Good Monday afternoon,

1) I'll start with last week in safety at UHN:

  • Thrilled to share a site-wide safety record: Toronto General (TG) reached six days without a patient fall. I hear about remarkable unit safety records often – thank you everyone for your hard work and continued diligence! – but a site-wide record is no easy feat so let's give a round of applause for TG. Emily Musing (Vice President, Quality and Safety) is also proud to hear this and shares her take here. In the same link, you can see some other good catches and safety accomplishments from TeamUHN.
  • Canada's Cannabis Act: One of our patients brought a cannabis product on site and refused to put it away. Our staff responded resourcefully and, in reviewing UHN's existing policy, decided to provide a lock box for the patient to ensure we are compliant with the new act and our policy. As with any new legislation, it is important to learn as issues arise. On a related note, if you missed the notice about UHN's Workplace Impairment policy, read it here.
  • Managing the Canada Post strike: We saw minimal disruption at UHN and continue to monitor the situation post-strike to ensure our patients aren't missing any of their reports or appointment notices. Thanks to our Support Services team led by Tracey Noftall for communicating with our staff in advance of the official strike so they could carry out the necessary contingency plans.

2) Now for some great news: UHN's Centre for Mental Health received a $5 million philanthropic gift – the largest gift it has ever received – from Poul and Susan Hansen to establish the Poul Hansen Family Centre for Depression. Our deepest thanks to the Hansen family for their generosity and for bringing us closer to providing more accessible and integrated mental health care for the Greater Toronto Area. I know our newly re-appointed Mayor John Tory has expressed his concern over Toronto's mental health crisis and we look forward to finding solutions together.

3) Next, I'll remind everyone to get your flu shot. Thanks to Kamala Haciyeva (Occupational Health Nurse) for giving me mine and making it a (relatively!) painless process. I'm told more than 4,000 of our staff have also received their shots – looking good in comparison to last year when 3,721 was reported after the first week. I look forward to seeing even more flu shot stickers on more ID badges in the coming weeks. Also pleased to receive my chocolate bar of choice, Coffee Crisp, although I'm told it's the Kit Kats that are flying off the carts.

4) Last week, I also had the privilege of attending the 2018 Canada Gairdner Awards Gala to recognize Dr. Frances Shepherd's work in improving the survival outcomes of lung cancer patients worldwide. Hearty congratulations to Dr. Shepherd on her global translational impact and for demonstrating why it's so important to fund science which impacts society and humanity. Also great to see our Board member Dr. Janet Rossant there as well – for those who don't know, Dr. Rossant is the former Chief of Research at SickKids, current President & Scientific Director of the Gairdner Foundation, and brings her impressive insights to our Board of Trustees. She has also been honoured with the L'Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science award – a 20-year-old program committed to recognizing women in science, math, engineering and math fields – so we have many reasons to be excited about Dr. Rossant's contributions to TeamUHN's future.

Have a good week,


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