, programs and departments will present their work to this group. In return, the group shares their collective insights and offers suggestions. I had the chance to join their inaugural meeting and express my appreciation for their time and energy. Read more about the first Strategy Forum meeting on UHN News.

People and Culture Meeting new members of TeamUHN at New Physician Orientation: Last week, it was a pleasure welcoming some new colleagues into the fold. In addition to discussing some bigger items at UHN – including our Clinical Transformation and Health Information System, Integrated Care Program and more – I had the chance to hear about their experience at UHN so far. Glad to hear they feel welcome thanks to many of you. Remember that the first six months for any new colleague tend to be a bit disorienting and that a smile can go a long way (as demonstrated by our very own Sasha Howell at last week's Open Forum!).

People and Culture Congratulations to Michael Fehlings (Clinician-Scientist at UHN's Krembil Brain Institute) for receiving the 2019 Ryman Prize from the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand: For those who don't know, the Ryman Prize is a highly prestigious international award granted to exceptional individuals who have enhanced quality of life for older populations. Michael and his team are responsible for a very impressive and high-impact body of research – he received this world-class honour for helping to improve outcomes for adults suffering from the most common cause of spinal cord impairment worldwide (degenerative cervical myelopathy). While it is so important we recognize each other on TeamUHN, it is also important to build up our track record through external recognition – in this case, a renowned international jury! What a great honour to be presented this by the Prime Minister of New Zealand.

People and Culture Last week, we gathered in the Fell Boardroom to wish Mike Nader (UHN Executive Vice President, Clinical Support and Performance) well in his new adventure as Chief Transformation Officer at Ontario Health. As the gathering demonstrated so well, he will be missed by TeamUHN. Mike was given a tough job when he arrived at UHN and tasked with making complex decisions. I have come to know Mike as someone who is very much a team player and focused on the needs of the whole organization. I know his skills will help Ontario Health get off to a great start. Best of luck to Mike in this new chapter!

Partnerships Wonderful evening celebrating generosity, the pursuit of knowledge and high-impact research at Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation's Diwali "A Night to Shine" gala – more than $9 M raised! It was a beautiful evening filled with food, dancing and celebration alongside colleagues and remarkable donors and partners. Diwali raises critical funds for UHN's Emergency Departments, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, and more. Hope to see even more people at next year's event! Special thanks to the Ajmera Family for their amazing generosity and creating the Soham & Shaila Ajmera Family Transplant Centre, and establishing the Soham & Shaila Ajmera Family Chair in Molecular Diabetes Research at UHN.

2. Thanks to all who joined our Open Forum on TeamUHN

Special thanks to those who shaped the discussion by asking questions and voting. We received an unprecedented 370+ votes on the top question alone! This is a heartening demonstration of your interest and investment in our future at UHN. Yes the topics were tough – no surprise given our current clinical and fiscal pressures – but there is always a lot of hope when you have an engaged group of people willing to work together. My biggest surprise was the number of people who have indicated that issues of respect and civility remain high. I've asked our HR colleagues to work with me to create some new processes to address these perceptions and get at the underlying issues. No one should have to tolerate harassment in the workplace.

3. What we discussed at our Executive Leadership Forum meeting

Here is what we discussed at last week's Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) meeting. See who attends these meetings on

  • UHN Digital FY 19/20 Roadmap Update (David Wiljer, Executive Director, Education, Technology & Innovation; Duska Kennedy, Senior Director, Clinical and Corporate Lead): In preparation for UHN's clinical transformation and Health Information System, we are ensuring that activities supported by UHN Digital are aligned with our available budget. Thank you to UHN Digital for keeping ELF informed by committing to sending rigorous monthly "Health Checks" (i.e. progress updates) in partnership with our colleagues in Finance. Especially important given our very serious clinical pressures and financial constraints.
  • Flu surge strategy (Marnie Escaf, Senior Vice President and Executive Lead, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre): We reviewed options and costing for increasing bed capacity (by up to 50 beds) in anticipation for flu season, as well as options for stabilizing our staffing levels. We are discussing how we can more evenly distribute the pressures of flu season amongst our sites and also in partnership with the community – all in service of patients, families and TeamUHN's quality of work life.

Have a good week,


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