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For example, Chris shared how he tried to schedule an MRI appointment needed to diagnose a life altering and possibly fatal condition. He immediately fell into a deep depression while waiting for his diagnosis. He was told the earliest appointment would be in three months at 4:00 a.m. When Chris explained how this was extremely difficult for him due to his pain and accessibility needs, he was told he'd have to wait an additional three months for a later day appointment. Given the situation and his worry, Chris felt he had no choice but to manage the difficult logistics and expenses, which involved hiring a caregiver and driver to stay overnight with him. When it came to the actual morning of his appointment, our hospital was empty and there was no one to point Chris in the right direction upon his arrival. When he finally found the right place to go, he was "coldly" told that he was late.
I won't go into further detail about Chris' story, except to say that he shares this with us in the hopes of helping us become the compassionate, humane professionals we strive to be. He asks us to consider three actions across UHN:
1. When interacting with patients, can we ask "What do I need to know about you so we can help prepare you for your appointment?
2. Can we give TeamUHN the autonomy to make changes and help patients to the greatest extent possible? For example, could we ask staff or volunteers to help patients with accessibility needs?
3. Can we ensure that "the needs of patients" include both "seeing" and "hearing" patients to understand how to best support their needs.
These requests align with
UHN's Patient Declaration of Values which was created last year. Leaders, consider using this document to celebrate what you're doing well with your teams and for creating a safe space to discuss room for improvement. Know that we also recognize the organization's responsibility in ensuring that people have the training and supports they need to do their best work.
In response to the concerning state of COVID-19, UHN activated its Executive COVID-19 IMS (Incident Management System) table. Membership includes our Executive Leadership Forum and other members of COVID-19 work streams. The group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is a snapshot of the discussion.
UHN's Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) represents a broad range of voices and skill sets from across the organization and provides direction and oversight in service of patients, TeamUHN and our vision of A Healthier World. See the full membership on UHN.ca. The last ELF meeting was held on Feb. 4, 2021.
Mental health support for TeamUHN
Maad'ookiing Mshkiki – Sharing Medicine is a virtual hub that provides culturally relevant and trauma-informed information about COVID-19 vaccinations for First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The community-centered resources aim to empower informed consent for Indigenous peoples and have been developed by the Centre for Wise Practices in Indigenous Health (CWP-IH) at Women's College Hospital, in partnership with The Indigenous Health Program at UHN, the Indigenous Primary Health Care Council (IPHCC), Anishnawbe Health Toronto (AHT), and Shkaabe Makwa at CAMH.
Read more on UHN News.
New resources will be released on a weekly basis on UHN.ca.
Happy Teaching and Learning Week at UHN: Thank you for enabling exceptional teaching and learning, particularly during these challenging times. Everyone makes important contributions in creating a welcoming, inclusive and supportive learning environment at UHN. We wish you all a happy
Teaching and Learning Week!
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Have a good week,