​Good morning, 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 want to express my appreciation to all those who worked incredibly hard last week to resolve the Code Grey and restore our digital systems for all users, particularly our Digital team. On behalf of the leadership team and Board of Trustees, we are grateful for the patience and professionalism showed by TeamUHN members during that unfortunate disruption, which was caused by a network switch failure. As I said in my all-user update, we are now focused on the causes of the failure and the fixes put in place to ensure this will not happen again. During the Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) last week, we discussed the learning opportunities from this difficult experience, including different approaches to communications and incident management.
  • As we start 2023, it is my hope that we can all return to a more normal work life. We are all learning to live in a world with COVID and my "return to normal" means that I will be visiting all of our sites, areas, programs, and units, meeting with members of TeamUHN, and listening to what people have experienced throughout the pandemic and what your hopes are for 2023. I will be letting the areas I'll be visiting know in advance so that I can meet as many people as possible. These visits will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at various times and my office will let the area's manager know in advance. With a place the size of UHN, it will take about a year to get everywhere, and I look forward to these visits and to speaking with you about your work.
  • Congratulations to researchers at the Schroeder Arthritis Institute whose work was selected as among the top 10 research advances of 2022 by the Arthritis Society Canada. Dr. S. Amanda Ali (supervisors: Dr. Mohit Kapoor and Dr. Rajiv Gandhi) and Dr. Andy Kin On Wong discovered a "specific pattern of molecules can be detected in the blood of people with early-stage knee osteoarthritis that accurately predicts who will have more rapid disease progression." These blood markers could help identify people who would most benefit from strategies seeking to prevent progressive joint damage before the disease becomes severe. Dr. Elizabeth Badley, Jessica Wilfong, and Dr. Anthony Perruccio were honoured for finding that nearly half of the people diagnosed with arthritis don't know what type they have and may be less likely to access the care, information, and support services to manage their disease. Arthritis Society Canada says this highlights the incredible importance of education and ensuring “every arthritis patient is given the tools they need to understand their diagnosis and manage their lifestyle." Read more about all 10 research advancements at Arthritis Society Canada.

What happened at the Executive Leadership Forum meeting

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 Thursday, Jan. 12.

Enterprise Risk Management: Risks to Capital Construction Projects

  • Background: ELF was provided a draft report and comprehensive update on the top risks and associated mitigations to capital construction projects. The report was brought to ELF in advance of being tabled at the upcoming meeting of the Real Estate & Capital Strategy Committee of the Board, which is accountable for the oversight of risks related to UHN's facilities and construction, later this month.
  • Who Presented? Marc Toppings (VP & Chief Legal Officer) and Rebecca Repa (Executive Vice President, Clinical Support & Performance)

    What I need to know: UHN has embarked on an ambitious, multi-year Master Plan to support our mission to provide exemplary and transformative patient care. ELF recognizes that the achievement of our master planning objectives is directly tied to our ability to identify, report and manage risks that are inherent to the planning, procurement, contracting, and execution of large-scale construction projects. Informed by lessons learned from legacy projects and industry-leading practices, UHN has adopted a holistic set of strategies to manage risks related to capital construction, all in the pursuit of delivering tomorrow's care.

Closing Notes

On January 25th from 12:00-12:30pm ET, UHN staff are invited to attend a talk by Dr. Jaideep Bains, neuroscientist and the new Director of the Krembil Research Institute, on the latest science looking at how stress impacts and rewires our brains and whether stress is actually contagious. Register here to attend in person at the BMO Conference Centre at Toronto Western Hospital: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/is-my-stress-your-stress-tickets-493993145797.

Three radiological technology students at the Michener Institute of Education at UHN recently took advantage of a unique experiential learning opportunity by taking X-ray images during a cadaver lab. This three-hour lab was part of an orthopedic ankle surgery course hosted by Smith + Nephew (S&N) – a British multinational medical equipment manufacturing company – in the Temerty Advanced Surgical Education & Simulation Centre. Students Tian Hua, Stephanie Olson, and Adam Magliozzi used a C-Arm X-ray machine, a medical imaging device with a C-shaped arm that can move around the body, to capture images of the ankle cadaver. "At my first clinical placement, we didn't have a lot of opportunity to see the operating room, so I found it really interesting to see how different professions worked together and especially how my profession ties into everyone else's," Stephanie told UHN News. Education is a core pillar of what we do at UHN and it is fantastic to see our learners push themselves. Learn more at UHN News.

Researchers at UHN's Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute (DKJEI) analyzed protein interactions associated with autism in an attempt to understand what causes the neurodevelopmental condition. The study involved mapping protein networks in brain cells to shed light on how genes related to autism spectrum disorder interact with one another. "A unique element of this study is that we used proteomics – the large-scale study of the structure and function of proteins – to determine if and how risk genes converge onto shared molecular pathways in neurons," says Dr. Karun Singh, the senior author of the study and a Senior Scientist at DKJEI. Autism affects one in 50 Canadian children and youth, and can lead to challenges with learning, social interactions, and communication. Read more about this research ​at UHN News. Read the more about the study here.

And now.. our TikTok of the week. This video shows us a day in the life of a Nuclear Medicine Technologist – Chrystal Lucero! (Be sure to also check out this story from UHN Foundation).


Your feedback is welcome and valued. Please reply directly to me or leave anonymous feedback here.

Have a good week,


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