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

  • UHN has again been named the top research hospital in Canada by Research Infosource Inc., a position we have proudly held since the annual rankings began in 2011. Research Infosource compared research hospitals in Canada according to their spending data, including grants, contributions, and contracts. "In the face of great adversity, research hospitals across Canada continue to serve as the central and most vital link between health care and discovery," said Dr. Brad Wouters, UHN's Executive Vice President of Science and Research. "This unique environment is where the cures of tomorrow are born." This recognition just underscores how important it is to keep pushing for expanded funding for research, particularly with a federal budget expected in several weeks, as Canada is falling behind on this score. See the full 2022 list of Canada's Top 40 Research Hospitals and read more from UHN News. Watch the video linked below to hear UHN researchers describe the rewarding and creative aspects of their work.
  • UHN has bid adieu to two TeamUHN members who exemplify our values of commitment and service.
  • Last week, Lois Alli, an Environmental Services Aide, retired after an astounding 50 years at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. She began her career working in Nutrition Services while still a teenager. Lois was later encouraged to take a health care aide course and worked in that field, providing daily living support services for people in need. By the mid-2000s, she was redeployed to UHN Environmental Services, which allowed her to learn more and interact with patients. "Being a housekeeper has a lot of potential – you get to mingle with people, you get to grow," she told UHN News. We thank Lois for her decades of hard work and wish her nothing but joy in her retirement, with time for travelling, camping, and family. Read more at UHN News.

    We also wished Debra Davies, Nurse Manager for Toronto General Hospital's Emergency Department, a well-earned retirement after almost 40 years of service. Debra – better known as Deb to TeamUHN – began her nursing career at Toronto Western in 1986 before moving to Toronto General three years later. In addition to her rock-steady leadership and mentorship in the Emergency Department, she helped craft protocols for infectious disease outbreaks, such as SARS and COVID-19, and was on the frontline of the Ebola epidemic. She told UHN News that the sense of community at UHN is why she stayed with the organization over several decades. "Something wonderful happens when you get to share the happy moments with your team, but also get to be there to support them through difficult times," she said. "I knew I could always count on them for support because they're like family." Watch the retirement video linked below to get a sense of the indelible legacy Deb is leaving behind.

  • On January 30, UHN Digital transitioned the Service Desk from a third-party vendor to one completely managed and staffed by TeamUHN members. This is an important first step to ensure a positive customer service experience. When your calls for support are answered by UHN employees, they build a better understanding of the UHN environment, as well as the needs of TeamUHN. As the team works to stabilize their processes following the transition, please be patient with our new Service Desk agents. They are eager to provide the best possible service and outcomes. It is important that we all work collaboratively to improve service for the future.
  • If you know an exceptional person who has made significant contributions to health care and/or post-secondary education, and whose accomplishments inspire learners, please consider nominating them for an Honorary Diploma at The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. The Honoree will be asked to deliver the keynote address at Michener's graduation ceremony this coming June. More information about the Honorary Diploma is here, and nominators can access the nomination form here.
  • On my site visits last week, I had a chance to meet with some amazing colleagues in Environmental Services and Nutrition at Toronto General to get their views on the organization. It was very interesting to get a closer look at how these dedicated professionals work, from the more than 300 staff responsible for more than 1.5 million cleanable square feet to the TeamUHN members who prepare the meals for our patients. These deeply valued members of TeamUHN are crucial to our patient care and we thank them for their hard work.
  • Late last week, the provincial government released a new healthcare plan aimed at cutting wait times for emergency care and surgeries and localizing access. The plan, titled "Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care," has three pillars: "The Right Care in the Right Place," focused on improving access to care at home and mental health and addiction support and expanding Ontario Health Teams, team models of primary care, and services at pharmacies; "Faster Access to Care," including surgeries, emergency care, diagnostic services, and end-of-life care; and "Hiring More Health Care Workers," by expanding the Ontario Learn and Stay Grant, reducing financial barriers for internationally educated nurses, and investing in training. With premiers set to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Tuesday to discuss a new healthcare funding agreement, the Ontario government has committed to sharing national healthcare data with Ottawa, one of the federal government's key conditions. We remain hopeful that a landmark deal between Ottawa and the provinces and territories is imminent.

Closing Notes

February is Heart Month, an opportunity to celebrate the extraordinary work of our colleagues at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre.Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada. Approximately one in 12 Canadian adults live with a diagnosed heart disease, and nine in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease, stroke, or vascular cognitive impairment. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre at UHN is a global leader in the diagnosis, care, and treatment of patients with both simple and complex cardiovascular diseases. With world-renowned medical expertise, the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre aims to deliver the best possible outcome for each patient. We are incredibly proud of the transformative work being done at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. It is a privilege to work alongside such talented and driven colleagues.

This is Resident Doctors Awareness Week, a time to shine a spotlight on the talented and dedicated medical residents across Canada and at UHN. Residents not only pursue excellent medical care as learners but bring fresh insights and perspectives as teachers, clinicians, and researchers. As the future of the profession, they advocate for patients and policy changes. We are grateful for the more than 1,500 residents rotating at UHN every year. Despite the health challenges of the past few years, resident doctors demonstrated great dedication to providing high-quality, compassionate care to UHN patients.

At UHN, we are steadfastly committed to strengthening patient care accessibility in consultation with people with disabilities, including eliminating systemic barriers to communication. Last month, I welcomed a meeting with Lorin MacDonald, an award-winning human rights lawyer and disability advocate living with profound hearing loss. Lorin shared her recent experience of communication barriers while interacting with UHN; for example, the impossibility of lipreading when everyone is masked. She kindly offered suggestions on improving accessibility, and we will engage in further conversations. I am also thankful for the work of the Accessibility Advisory Council (AAC), a group of TeamUHN members, Patient Partners, and people with disabilities who identify, remove, and prevent barriers to care, services, work, and learning. For more information about the AAC, contact View UHN's accessibility policies and helpful resources on the Accessibility at UHN webpage.

On February 10th, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. ET, The Krembil Research Institute will be hosting a free virtual public education event in recognition of the UN's International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The one-hour livestream is geared toward middle school, high school, and early university-age students of all genders and affiliations. It's a unique opportunity to meet with and hear from trailblazing scientists and clinicians about their lives and careers, and their quest to make groundbreaking discoveries in the areas of arthritis, vision, and brain research. Register here to watch the livestream (note: a recording will be available to registrants) and please feel free to share this tweet!

Applications to The Michener Institute's newest program, Fundamentals of Health Care, are now open. This diploma program is offered in collaboration with UHN and is designed to help fill the current and anticipated staffing shortages that we're facing in our system. The program is self-paced, flexible, and fully customizable to prepare learners for a new career path in health care or further health education. Learn more about this unique program on Michener's website.

And now… our TikTok of the week. This video shows us proper handwashing techniques from the Infection Prevention and Control team to ensure you aren't leaving germs behind.


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Have a good week,


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