Good Monday morning,

1. Highlights on UHN's Essentials

UHN's Essentials are essential to the work we do as a leading academic health sciences centre – hence the name! Read here to learn more. Below, you'll find highlights on UHN's Essentials from last week.

Quality and Safety Trusted sources for novel coronavirus information: Our IPAC (Infection Prevention & Control) colleagues continue to provide the most current information on nCoV19 (the novel coronavirus). For anyone seeking information from trusted sources, I encourage you to read the material on the Intranet and refer patients and families to the public information we have posted on It's important we all provide information from trusted sources and this is particularly true for people using social media. The 'virus' of fake information on social media is worrisome, and we can all do our part to stop that spread.

Partnerships Meeting the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry in Ottawa: I had the pleasure of meeting with Minister Bains to discuss the importance of artificial intelligence in healthcare, and the importance of diversifying our future Canadian economy. UHN is fortunate to be a leading institution for the development, application and commercialization of big data – and located in one of the world's leading cities, provinces and nations. Our work in creating a comprehensive data science strategy, in addition to our Healthcare Human Factors and Connected Care groups, uniquely position UHN and the University of Toronto on the global stage. Canada is also a world leader in the ethical considerations and personal protections of data. It will be important that we continue an open and collaborative dialogue to ensure Canada remains at the leading edge in all of these domains.

People and Culture Remembering Catalina Coltescu and David Rideout – two dear colleagues who passed away recently. Our deepest and sincerest sympathies go to the friends, families and colleagues who are suffering their loss. Catalina came to Canada from Romania, where she was a general physician, and began her career at UHN in the Toronto Western Liver Clinic and promoted three times to her most recent position as a Senior Clinical Research Coordinator – II. She was beloved by her family and colleagues, and touched many at UHN deeply. David held the position of Chief of Radiology for 20 years at Princess Margaret – beginning in the late 1960s – and was known for his consistent dedication to patients and enduring work ethic. David led some of the key developments in imaging that positioned Princess Margaret, and later UHN, as a leader in cancer imaging. We truly stand on his shoulders and remember his many contributions and deep care for those he treated and the many talented colleagues he recruited.

2. What happened at our Executive Leadership Forum meeting

UHN's Essentials are essential to the work we do as a leading academic health sciences centre – hence the name! Read here to learn more. Below, you'll find highlights on UHN's Essentials from last week.

  • 2020/21 Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) Draft Indicators

    Presenter: Emily Musing (VP, Quality & Safety & Chief Patient Safety Officer)

    The QIP is an annual set of commitments made by every healthcare organization in Ontario to improve quality of care in service of patients through focused actions and targets. Developed with Patient Partners each year, it's also part of our commitment to TeamUHN. Emily is UHN's QIP Executive Sponsor and she shared the 2020/21 indicators we will be proposing to the Board of Trustee's Safety and Quality Committee for approval, and to Ontario Health, by March 31. See UHN's previous Quality Improvement Plan here.

  • Preparing for UHN's Board of Trustees meeting: Bioethics

    Presenter: Ann Heesters (Director, UHN Bioethics Program)

    February will mark the first time that UHN's Bioethics Program presents to our current Board of Trustees and, in preparation, Ann did a dry run of the presentation so members of Executive Leadership Forum could provide feedback. The Program released a new strategic plan in 2019 with a mission to help UHN navigate ethical complexities at the bedside, bench side, board room and beyond. In today's increasingly complex world, we're working to embed ethics in all we do. We're also realizing that the skills and expertise of our outstanding Bioethics group can improve our decision-making across many contexts. UHN's Board of Trustees meeting is on Feb. 19. Learn more about the Bioethics program here.

  • Digital Capital Planning 2020/21 Kick Off

    Presenter: David Wiljer (Executive Director, Education, Technology & Innovation)

    Our colleagues in UHN Digital have started their capital planning process for 2020/21, meaning they are determining how resources will be allocated for the next fiscal year. As part of this work, they've created a set of guiding principles that will allow them to prioritize various initiatives. Especially important as we are relying on our Digital colleagues to help fuel UHN's upcoming clinical transformation, which will be supercharged by technology and a new Health Information System (HIS). The Executive Leadership Forum approved their request to proceed with the principles and associated timelines. I know that, over the next couple of years, our focus will have to be laser sharp on clinical transformation. We ask for your tolerance if we have to delay some other projects to ensure we focus our time on marrying compassionate care and cutting-edge technology.

  • Budget Operational Plans for Clinical Programs

    Presenter: Ivan Lara (Senior Director, Finance, Clinical Programs)

    Tackling UHN's significant financial pressures will take ingenuity and teamwork – fortunately we are rich in both at UHN. We discussed UHN's 2020/21 budget strategies which were developed in partnership by our Clinical Operations Group and Medical Leadership Committee. Our clinical, administrative, and medical leaders have come together as one TeamUHN to address the majority of UHN's budget challenges for next year. Implementing the approach will be the determining success factor, of course. We also talked about our continuing discussions with the Ministry of Health. We appreciate they have many pressures with limited options and fiscal resources – as do we! We are working together and guided by our commitment to serving patients, families and providers, and remaining a world-leading academic health sciences centre.

  • Opportunity for UHN in the United Arab Emirates

    Presenter: Ary Batista (Vice President, Commercial Strategy) and Justin Young (Director, Business Development & Consulting)

    Our colleagues in commercial strategy presented an opportunity for generating alternative sources of revenue for UHN. In our effort to be more strategic and help deliver on our vision of A Healthier World, we are conducting very thorough reviews of new partnerships to ensure they bear fruit. And in no way detract from our primary mission in serving Canadians. Thank you to our colleagues for delivering a comprehensive presentation so we can robustly consider this and other opportunities to build A Healthier World.

  • UHN Master Plan: Surgical Services Redevelopment

    Presenter: Rebecca Repa (Executive Vice President, Clinical Support and Performance)

    UHN is preparing to review its Integrated Facilities Master Plan with the Ministry of Health in February 2020. Having a Master Plan enables us to strategically align our key redevelopment projects with Ministry requirements. We reviewed different options for surgical services infrastructure – a huge priority as our operating rooms at our Toronto Western site are in need of attention ASAP.

3. Attending the Krembil 5-Year Strategy Plan Annual Review Meeting

It was a pleasure hearing Don Weaver (Research Director, Krembil Research Institute) and Gelareh Zadeh (Program Medical Director, Krembil Brain Institute) deliver a state of the union to the leadership of the Krembil Foundation including Mark Krembil (President, Krembil Foundation) and Kate Williams (Scientific Director, Krembil Foundation). Krembil Discovery Tower is home to 191 total researchers, 333 research staff, and 144 trainees all contributing to high-impact advancements in neuroscience, vision and arthritis! On behalf of TeamUHN, I'd like to extend our deepest thanks to the Krembil Foundation for their support in sustaining the Krembil Research Institute and Krembil Brain Institute. Their philanthropic support is allowing us to deliver remarkable impact in service of A Healthier World. During the meeting, Brad Wouters (Executive Vice President, Science & Research) also gave an update on UHN Research's Strategic Plan. We had some much great discussion – unfortunately we ran out of time for our foundation colleagues to provide their important update, but we'll be back to do that very soon.

Have a good week,


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