Good afternoon, 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

  • On Friday, I had the enormous privilege of delivering a keynote address to The American Association for Thoracic Surgery's (AATS) "Leadership Academy" in Toronto, sharing leadership lessons from Canada's #1 Hospital. I am always proud to tell the story of University Health Network as one of the top 3 hospitals in the world. Rest assured that I let those visiting from U.S. hospitals know, in friendly but no uncertain terms, that we are pushing for that top spot! I reflected on our collective successes and my own areas for improvement when it comes to leading this wonderful place. A key message was UHN's focus on constant improvement, never settling for mediocrity, and benchmarking yourself against the best in the world. I share the same view as the writer Tom Peters, who said: "Great leaders do not create followers, they create more leaders." UHN boasts so many strong leaders across all our sites who help us shape a culture of excellence. My thanks to organizers for the invitation to speak.
  • You can't miss this UHN News profile of a remarkable 13-year-old UHN scientist who has her sights set on curing Parkinson's disease. Anthaea-Grace Patricia Dennis, who graduated high school at age nine and earned an honours bachelor's degree in biomedical science from the University of Ottawa in 2023, is now studying for her master's degree at the University of Toronto. Anthaea-Grace landed a coveted research position with Dr. Antonio Strafella, a neurologist and internationally renowned expert in movement disorders at UHN's Krembil Brain Institute, where she is using machine learning techniques and artificial intelligence to predict whether a patient has Parkinson's or is likely to develop the disease. "I want people to know that I may be 13, but I'm a master's student, I'm a researcher studying Parkinson's disease, and maybe in a few years you'll see me being your doctor," she said. I think I speak for everyone when I say there is no doubt Anthaea-Grace will be a doctor – or anything she wants. As we start another week together, let's all heed her advice to “grow your network, always work hard and never stop believing in yourself." Read the full story and watch the video linked below for more.
  • Congratulations to TeamUHN on achieving the 1000th Ex-Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP) procedure last month and taking another person off the list of 1,400 Ontarians waiting for an organ donation. This procedure is a revolutionary milestone for the future of organ transplantation at UHN and across the world. EVLP is a homegrown innovation at UHN created in 2008 by Drs. Shaf Keshavjee and Marcelo Cypel that can preserve lungs outside the body, resulting in increased organ viability and transplantation success, and is currently being used at transplant centres across five continents, including Duke University Hospital, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Mayo Clinic. "This is significant because it really shows how much this technique has matured, and that it has a strong track record of benefitting those needing a lung transplant," says Dr. Cypel, Director of the Transplant Program and Staff Thoracic Surgeon. Read more about the 1000th EVLP procedure on UHN News.
  • In new research, a UHN-led study has shone a light on the disproportionate impact of post-stroke depressive symptoms (PSDS) on women compared to men after entering cardiac rehabilitation programs. Researchers at UHN's KITE Research Institute analyzed data from 1308 stroke patients enrolled in such a program at Toronto Rehab and discovered a higher proportion of women experienced PSDS, the most common neuropsychiatric effects of a stroke, compared to men. They found the most common factor associated with PSDS in women was obesity. “It is critical to understand sex-related differences in PSDS as it can pose a greater burden on women compared to men," says Dr. Susan Marzolini, KITE scientist and the study's senior author. It is believed that these findings can help better tailor treatment approaches to enhance results. Read more in UHN News. Read the full study online.

Video of the Week

And now… our video of the week. In this clip, Dr. Alexandra Rendely from UHN's Post-COVID Condition Rehab program shares tips for managing symptoms of long COVID.


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Have a good week,


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