​​​​On September 20th, at the UHN Board of Trustees meeting, Trustees discussed next steps for UHN including the appointment of an interim CEO. In an announcement that was sent out last Thursday, we outlined that Dr. Charlie Chan, our Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, has agreed to be UHN's Interim CEO starting September 30, 2017. I will be working closely with Charlie during this transition period until my departure in early November. Congratulations to Charlie for taking on this role — I am confident UHN will navigate this transition seamlessly under his experienced leadership.

With regard to Strategic Planning, the Board approved a motion to implement our three-year roadmap for Foundational Elements and to pause on the development of Strategic Themes (Big Dots), Mission and Vision. The Foundational Elements represent an extension of the great work already in motion under Caring Safely, Operational Excellence, People and Culture and Patient Experience. Content developed for the Strategic Themes, Mission and Vision will be curated and available for UHN's next CEO to consider after he or she has had time to assess the environment and organizational needs.

I would like to personally thank each of you for your contributions to the Strategic Planning process. I know many of you participated in working groups and provided feedback through surveys or by other means. By continuing with current foundational initiatives while pausing on and curating Strategic Themes, which require further development, we are striking the right balance. This enables us to maintain momentum and respect the effort that has been put in to-date by so many, while still allowing room for UHN's next CEO to formulate a path that will lead this great organization into the future.

Looking Back

Given that Charlie will begin his role as Interim CEO this week, this will be my final edition of Looking Ahead. With that in mind, I have been reflecting on the extraordinary things we have accomplished together.

In September 2015, we embarked on a journey of renewal. This journey has been marked with key milestones such as UHN's integration with the Michener Institute of Applied Sciences in January 2016, marking the first in-Canada integration of a health care system and educational organization. In the same month, we launched our eight Areas of Focus capturing important initiatives underway such as Caring Safely, our ambitious patient and staff safety initiative in collaboration with SickKids, and IT Transformation which brought together multiple IT departments to form UHN Digital.

January 2016 was also when we launched our Purpose, Values & Principles (PVP). Defining our PVP was a journey in itself, involving countless hours of consultation that brought together thousands of people across our community. Working with all of you and seeing your dedication to UHN was a humbling experience, and I fondly remember the pride I felt when I, along with so many of you, placed my thumbprint on our PVP tree marking the final step in that journey. Our PVP has since become the bedrock of our organization and gives meaning to our purpose statement: transforming lives and communities through excellence in care, discovery and learning. Putting the needs of patients first has also led to the remarkable accomplishment of our online patient portal — myUHN.

Looking back on these and other milestones brings mixed emotions — I am so proud of the work we have accomplished together, and I am also excited to see the great things UHN will achieve in the future.

However, my prevailing emotion is gratitude. Since day one, gratitude has been at the front of my mind. From my first week at UHN when I received such a warm welcome in spite of the winter, to even now as I prepare for my next journey, I have always been struck by the unparalleled dedication, kindness and spirit exemplified by everyone in this incredible organization.

For this reason, I want to extend my sincerest Thank You to the entire UHN community for the incredible honour of serving you and for transforming lives every day — you have certainly transformed mine!


Back to Top