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​Good Monday morning,

Last week, we joined the world in mourning the tragic loss of life in New Zealand at the hands of a terrorist extremist. Fear and hatred exist in many forms – big and horrendous, small and deceptive – and they are destructive to the world we are trying to create at UHN. This week, join me in reflecting on UHN’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and showing support for our Muslim colleagues and community. We are always stronger when we stand together.

1. Highlights on UHN's Essentials

UHN’s Essentials are essential to the work we do as a leading academic health sciences centre – hence the name! Read here to le​arn more. Below, you’ll find highlights on UHN’s Essentials from last week. 

 People and Culture  Six hour blackout at Toronto Rehab’s Lyndhurst Centre – but exemplary teamwork prevails leading to zero serious safety events!: Last week, a Code Grey was called at Lyndhurst. Contractors were drilling through cement which caused water to damage our electric panels, bringing down both regular and emergency power in all inpatient areas and some support areas. The blackout lasted for six hours but regular power wasn’t restored until 30 hours later. My deepest thanks to all involved in the swift, professional response. TeamUHN rolled up their sleeves and came up with creative solutions to do what needed to be done, including carrying patients in wheelchairs and Spinal Cord Injury Ontario staff up and down stairs. Special thanks to Joanne Zee, Senior Clinical Director at Toronto Rehab, who served as our highly effective Incident Commander. And, expressing gratitude to Joe Angione, Facilities Manager from Bickle Centre, for stepping in to lead repairs. Our colleagues in FM-PRO (Facilities Management – Planning, Redevelopment & Operations) are managing the restoration work and doing a root cause analysis now.

 Partnerships  Working with St. Michael’s Hospital to support Sunnybrook and Trillium Health Partners: Due to ongoing equipment issues, Trillium has been redirecting neurointerventional radiology cases to other hospitals since December and Sunnybrook is now also on redirect because of short staffing. CritiCall Ontario, a Ministry-backed emergency consultation and referral service, is helping distribute the redirected cases between St. Mike’s and UHN to keep things as manageable as possible. Thanks to our colleagues in the Joint Department of Medical Imaging for stepping up in service of Ontario’s patients and families.   

Technology  Cyber security and privacy practices in action: In addition to thanking everyone for doing their part every day, I wanted to highlight some of our nursing colleagues at Princess Margaret for approaching a person with no ID badge. This individual was on one of our inpatient units and attempting to access a UHN computer, so they respectfully asked what the person was hoping to achieve and flagged the issue with security. Great diligence! Many of us are completing our cyber security training now through e-Learning – I confess I’m a bit behind but Grace Ivo is putting my nose to the grindstone and setting time aside for me to complete the module this week.

2. “In it together”: UHN’s Research Strategic Plan   

We want research and education permeating every centimeter of UHN – which is why “Drive the convergence of care, research and education” is flagged prominently in our Strategic Plan as part of A Healthier World. In support of this, we’ve now introduced UHN’s Research Strategic Plan “In it together” which brings us closer to that goal and outlines how we will accelerate the development of effective solutions for today’s greatest health challenges. Here is the website and a link to the full Research plan​. Many thanks to our colleagues in Research and Brad Wouters (Executive Vice President, Science and Research) for leading this important work. And, to the Research committee of the Board who played an important role in shaping this bold plan. FYI UHN’s Education Strategic Plan is in the works – stay tuned!

UHN’s Strategic Plan and Research Strategic Plan
UHN’s Strategic Plan and Research Strategic Plan side by side

3. Ontario Health’s Board of Directors and tomorrow’s care  

For those who missed it, Ontario Health announced its Board of Directors here​ which includes many wise Ontarians. I was very impressed to see the breadth and skill of the Board Members. We look forward to working with this new and important organization as we evolve the structure of the health system. 

Speaking of evolved structures, stay tuned for more updates on UHN’s Integrated Comprehensive Care Program, launching in late Spring starting with thoracic surgery. Our hope is to expand to all surgical care soon thereafter. We know this model can deliver more care – using no more resources! I’ve seen this happen in my previous life at St. Joseph’s Health System and look forward to supporting TeamUHN in growing integrated care at scale.    

Have a good week,  

Kevin 

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