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

  • We're in the final week of preparations for going live on the Epic system! Over the next four days and some hours, the Synapse team and operational teams across the organization will be taking care of the hundreds of details and cross-checks necessary for a safe and effective transition to Epic at 4 a.m. on June 4.
    • For example, on June 1, "cutover" begins. In short, cutover is a complex series of tasks involving pharmacists, nurses, and registration staff to ensure inpatient admission and ED visit information such as heights, weights, allergies, med orders, and non-med orders are accurately converted to Epic. Documentation in Epic cannot start until there is complete reconciliation of patient charts, particularly for patients in hospital on June 4. I share this example with you to demonstrate that patient safety always comes first.
    • In order to provide staff with the opportunity to focus on getting ready to go live with Epic, Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) accepted the recommendation from the Clinical Activity Recovery Team (CART) to decrease scheduled activity to 80% of baseline starting today, 60% of baseline for the week of June 6, and 70% of baseline for the week of June 13.
    • The Patient Experience page on the Synapse site has resources you can use to help patients know what to expect over the next few weeks. More about what TeamUHN can expect during the early morning of June 4 will be shared throughout the week. Information is also available on the Go-Live page of the Synapse site. Be sure to check out this morning's story on UHN News.
    • It has been a long road to get to this point and I know people are tired. Thank you for your unflagging commitment to patients and all you're doing to contribute to this milestone event.
  • There will be a Virtual Open Forum on Tuesday, May 31 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., focused on the final countdown to Go-Live with our Synapse project. We look forward to answering your questions about our move to a new health information system powered by Epic – a transition that will take place on Saturday, June 4. Please submit those questions to Only questions about the Synapse project will be answered at this forum.
    • Livestream link here (Chrome or Firefox only).
  • This Thursday, June 2 is election day in Ontario. According to the Ontario Election Act, every employee who is qualified to vote is entitled to three consecutive hours off to cast their ballot while polls are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. This means that TeamUHN members who work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. won't need time off because they will have more than three hours to vote after their shift ends. For those whose work hours on Thursday will not give them adequate time to vote, please know that you can request time off to vote which, according to the Act, can be "granted at the time of day that best suits the convenience of the employer." For more information, consult the Ontario Election Act. To find out more about how to vote, visit the Elections Ontario website.
  • As of next Monday, June 6, UHN patients will be able to receive support for their virtual care inquiries from the newly expanded Virtual Care Team. Patients will receive support the same way they currently do from myUHN, maintaining one central point of contact. Patients can get help with general inquiries about virtual care, advice on how to prepare for a virtual visit, digital literacy support and troubleshooting, MS Teams issues, and clarifying virtual care appointment information in myUHN. Patients can access this support by phone (416-340-3777) or email (, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Virtual Care team is still available for staff-related virtual care help via the UHN Service Desk at 416-340-4800 Ext. 4357 (HELP) or

Closing Notes

Please join me in congratulating Toronto Rehab on the launch of their 2022-2025 strategic plan. As our rehab leaders often say, there’s never been a more exciting time to reimagine and redefine rehabilitation and complex continuing care. And the Toronto Rehab Strategic Plan 2022-2025 will take us there. With an emphasis on investing in the wellbeing of our people; creating seamless rehabilitation experiences for patients; further integrating research and care; and harnessing the power of technology, this plan sets the priorities that will guide our work over the next three years, and represents an extension of both UHN's 2019-23 Strategic Plan, and Strategic Research Plan 2019-23. I'd like to send my thanks to Janet Newton, Clinical Vice President; Dr. Mark Bayley, Physiatrist-In-Chief and Program Medical Director; Dr. Milos Popovic, Director, The Kite Research Institute; and their interprofessional teams, for their vision, commitment to excellent patient outcomes, and support of A Healthier World.

Congratulations to Marian Milanovic who is retiring after a remarkable 45-year nursing career at UHN. Marian first started at Toronto General Hospital in 1977 in the Respiratory Care Unit/Recovery Room after completing her training in Montreal. Marian has worked in a variety of areas within UHN, spending the majority of her career in the Post Anesthetic Care Unit (PACU) before moving to the Preadmission Clinic in 2011. In PACU Marian collaborated with her colleagues on a qualitative study to explore the patient experience around surgical cancellation. Through this work, a process was developed to guide and support patients when their surgery is cancelled or postponed. The principles, values, and workflow that were developed through this work are still practiced today in Perioperative Services. Marian has been a tireless champion for nurses throughout her career and we wish her well as she embarks on her next adventure.

Congratulations to Gunda Cottreau on her retirement after 43 years at UHN! Gunda first started at Toronto Western Hospital in 1979 as a Respiratory Therapist, and eventually found her home at Toronto General Hospital. Gunda has witnessed many changes in her career, including the formation of UHN and the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario themselves. Gunda's legacy is her infallible patient advocacy and always asking the questions to ensure the right care for the right patient at the right time. This is embedded in the countless number of staff and learners who were fortunate to have had Gunda as a mentor and every patient she cared for. Her colleagues nod back at Gunda and hope she fits in some rest in between focusing on her grandchildren (anūkai), foodie exploits, and travel.

Last week we bid farewell to Berit Cameron, who retired from UHN's Laboratory Medicine Program after 57 incredible years. A pillar of our community for nearly six decades, Berit witnessed some remarkable changes at UHN while working in several administrative roles in hematology, surgical pathology, and gastrointestinal pathology. We are thankful for her professionalism, her commitment to TeamUHN and the patients we serve, and her deep institutional knowledge of her department. Learn more about her remarkable service to UHN right here.

June is Stroke Awareness Month. According to the Ontario Stroke Network, stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in Canada and the third leading cause of death. Every year in Canada, there are over 50,000 new strokes—that's one stroke every 10 minutes. The Stroke Team at Krembil Brain Institute (KBI) at Toronto Western Hospital, is a leader in stroke research and patient care, having achieved 'Stroke Distinction' from Accreditation Canada twice ('Stroke Distinction' is granted to organizations that demonstrate national leadership, clinical excellence and a commitment to continuing to improve the level of care for patients). Watch this video to learn more about the KBI Stroke Program and click here to listen to a recent 'Your Complex Brain' podcast episode, featuring the Stroke Team. At Toronto Rehab, where the team within our specialized Stroke Rehab program has achieved Stroke Distinction 3 consecutive years in a row, patient care focuses on improving patients' functional abilities so that they can live as independently as possible – and over at the KITE Research Institute, UHN has many rehab scientists engaged in neurotechnology research designed to help restore motor function for patients living the long-term effects of stroke.


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Have a good week,


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