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University Health Network has grown to be one of the largest research and teaching hospital networks in Canada - pioneers in improving the lives of patients. Our long history of health professions education at Toronto General, Toronto Western, Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab hospitals has consistently advanced the science of education.
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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.
It's Transgender Awareness Week, an important time to foster understanding of the experiences and challenges of trans and gender-diverse people. I thank the 2SLGBTQIA+ Committee for organizing information tables at all UHN hospital sites this week. This group has also planned a Virtual Health Talk with Patient Education & Engagement to be released on November 20, featuring Dr. Tess Ringer, ED doctor at Toronto General, Dr. Ian Armstrong of Maple Leaf Medical Clinic, and Twitch streamer Kylie Feistmantl, discussing the barriers trans people often face in health care and advice on how to be a better ally. This will culminate with a Trans Day of Remembrance service on Nov. 20. Visit the 2SLGBTQIA+ Committee website for more information and resources.
Genetic Counsellor Awareness Day was marked across North America on Nov. 9, giving us an opportunity to recognize the exceptional service Genetic Counsellors provide across UHN. Genetic counsellors are health professionals with specialized training and expertise in medical genetics, genomics, and counselling. In the era of personalized medicine, their knowledge and skills are increasingly essential in helping patients, families and other healthcare providers interpret and understand complex genetic information. There are almost 20 genetic counsellors working across UHN, in the Genetics Program (the Fred A. Litwin Family Centre in Genetic Medicine and the Bhalwani Familial Cancer Clinic), Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (TGH), Wallace-McCain Centre for Pancreatic Cancer (PM), GoodHope EDS Clinic (TGH), Hepatobiliary Oncology Program (TGH), KNC Epilepsy Genetics Clinic (TWH), Elisabeth Raab Neurofibromatosis Clinic (TGH/TWH) and the Department of Lab Medicine, Genome Diagnostics.
Sunday was World Pneumonia Day, an annual event encouraging global action about the largest infectious cause of death in children worldwide. Pneumonia, a form of acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs, can be caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria. More than 740,000 children under five died of this preventable and treatable disease in 2019, according to the World Health Organization, with deaths highest in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Older adults are also at greater risk from pneumonia, particularly those exposed to air pollution or smoking. At UHN, pneumonia is a frequent cause of illness and admission in our immunosuppressed patients, including transplant and oncology patients, and one of the most common causes of GIM admission. We salute all those across UHN who treat those dealing with pneumonia with compassionate and exceptional care.
November 14 is World Diabetes Day. This year's theme, "Access to diabetes care," highlights how millions of people still lack access to care, technologies and support for this chronic disease, which occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or the body cannot effectively respond to the insulin. Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, stroke, heart attacks, and lower limb amputation. Roughly 30 per cent of admitted UHN patients have diabetes, impacting most clinical programs but particularly cardiac, organ transplant, and cancer units. In UHN's Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, patients receive multidisciplinary diabetes care from a team of endocrinologists, nurse practitioners, nurse educators, and dietitians, under the leadership of Dr. Gary Lewis, Division Head; Dr. Phil Segal, Clinical Lead; Joanne Zee, Clinical Director, and Jacqueline Cooper, Nurse Manager. UHN is also boasts leading diabetes research, headed by Dr. Tony Lam as the Metabolism Group Lead at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, and the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre, directed by Dr. Minna Woo.
The Michener Institute of Education at UHN will host an interesting panel on November 21, entitled "Apprenticeships: An Innovative Solution to Health Human Resource (HHR) Challenges." The event, which will take place from 4 to 6 p.m., will feature a panel of health care leaders discussing how apprenticeships could help solve today's critical HHR challenges.
And now… our video of the week. This
clip celebrates UHN's fantastic Medical Radiation Technologists.
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Have a good week,