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Good Monday morning,

1) I'll start as usual by highlighting last week's safety issues at UHN:

  • Plexxus, our medical supplies distributor: Good news. No issues were reported this week so it appears our challenges around delayed and unavailable medical supplies have been resolved for now. We met with Plexxus colleagues a couple of weeks ago to share your feedback and express our concern. If any delays or shortages are occurring, please flag them at your safety huddles.  
  • Sick days and staffingWith flu season upon us, a significant number of staff are calling in sick across multiple programs and sites. We're having difficulty filling positions and are now relying on casual employees to help fill vacancies. Deepest thanks to our working staff who are managing this strain on our services – I know delivering safe, quality care is already challenging when we're overcapacity and that it's an added stress to onboard casual employees who aren't familiar with our environment. Our Site Operations and Practice Council is working with Occupational Health to find solutions.
  • Fly in our operating room (OR): We've concluded there is no single source for this issue but rather multiple possibilities. This information comes from an investigation involving multiple teams including clinical, IPAC (Infection Prevention and Control), environmental services, facilities, external vendors and other experts. Many thanks to all for coming together to address this serious issue. Despite the diligent work our teams are doing – including cleaning and sealing an unused crawl space that was a suspected culprit – we reported one more fly in an OR last week. We are monitoring our OR environment closely and will exhaust all possibilities until this is solved. 
  • Delays with our patient transfers: Non-emergency patient transfers have been experiencing significant delays - by as much as five hours. This is distressing to patients and staff and affecting flow at Princess Margaret, Toronto General and Toronto Western. I will be discussing best options with our Site Operations and Practice Council and our Clinical Operations Group. Please work with your manager or director should you experience challenges. 

 2) Next, I'll discuss our elevators. Some of our patients and staff at Toronto General and Toronto Western are experiencing unusually long elevator wait times and we know how frustrating this is. In some cases, we're able to fix these issues day of with the help of our contractors, but with older elevators, it can take a long time for our vendor to obtain the right parts to complete the repair. Our FM-PRO (Facilities Management – Planning, Redevelopment and Operations) team is working to improve the in-service hours of our elevators and daily updates on our elevator status can be found here. Our UHN-wide facilities master plan, which will help address our critical infrastructure needs, is also now available within the same page.  

3) Last week, Breakfast with the Chiefs held a screening of "Falling Through the Cracks: Greg's Story", a powerful and sobering short film based on the true story of Greg Price and his encounters with the  health system that eventually lead to his tragic and avoidable death. You can watch the trailer here. It was an honour to join David Price and Teri Price – Greg's father and sister – in a panel discussion following the film to discuss how we can prevent a story like Greg's from ever happening again. We were also joined by Ms. Susan Fitzpatrick, CEO of TC LHIN (Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network) and Dr. Jennifer Zelmer, President & CEO, Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI).

4) Another highlight of last week was celebrating Michener Institute's 60th anniversary. Great to reflect on what was achieved over the past 60 years thanks to Dr. Diana Schatz's vision, who founded Michener, and exciting to consider our endless possibilities in the 60 years ahead. For those who don't know, Diana's DNA sequence has been mapped out in a beautiful visual display across the Michener lobby to recognize her role as the soul of Michener. You can see what this looks like at the end of Michener's 60-year celebration video here.

5) I was also invited to join a roundtable discussion with our colleagues at UHN Digital. They support all areas of UHN and are truly the central nervous system of our organization. For those who don't know, much of the work in Digital is aimed at aligning with our funders and helping them solve important problems – and our partners in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and TC LHIN (Toronto Central Local Health Integrated Network) have told me how impressed they are with the work of our Digital colleagues. As our Health Information System (HIS) journey continues, we'll count on them to partner closely with our frontline staff to identify the best path forward. I was grateful for the frank conversation about the needs and desires of TeamUHN from the Digital team. 

6) Finally, we say a heartfelt thanks and farewell to Dr. Gaétan Tardif who is retiring as UHN's Physiatrist-in-Chief at Toronto Rehab. He will be missed by many but always considered a member ofTeamUHN! As we say goodbye to Gaétan, we welcome Dr. Mark Bayley as our new Physiatrist-in-Chief and know Toronto Rehab, in partnership with Ms. Sue Jewell (Senior Vice President, TR), is in good hands.  

Have a good week,

Kevin​

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