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

  • Nominate your colleagues for UHN's 2021 Local Impact Awards: The nomination categories for the Local Impact Awards are again aligned with UHN's Strategic Priorities. Submit your nomination by November 30 using this SurveyMonkey form.
  • As of November 9, 5,919 members of TeamUHN have received their flu shot at UHN and are better protected this flu season. Let's keep it going! UHN's Annual Flu Campaign runs until November 18. Here are the three ways you can get your flu shot:
    • Book an individual flu vaccine appointment at Health Services here [Editor's Note: Link no longer available]. Note: booking is only accessible using the Chrome browser.
    • Managers/Leaders at TG, PM, TW and TR can book a flu cart to be stationed in their units/area for 2 hours. There is a minimum requirement of 10 staff to be vaccinated when booking these carts. Note: bookings will only be done on-site. Booking information was provided in a separate communication.
    • During flu season, you can also get a free flu shot from: your primary care provider, participating pharmacies, or some public health units. If you get your flu shot from outside UHN, please upload your proof of vaccination to
  • For questions about booking an appointment, call 416 979 4441. Thank you for keeping yourself, TeamUHN, and patients healthy this flu season.
  • Understanding the prevalence and spread of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic can be confusing and overwhelming. Carly Rebelo, Manager, Infection Prevention and Control, recently simplified an explanation of the reproduction number, R(t), and what it means with regard to the spread of any virus, which I thought I would share. Keep in mind, this was written on November 4 when the province's R(t) was 1 and, unfortunately, the number has risen slightly since then. The role of aerosol transmission continues to be explored as does optimal air filtration and our best practices for now and into the future.
    • The R(t) is the average number of people a single infected person may go on to infect with the current public health measures in place. So currently, with the public health measures we've had in place for the past week or so, for every single case of COVID-19, it's expected to spread to one other single case of COVID-19 and so on and so on. Although 1 seems low, you want the R(t) to be below 1 to begin to consider the epidemic controlled. It seems to be slowly rising, and I guess it is because we've opened up a bit and lifted restrictions in Ontario. Hopefully this will fall again as the vaccination rate continues to rise in those 12 and up, children 5-11 start getting vaccinated, and third doses continue to be rolled out. Luckily we still have indoor masking in place, and facilities that are able to run without limited capacity have mandatory vaccination policies for patrons.

What happened at the Executive COVID-19 IMS Table

In response to COVID-19, UHN activated its Executive COVID-19 IMS (Incident Management System) table. Membership includes our Executive Leadership Forum and other members of COVID-19 work streams. The group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is a snapshot of the discussion.

Third Dose Vaccine Clinic

  • Background: In order to expedite administration of third doses to TeamUHN and partner hospitals, UHN organized two clinics. The MaRS Clinic offering COVID vaccine third doses for health care workers opens today (Monday, November 15). The Michener Clinic is now closed after operating from November 8 to November 13.
  • Who presented? Emily Musing (Vice President, Clinical; Chief Patient Safety Officer)
  • What do I need to know? The third dose clinics will continue to operate at MaRS until Monday, November 29 if there are sufficient bookings. Booking slots are now being opened one day at a time and current rates of booking would suggest that the final day for the clinic will be either Thursday, November 25 or Friday, November 26.

Overview of last week

Finance & Audit Committee of the Board meeting

  • Background: The role of UHN's Finance & Audit Committeeis to make recommendations to the UHN Board of Trustees and Michener Board of Governors on financial management, facilities and space management, information technology, and compliance oversight. The committee is chaired by Barbara Stymiest (UHN Trustee) and meets at least five times per year.
  • What happened last week? On November 9, the Finance & Audit Committee met virtually to discuss UHN's Q2 financial results including COVID-19 financial impact and the approach to 2022/23 financial planning. Other important updates included UHN's Master Plan, Synapse, the future path of Supply Chain Transformation, and an overview of risks and compliance across the organization. The committee also reviewed the external audit plan with EY and received various internal audit reports from KPMG.
  • What do I need to know? The Finance & Audit Committee recommended that the Board of Trustees approve the Q2 Financial Statements, the external audit plan and various other motions. The committee also supported UHN's 2022/23 financial planning approach in achieving a balanced budget. UHN will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health to manage financial pressures within the context of clinical recovery and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Human Resources Committee of the Board meeting

  • Background: The role of UHN's Human Resources Committee of the Boardis to advise and make recommendations to the UHN Board of Trustees (the "Board") on matters relating to recruitment, performance, succession planning, and talent development, as well as inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. The committee is chaired by Dean Connor (UHN Trustee) and meets at least four times per year.
  • What happened last week? On November 10, the Human Resources Committee met to review the results of our recent Workforce Planning initiative, and had an in-depth discussion on the Health Human Resources shortages, and UHN's plans to mitigate critical shortages in the most impacted areas. The Human Resources Committee reviewed a number of organizational opportunities that became evident through the analysis, including the need for greater focus on retention, creating systems to monitor new hire engagement, and providing key roles with additional supports such as mentorship or peer coaches.
  • What do I need to know? The Human Resources Committee will continue to monitor the work underway to address the Health Human Resources shortages impacting healthcare across the province. This work will involve the creation of a strategic Talent Management framework, and integrated processes which will align the needs of the new workforce with the strategic direction of the organization.

