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.

Key reminders and updates

  • I thank all TeamUHN members who worked to serve patients and their community over the Canada Day weekend as our country marked its 156th birthday. I am proud to live in a country that champions diversity and multiculturalism, and has served as a welcoming beacon for immigrants and refugees who enrich Canada in profound ways. For many, Canada Day was also a time to reflect on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and how we must all learn from the First Nation, Inuit, and Métis peoples of this land to understand historic wrongs and the best path forward to remove barriers to equity. We also acknowledge our American friends and colleagues celebrating Independence Day today.
  • We send our thoughts to the University of Waterloo community after last week's horrific stabbings at a gender studies class. This incident underscores the importance of uniting against discrimination and hate in all its vile forms, including misogynistic and anti-2SLGBTQIA+ rhetoric that yields violence. As an organization that seeks to champion equity and inclusion, and the largest teaching hospital in Canada, we stand in solidarity with the victims, the students and staff in Waterloo, the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, the wider academic community, and all those reeling from this disgusting attack.
  • Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, July 5, a revised masking policy at UHN takes effect. It reflects UHN IPAC's constant monitoring of the epidemiology of all respiratory viruses in the community, and the recommendations of the Toronto Region Hospital Operations Table. The revised masking policy also takes into account UHN's role in caring for many vulnerable and highly-immunocompromised patients. As such mandatory masking remains in place for staff, patients, families, essential care partners, and visitors whenever direct patient care or direct patient interactions take place, as well as in specified inpatient and ambulatory areas where we have highly immunocompromised patients spending prolonged periods. Masking will be optional in public common spaces across UHN, such as lobbies, elevators, and hallways. For more on the updated masking policy at UHN, go to And I urge you to have a read of this engaging and comprehensive conversation with UHN Medical Director of IPAC as she walks us through the specifics of the changes.
  • A happy retirement to April Guthrie after nearly 40 years of service to UHN. April has retired as Nurse Manager, Patient Flow and Nursing Resource Team, where she oversaw Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. She began her career in 1985 as a staff nurse in Toronto Western's General Surgery unit and has been described by colleagues as a go-to person in times of crisis, in part because of her deep institutional knowledge of UHN. "Learn from your mistakes and take time to improve your skills, but always be true to yourself and never be afraid to speak up," she told UHN News, where you can read more about the difference April has made at UHN.
  • Congratulations to the Krembil Brain Institute (KBI) Stroke Program for receiving a $10-million gift on behalf of philanthropists Jay and Sari Sonshine. The donation will go to establishing The Jay and Sari Sonshine Chair in Stroke Prevention and Cerebrovascular Brain Health, making KBI a Centre of Excellence in stroke prevention, and will be used to spur research, advance patient-centred care and lifestyle medicine, and educate the next generation of leaders in brain health at UHN. More than 108,000 Canadians experience a stroke annually – the equivalent of a stroke every five minutes. More than one million Canadians are living with the effects of a stroke and 35% are under 65. We thank these generous members of the UHN family for their commitment to investing in UHN's future as leaders in this field.
  • A revolutionary health-care tool – a finger-prick blood test that can predict the severity of fever-causing infections – is on the horizon, thanks to a member of TeamUHN. Dr. Kevin Kain, a Senior Scientist at Toronto General Hospital Research Institute and Scientific Director of the Tropical Disease Unit at Toronto General, developed the tool to help health-care providers predict a patient's risk of developing severe outcomes early in their illness. Now, he is part of an international research team—called EChiLiBRiST—that is testing the tool in multinational clinical trials in Africa, with the hopes of creating a low-cost, easy-to-use test to help triage patients and optimize health-care resources. "This will allow us to identify which patients need to be admitted and aggressively managed, versus the majority who would be better off recovering at home," he told UHN News.Read more about this initiative.

Closing Notes

Wednesday, July 5 is National Injury Prevention Day, which raises awareness about the devastating effects of injuries, many of which are predictable and preventable. Unintentional injury is the sixth leading cause of death in Canada. UHN is committed to helping people avert serious injuries at work, home, and play, with programs and research focused on injury prevention, as well as treatment, and rehabilitation. Whether it is Toronto Rehab's 10-week falls prevention program and examination of therapeutic falls or the KITE Research Institute's "Rate My Treads" initiative to help people find the right footwear to reduce slips on ice, UHN boasts top-tier expertise and innovative thinking to help patients avoid serious injury. Altum Health is a leader in return-to-work focused rehabilitation, with expertise in musculoskeletal injury, concussion, post-COVID care, and mental health.

The survey dates for UHN's next Accreditation on-site survey have been confirmed as May 27- May 31, 2024. Accreditation is an important activity that UHN undergoes to obtain feedback on what we are doing well and where there is opportunity for improvement. This survey will include clinical areas within Toronto Rehab, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Western Family Health Team, the Transitional Care units at the Hillcrest Reactivation Centre and Queen's Estate, and Lakeside Long-Term Care Centre. System standards for this survey will include infection prevention and control, leadership, medication management, governance, and emergency and disaster management. Questions? Contact UHN accreditation lead Cecilia Wan at or

And now… our video of the week. In this clip, Dr. John Granton, UHN respirologist, shares tips on how to protect yourself from wildfire smoke and air pollution.


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Have a good week,


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