Good Tuesday morning,

I hope everyone had a relaxing long weekend. Sincere thanks to those who were working over Thanksgiving in service of patients, families and TeamUHN.

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 learn more. Below, you'll find highlights on UHN's Essentials from last week.

Technology TeamUHN now has a merged information system – one that reflects UHN's integrated care model and patient flow – thanks to a successful EPR Facility Merge: Big shout out to the hundreds of clinical staff across sites and UHN Digital for working tirelessly in support of this merge, which combines three EPR databases into a single one for UHN. Our colleagues have been preparing for this over the past two years by standardizing processes and screens – all this work paves the way for a smoother migration to our new Health Information System. I'd like to note the excellent TeamUHN spirit I saw throughout this project, starting with a "we're in this together" mentality, as well as the production of custom EPR Facility Merge cupcakes and other baked goods for colleagues who worked overnight during the merge!

Merge cupcakes

People and Culture Meeting with Anne Wigle, who received UHN's Global Impact Award on behalf of her late husband E. Douglas Wigle, and celebrating Local Impact Award winner Paul Tascione: At our 2019 Report to Our Community (formerly known as our Annual General Meeting), we presented awards to some well-deserving colleagues – unfortunately two recipients were unable to attend. Thanks to our award co-chairs Gillian Howard (Vice President, Public Affairs & Communications) and Michael Baker (Rose Family Chair in Medicine), we finally got the awards into the hands of their rightful owners this week!

  • E. Douglas Wigle, one of this year's Global Impact Award winners, is recognized for his pioneering description of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and his international leadership in cardiology.
  • Paul Tascione is a staff oncology nurse at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and recognized as a Local Impact Award winner because of his commitment to patients and support of his colleagues. Unfortunately, I was unable to meet Paul due to scheduling conflicts. I am glad he agreed to be included in this weekly update as it's important we recognize exemplary work!

E. Douglas Wigle and Paul Tascione
(L to R: Gillian Howard, myself, Anne Wigle, Michael Baker; Gillian Howard, Paul Tascione, Lisa Tinker (Paul's Unit Manager), Michael Baker)).

Quality and Safety Last week, I had the opportunity to meet Sparky at one of UHN's fire safety booths in honour of Fire Prevention Week. Thanks to John Chartrand (Senior Manager, Fire & Life Safety) for teaching me the origins of Fire Prevention Week. As the legend goes, the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 broke out when a cow knocked over a lamp, setting a barn on fire which eventually consumed the whole city. The fire killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed 17,400 structures and more than 2,000 acres of land. Fire Prevention Week helps raise awareness of the devastating consequences of fires, many of which are preventable. Thank you to our colleagues in Fire & Life Safety for reminding us how to stay safe and manage the unthinkable.

(L to R: Vito D’Amico (Fire Marshal), Grace Ivo (Executive Assistant), myself, John Chartrand (Senior Manager, Fire & Life Safety (F&LS), "Sparky" – who is actually our own Nicholas Hill (Technician, F&LS), Perry Ross (Fire Marshal), Jennifer Haines (Administrative Assistant, Security and F&LS), Tom Watson (Fire Marshal)).

Partnerships UHN's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Brazil's A.C. Camargo Cancer Centre: Last week, several colleagues and I met with Vivien Rosso, CEO of A.C. Camargo to formalize this partnership. Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide and 1 in 6 deaths around the globe is due to cancer. If we are to control and conquer cancer in service of A Healthier World, then we must work with national and global partners to address the prevailing health issues of our time.

Camargo Cancer Centre
(L to R: Brian Hodges (UHN Chief Medical Officer; Executive Vice President, Education), Brad Wouters (UHN Executive Vice President, Science & Research), Michael Burns (President & CEO, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation); Mary Gospodarowicz (Program Medical Director, Princess Margaret), myself, Vivien Rosso (CEO, A.C. Camargo), Marcos Cunha (Chief Business Officer, A.C. Camargo)).

2. Leadership reflection on the stories we tell ourselves: Observations from Anesthesia Grand Rounds, Emerging Leaders, Dutch Executive Health Program

Last week, I read this article – "To Make Change at Work, Tell Yourself a Different Story" from Harvard Business Review (HBR) and have been thinking about our organizational culture. I've had the privilege of serving TeamUHN for a year and a half now and hope we are getting closer to the culture of respect and civility we all desire. Thank you to those who have hit "reply" to these weekly updates to comment on the shift in tone you're seeing. We still have a lot of work to do. I suspect there are people who feel that nothing has changed though and "this is just how things are." As the HBR article points out, this is a dangerous story to tell – for this defeatist worldview informs the actions we take and ironically perpetuates the cultural issues we are trying to avoid. Frank feedback and spirited debate should always be welcome at UHN because they are based on the hope of a better outcome. Resentful and defeatist comments, on the other hand, are destructive and dismiss the impact we have on each other every day. We can only do better if there is a shared belief that change is possible. I am reminded of the quote from philosopher Thomas Carlyle: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

These thoughts were top of mind last week when I presented at the Department of Anesthesia's Grand Rounds, Emerging Leaders, and for a delegation from the Netherlands of soon-to-be hospital Board members. What I found inspiring was the shared desire to do better in service of the greater good – A Healthier World. UHN is committed to delivering a best-in-class quality of work life and a crucial first step is framing the stories we share in a constructive way. By communicating like this, we can advance the culture we want for TeamUHN. In return, please hold myself and UHN's Senior Management Forum accountable on our commitments and continue to share your feedback.

3. Inside the minds of some of Canada's most renowned researchers on "Behind the Breakthrough" – UHN's new podcast

Last week, I had the opportunity to start one of my mornings with a new podcast series called "Behind the Breakthrough" which takes a 360-degree view of the lives of researchers across UHN. Pairs nicely with a strong cup of coffee! The first episode featured Peter Munk Cardiac Centre's Heather Ross who discussed how the advent of artificial intelligence is enhancing the care she can deliver to patients with heart disease. Heather is fascinating and I was particularly inspired by her confession that it took three attempts to get into medical school. Her resilience and drive is what personifies all of us on TeamUHN! Congratulations to our colleagues in Public Affairs & Communications for the excellent production work. You can listen to episode 1 here.

Have a good week,


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