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

  • Our deepest thanks, as always, to those who were working in service of patients and TeamUHN over the long weekend. I am pleased to see that many of you are finally able to take some vacation time and I hope everyone enjoyed a well deserved break. For those who were working, we are all so appreciative of your dedication to patient care, and hope that you take your own long weekend soon.
  • Reminder that on August 9th, UHN's policy on home testing goes into effect. The policy is available here. This means that individuals who fail the screening attestation at UHN entrances — requiring all members of TeamUHN to have either received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, or have tested negative on a rapid-test within 48 hours of their scheduled shift — will not be allowed to enter any UHN site. Thank you to everyone who has already reported their vaccination status to Health Services. If you have not yet done so, please report your vaccination status, or your decision to participate in the home COVID-19 testing program here [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available].

Overview of last week

Ministry of Health and Ontario Health Announce Surgical Recovery Plan

  • Background: Throughout the pandemic many scheduled tests, procedures and surgeries were cancelled as the system focused all its resources to care for the large number of patients with COVID-19. Though this shift in resources was absolutely necessary to respond to the pandemic, it has since created a backlog of care for patients waiting for a scheduled procedure.
  • What happened last week? An announcement was made last week by Ontario's Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, on the Province's comprehensive surgical recovery plan to support Ontario's hospitals and community health sector to help patients get the care they need as soon as possible.
  • What do I need to know? According to the announcement, the Ontario government is investing up to $324 million in new funding to enable Ontario's hospitals and community health sector to perform more surgeries, procedures, and diagnostic imaging hours. This is a positive step forward for all our patients who have so patiently awaited much needed care. This funding includes $30 million for a new Surgical Innovation Fund to help hospitals in each region of the province to address barriers and increase their surgical output. UHN has already submitted a proposal to this fund, and I expect that we will be eligible in most areas of the funding announcement. Full details are available in the Ontario government's press release which can be read here.

Closing notes

Congratulations to Dr. Catherine Zahn, who will become the next Deputy Minister of Health, effective September 7, 2021. Many of you may remember Dr. Zahn who served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Toronto Western Hospital and also acted as interim Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Toronto General Hospital for a short period of time. She will take on this new role after her remarkable tenure as President and Chief Executive Officer at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) where she has served since 2009. All of us at UHN are thankful to Dr. Zahn for taking on this important role at such a crucial time, and look forward to working with her to build A Healthier World. I would also like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to Deputy Minister Helen Angus who is retiring. Helen's career in the civil service has been exemplary and her understanding of health and health policy has served the system well in her time as Deputy Minister.

Support the search for UHN's next Surgeon-in-Chief! Last Monday, a message went out on behalf of Kevin Smith, President & CEO, and Brian Hodges, EVP, Education and Chief Medical Officer, about assembling a Search Advisory Committee for the next Surgeon-In-Chief; Head, Sprott Department of Surgery; and Program Medical Director, Surgical Services at UHN. All members of TeamUHN are invited to nominate colleagues to serve on this Search Advisory Committee. Nominees should be highly regarded members of the UHN community, known for modeling UHN values including excellence in patient care, research, education, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and have a commitment to interprofessional practice and academic excellence. Please send your nominations to Brian Hodges, EVP and CMO via by August 31, 2021.

Join Canadian Blood Services' 12thAnnual Hospital Challenge and help save lives. In 2020, eight hospitals participated in the challenge to donate over 570 units. This year, members of TeamUHN can support the challenge from August 1st to October 11th to help CBS reach its target goal of 750 units (see details below). Over 100,000 new blood donors are needed in Canada this year to keep up with demand. UHN provides patients with 40,000 units of life-saving blood each year. Blood and blood products are needed for patients undergoing surgery, cancer treatments and routine medical treatments for various diseases and disorders. With UHN's size, scope and commitment to patient care, we can be leaders in this challenge and most importantly – save lives. To join the challenge:
1. Review the list of eligibility requirements and take the two-minute eligibility quiz. Sign in to your existing account or make a new account at 3. Join the University Health Network Partners For Life team and book your appointment!


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Have a good week,


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