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

  • As we continue to witness tragic events unfolding around our world that are causing immense pain and anxiety, our thoughts are with all those suffering. We also know the personal pain of so many on TeamUHN. I want to again stress the importance of prioritizing our mental health. We have support available through TelusHealth, our EAP provider, including a Crisis Support Line. Please visit Wellness@UHN (Corporate Intranet > Wellness) for tools and resources. As I said last week: We are one TeamUHN. And as a team, we will continue to carry forward a mission of care for each other.
  • It was encouraging to see provincial and territorial health ministers gather with their federal counterpart in Charlottetown last week for two days of meetings to address the top health care issues, including workforce shortages. Federal Health Minister Mark Holland released a communique urging, among other things, the creation of nursing retention toolkits for provinces, action to cut the time it takes for internationally educated professionals to begin work in Canada by beginning the credential process overseas, and reforms to allow labour mobility for health workers. Ministers also approved a joint action plan on health data and digital health that will see provinces and territories sharing depersonalized data to measure progress and promote alignment. It was also encouraging to see the call for investment in the social determinants of health. Read the full communique on the Government of Canada website.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Cathy Craven, the newly appointed Cope Family Chair in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Health Systems Innovation at Toronto Rehab. Dr. Craven, medical director of the Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program at Toronto Rehab and senior KITE scientist, will focus on advancing research and improving the health and wellness of SCI patients by empowering them with the information and tools to help self-manage their conditions and achieve their neurorecovery goals. “This funding will allow me to focus on what really matters, how to best evolve the quality of care and caring in the Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program," Dr. Craven said. The chair, part of a generous $1.7 million donation to UHN from George and Tami Cope, has a five-year term. Learn more from KITE.
  • Last week, I had the opportunity to roll up my sleeve for my flu shot! This year, getting a flu vaccine during UHN's Flu Campaign gives you a shot at tickets to the Toronto Maple Leafs or Raptors. TeamUHN members who get a vaccine at designated entrances of UHN sites or report getting a shot at an outside site to Health Services will be entered into a draw for tickets. We thank UHN Foundation and The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation for their generous support with the grand prizes. So far, more than 1,900 members of TeamUHN stopped by a UHN flu shot station for their vaccine and a treat of chips or full-sized chocolate bar. The clinics run until Oct 25. Read more about the campaign in UHN News.
  • Help keep our patients and TeamUHN safe by completing UHN's Safety Culture Survey today. Results will inform innovative interventions for improvement, and the survey is an Accreditation Canada requirement. It only takes 10 minutes and responses are anonymous. For any questions, please contact

Closing Notes

October 16-22 is Waste Reduction Week! To help raise awareness of sustainability through waste reduction, the UHN Energy & Environment team has once again organized the Waste Reduction Week Inter-Hospital Challenge. The friendly competition is open to staff at hospitals across the GTA and throughout Ontario. Participation only takes three minutes in the form of completing a quiz where you can show your waste reduction smarts and learn at the same time. The organization with the greatest participation rate wins bragging rights. There are also chances to win individual prizes. Complete the Waste Reduction Week Quiz today!

October 16 is World Spine Day, which calls us to salute the teams across UHN advancing spinal cord care and research. More than 85,000 people live with a spinal cord injury (SCI) in Canada (both traumatic and non-traumatic). Krembil Brain Institute's Spine Program provides leading comprehensive medical care and treatment to our patients and, through innovative research, accelerates the discovery of novel treatment strategies for disorders of the spine and SCI. Toronto Rehab's Lyndhurst Centre boasts Canada's largest Spinal Cord Rehab program, where dedicated teams work to improve patients' functional abilities to live as independently as possible. The KITE Research Institute is home to one of the world's largest SCI research programs and the KITE Innovations and Rehab Clinics, which is making access to novel therapies possible by simultaneously supporting groundbreaking research and patient care.

This Friday is Canadian Library Workers' Day, a moment to pause and thank the incredible library professionals across UHN who help advance patient care, research, and education. These dedicated TeamUHN members use their expertise to help colleagues find answers and make better choices while contributing to a strong culture of learning at UHN. The Health Sciences Libraries support staff, researchers, clinicians, and learners seeking the best evidence for decision-making and patients and families are supported by experts in the Patient and Family Learning Centres (Corporate Intranet > Patient Experience > Patient & Family Learning Centres). The Learning Collaboratory at the Michener Institute of Education at UHN boasts information resources and tools for faculty and students. We also acknowledge the library professionals in other departments who provide research and information-management support. Thank you all for sharing your talents in service of A Healthier World. Learn more about Canadian Library Workers' Day online.

October is Health Literacy Month. Health literacy is a person's ability to understand and use information and services to make decisions regarding their health. Patients with low health literacy are more likely to report poor overall health, have difficulty understanding their diagnosis, and are at a higher risk of hospitalization. TeamUHN can find resources to support engagement in care and health literacy. We encourage everyone to bridge the gap between providers and patients by collaborating with the Patient Experience Portfolio and Pride in Patient Engagement in Research (PiPER) team. Please watch this reel on Health Literacy Month, also linked below, to learn more about how the Patient Experience portfolio can help your patients.

And now… our video of the week. In this clip, UHN's Patient Experience Program shows you four ways you can learn about your health this month.


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Have a good week,


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