Michener Board of Governors and UHN Education Committee of the Board meeting

  • Background: The Michener Board of Governors is responsible for the overall governance of The Michener Institute of Education at UHN, and the UHN Education Committee serves as an advisory committee for both the UHN Board of Trustees and the Michener Board. The Michener Board of Governors and the UHN Education committee are chaired by Cornell Wright (UHN Trustee) and conduct a concurrent meeting at least five times per year.
  • What happened last week? On November 11, the Michener Board of Governors and UHN Education Committee met virtually to discuss the vision and future of The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. Other important items for discussion and approval included the Michener Honorary Diploma Committee policy and procedure, the Michener 2022-23 tuition and ancillary fees, and the Michener external audit plan, financial statements, and procurement policy. An overview of enterprise risk management for UHN Education and The Michener Institute of Education at UHN was also provided.
  • What do I need to know? The Michener Board of Governors and the UHN Education Committee discussed the role of Michener and UHN People & Culture to address the Health Human Resources (HHR) challenges faced by UHN and other organizations across the healthcare system. Michener is well-positioned to support HHR planning and solutions given its focus on full-time, part-time and continuing education programs for the health science professions, and its unique position as the only Canadian post-secondary institution embedded within a hospital.

Closing notes

UHN has received another award as a leading green hospital – this time at the international level. Last week, at the International Hospital Federation (IHF) Awards – recognized as the premier awards program for the healthcare industry – UHN was announced as the Gold Winner of the Ashikaga-Nikken Excellence Award for Green Hospitals. This is a tremendous honour for UHN, as we were one of more than 250 entries from 38 countries around the globe vying for an award this year. Please join me in celebrating and congratulating Facilities Management – Planning, Redevelopment & Operations' (FM-PRO) Energy & Environment team, our 700-plus volunteer Green Team members, and every single TeamUHN member who helps make their departments more sustainable. Learn more about the award here and watch a video about some of our impressive green projects here.

November 10 was World Science Day. Marked annually, World Science Day for Peace and Development is a day to celebrate and recognize the role that science plays in our daily lives. In recognition of World Science Day, UHN Research announced the launch of the UHN Research Report 2021, aptly titled "Science for Society". The report features research advances, successes, awards and other highlights across UHN's seven research institutes and two dedicated foundations — all in the service of society. Science is embedded in everything that we do, and I thank all researchers at UHN for your continuous work to build A Healthier World.

November 14 was World Diabetes Day. This year is especially commemorative as it celebrates 100 years since the discovery of insulin, and the first dose, administered at the Toronto General Hospital, only months later. Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, which is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and leg amputation. At UHN, thirty percent of admitted patients have diabetes, impacting almost every clinical program; particularly cardiac, cancer, and organ transplant units. Under the leadership of Dr. Minna Woo, Division Head, Endocrinology and Metabolism; Dr. Phil Segal, Clinical Lead; Joanne Zee, Clinical Director, and Jaqueline Cooper, Nurse Manager, a team of endocrinologists and highly trained nurse practitioners, nurse educators, and dietitians provide exemplary multidisciplinary diabetes care for some of the most challenging cases. UHN is also home to innovative diabetes researchers headed by Dr. Minna Woo, the Metabolism Group Lead at Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, and the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre directed by Dr. Gary Lewis. A blue circle is the international symbol for diabetes awareness, symbolizing life, health and unity around fighting diabetes around the world; you may see some members from TeamUHN wearing a blue circle pin in show of support.

November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual event to commemorate and honour those who were murdered due to transphobic violence. In 2020, there were at least 350 reported cases of trans and gender-diverse people murdered worldwide, however, the true numbers are underestimated as most murders go unreported, or victims are misgendered by police, family or in media reports. The pandemic has worsened healthcare disparities for trans, two-spirit, and gender-diverse communities, who are also disproportionately affected by violence due to the complex realities of intersecting identities of race, gender, and class among other identities of oppression. Transgender Day of Remembrance, and Transgender Awareness Week (November 15-19) provide a crucial opportunity to raise awareness and educate ourselves about the issues faced by trans, two-spirit, and gender-diverse patients and co-workers; and to promote principles of gender-affirming care, trauma-informed care and harm reduction strategies to serve UHN's diverse patient populations. Accordingly, UHN is partnering with Rainbow Health Ontario for trans-inclusive and gender-affirming educational initiatives that will commence across UHN in 2022. Under the auspices of UHN's Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility and Anti-Racism (IDEA), the Employee Resource Groups comprised of the UHN 2SLGBTQIA+ Committee [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available], the Accessibility Council, the Black Legacy Council [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available], and the Pan-Asian Committee, along with the Indigenous Health Program and the UHN Department of Social Medicine, stand in solidarity to remember those we lost to transphobic acts of violence, and to make UHN and the communities we serve more inclusive for trans, Two-spirit, and gender-diverse persons. To learn more about Trans Day of Remembrance, events for Trans Awareness Week and resources for trans care and inclusion, please download the PDF at this link. Read the UHN News story here.

Last week was Perioperative Nurses Week, and we could not be more grateful for the amazing team in our ORs. More than 20,000 surgeries are accomplished every year because of the contributions of UHN's world-class Perioperative Nurses. Thank you for all that you do.


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Have a good week,

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