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Good Monday morning,

Last week, I had the chance to tour the operating rooms (OR) at Toronto Western (TW). I was really impressed in talking with patients and providers but also struck by the great need to get on with our redevelopment. Some of Canada's most advanced surgery is performed in these ORs but they are well past their "best before" date. Thanks to the Government of Ontario we're moving ahead with these long overdue upgrades. I also noticed scorecards measuring quality and safety posted outside each OR. Great initiative to improve outcomes for those we serve and those who serve them - and increasingly important to have metrics like this so we can show the high return on investment to our new government. I understand that Toronto General has a slightly different scorecard and that there's discussion to harmonize them so we can learn from each other across the sites of UHN.

This past week I also met with our bioethics team to learn about the domains of their many contributions to UHN and the University of Toronto. Ethics must be central in our decision making if we are to truly put the needs of patients first, while ensuring a high quality workplace. Through my tours and visits, I've heard many concerns and compliments. One frequent concern from our staff is our ability to safely discharge patients back into the community, particularly those with addictions or who are part of marginalized populations. I've also read comments echoing this in the feedback survey for UHN's 2019-23 strategic plan. It is just these kind of complex and vexing challenges where our expert bioethics team can help care teams, patients and families.  I encourage you to call on them as you explore solutions to complex clinical and management challenges.

Next, let's congratulate our own Dr. John Dick on being awarded the prestigious American Society of Hematology's 2018 Mentor Award for his sustained commitment to the training and career development of early-career hematologists. Mentorship is a quality we must support by and for all members of Team UHN and something I've been privileged to benefit from in my own career. As we congratulate Dr. Dick, it's also a great time to consider how we're doing as mentors and mentees.

Speaking of development, I attended our Academic Achievement Scholarship Ceremony, part of a program supported by our colleagues in Human Resources that grants scholarships to the children of UHN employees. I know we have remarkable people at UHN - who are also remarkable parents - given the talent and potential I saw in our young scholarship recipients. It was a pleasure to welcome Ruth Gopaul back to present two awards in her name - celebrating a 46-year career at UHN as well as present the Liane Acheson Scholarship, presented to learners who are pursuing a nursing degree and celebrating the all too short life of Liane Acheson. Congratulations to all.

I also had the chance to learn more about our breadth of research last week. Our investigators tell me they're drawn to the diversity of scholarship at UHN and I wholeheartedly agree. I was able to see the vast scope of research from the Department of Anesthesia, our Transplant Program and Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. I was also thrilled to see how our eHealth Innovation group is enabling self-care for our patients through evidence-based apps and platforms.

Another highlight of my week was discussing Integrated Comprehensive Care with members of Team UHN and some of my wonderful colleagues from St. Joseph's Health System. We're looking at how UHN could offer programs that better integrate hospital and community based care - improving both. Hospitals are expensive places to receive care and frankly most of our patients want to go home as soon as it's safe to do so. Which means we have to figure out how to deliver some components of the care process once done in hospital at home. To do so requires home-care to be a central part of their comprehensive care team - not a separate and isolated one. I'm committed to advancing these models of care - with patients, families and providers - and see UHN as an international leader in this evolving domain.

Finally, I hope you'll join me in saying a bittersweet farewell to Fatima Sheriff, our Chief Strategy Officer. Fatima has been a key individual in helping me onboard to UHN. More importantly she's been a long-term leader and confidant to so many in the UHN family. Fatima is joining the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as their Vice President, Chief of Staff. An excellent opportunity for her career. I thank her for all she's done to bring me into the UHN fold – using 20 years of institutional knowledge! – and know she will be missed here but a great asset to our friends in Houston. We will be hosting a farewell tea in her honour on Sept. 12 (2:00-3:30 p.m. at the Anthony S. Fell Boardroom, R. Fraser Elliott Building, Toronto General). You can stop by and wish Fatima well.

Have a good week,

Kevin​

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