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

  • A very happy retirement to Dr. Joy Richards, a compassionate change agent and true leader at UHN. She opens this new chapter after an incredible 43-year career, which included 12 years of service to UHN, serving as Chief Nursing Executive and most recently as Vice President, UHN Health Education Development and Executive-In-Residence at The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. She will be remembered as a mentor who led by example – as she showed by working alongside nurses in UHN's COVID units during the early days of the pandemic and co-leading UHN's support of long-term care centres during the crisis. As you can read in this terrific profile from UHN News, Joy has always been a passionate advocate for nurses and the nursing profession. "Often, you're the one who makes the difference as communicator, as comforter, as the glue that holds everything together," she told UHN News. That's the gift of being a nurse." Read more about her career online.
  • UHN's Workplace Violence Education Collaboration (WVEC) will launch an organization-wide training program this Fall – called UHN TIDES – to address workplace violence and code white management concerns. Short for "Trauma-Informed De-escalation Education for Safety and Self-Protection," UHN TIDES is a collaboration between the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), UHN Safety Services, UHN Security Operations, and the UHN Code White Governance Committee. The program will provide training to prevent and effectively respond to such incidents and will include a dedicated simulation training component. The WVEC is now assembling a team of professional trainers, clinical experts, and security representatives to receive specialized "train-the-trainer" teaching in October 2023. This novel team of instructors will serve as the core group helping to roll out this initiative beginning in November 2023. This program is one example of how we are moving to mitigate and minimize workplace violence for TeamUHN. For more information, contact:
  • TeamUHN members can now add their pronouns to their Microsoft Teams profile, if they wish to do so. My thanks to UHN Digital, in support of the 2SLGBTQIA+ Committee, for enabling this important new feature. While we often make assumptions about someone's pronouns based on their name or appearance, a person's gender expression doesn't always indicate the pronouns they use. It is a sign of respect and civility to use your colleague's pronouns correctly, once shared. While this feature is optional for TeamUHN members, it is another way we are seeking to create a safer, more inclusive culture. Sharing pronouns can be an educational opportunity, a move to prevent misgendering and assumptions, and an act of allyship with gender-diverse people. The 2SLGBTQ+ Committee has prepared a thoughtful document on sharing pronouns with your colleagues. UHN Digital has prepared detailed instructions on how to add pronouns to your Microsoft Team profiles.
  • A new partnership between Toronto Rehab and Baycrest is showing how collaborating within the health system and leveraging technology can unlock life-changing solutions for patients. Toronto Rehab, renowned for its inpatient Specialized Dementia Unit (SDU) and outreach services for adults with advanced behavioural symptoms of dementia, is the newest partner in Baycrest's Virtual Behavioural Medicine program, which gives patients virtual access to psychiatric support. Care teams also use the program to coordinate and craft recommendations to manage the symptoms of residents in long-term care centres. "This program allows us to use the expertise we've developed on the SDU to help more people – and help them faster," Dr. Andrea Iaboni, geriatric psychiatrist at Toronto Rehab and Senior Scientist at UHN's KITE Research. Learn more about how this program is supporting seniors in place and enhancing flow in our hospitals at UHN News.
  • Congratulations to a trio of scientists from the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at UHN who have been honoured with prestigious Canadian Cancer Society Awards for Excellence in Cancer Research. Drs. Frances Shepherd, Amit Oza, and Hansen He were recognized for their outstanding service to the scientific community and will each receive a $20,000 prize to be put towards their research program. In recognition of a career spanning more than four decades, Dr. Shepherd has won the 2022 Lifetime Contribution Prize. Read more on UHN News and visit the Canadian Cancer Society website to learn more about all the winners.

Closing Notes

The World Health Organization's annual World Patient Safety Day was observed Sept. 17, with the theme: 'Engaging Patients for Patient Safety.' At UHN, we value partnering with patients in care. Encouraging patients to escalate care concerns is one way we can do this. Last week, there was a UHN News article on the quality improvement pilot project aiming to improve patient and family engagement in raising safety concerns at the bedside on TW-9A. This work is being collaboratively led by Quality, Safety & Clinical Adoption, Patient Experience and the 9A Team. The lessons learned from this pilot will be spread across UHN. I encourage you to learn more about the pilot project here.

September 20th is Rehabilitation Day, which gives us a chance to celebrate the rehab professionals at UHN and across Toronto. At Toronto Rehab, dedicated teams help patients overcome the challenges of disabling injury, illness, or age-related health conditions to live active, healthier, and more independent lives. We are also thankful for the many rehab professionals in acute care. The KITE Research Institute is a global leader in complex rehabilitation science focused on prevention, restoration, enhanced participation, and independent living, with researchers engaged in developing treatments, devices, and products. UHN Altum Health specializes in interdisciplinary outpatient rehabilitation with expertise in musculoskeletal injury and concussion. Altum's team of allied health professionals help people achieve improved health and function by providing the right care, at the right time, with the right providers. Learn more about TeamUHN reduced rates at any location, and how 100% of net revenue goes back to UHN. Help us keep the conversation going by sharing your inspiring rehab messages on social media. Remember to use the hashtag #RehabilitationDay.

UHN Foundation's Rally for Rehab, presented by BMO, raised more than $180,000 to support Toronto Rehab (TR)'s KITE Research Institute. On Sept. 10, more than 300 people gathered at TR's Rumsey Centre for a fun-filled morning of activities, including an accessible walk or roll around the Leaside neighbourhood and inspiring conversations about the critical role rehabilitation plays in transforming lives. A highlight from the day was watching Chloë Angus, confined to a wheelchair since a tumour on her spinal cord stole the use of her legs, walk outside for the first time in eight years for an emotional ribbon-cutting ceremony. She used a Human in Motion exoskeleton – an assistive mobility device Chloë helped design at Toronto Rehab that is now in a Phase 2 clinical trial. On behalf of Toronto Rehab and UHN Foundation, I thank everyone who participated and supported this event. Don't miss the video of Chloë, linked in the image below.

Join UHN researchers on Oct. 3 for a free Gairdner Global Perspectives Panel to explore the complexities of the human brain, the most powerful organ in the body. UHN's Drs. Gelareh Zadeh and Jaideep Bains will join colleague Jiwon Oh in a discussion, moderated by broadcast journalist Mary Ito, on tools and resources to understand the human brain on a deeper level, from brain tumours and stress to anxiety and multiple sclerosis. This event, hosted in partnership with the Krembil Brain Institute and the Ontario Brain Institute, is presented by TELUS Health. Register here or by clicking the graphic below.

And now.. our video of the week. This clip shows how to use a Naloxone kit, which can reverse fentanyl, opioid, and oxycodone overdoses.


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Have a good week,


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