Good Monday morning – a holiday special at the end of this message!

1) But first, I'll start with a few safety highlights from last week:

  • Reminder to be kind: Our colleagues in Patient Relations are seeing a spike in patient complaints. While this trend is normal for the holiday season, let us be extra vigilant when communicating with patients and families and offer them the kindness and respect we would wish to receive in return.
  • How emergency power works at UHN: Our Princess Margaret site experienced three unanticipated power outages last week. Power was restored quickly thanks to our staff coming together but I understand some people were confused about the way our backup generators work, so I'll remind everyone that emergency power is not instantaneous and that backup generators cannot support entire buildings – they are designed to ensure critical safety equipment can continue to operate (e.g. lights, firefighter's elevator). And, not all equipment such as our chillers, are supported by emergency power. This reinforces the importance of having the proper continuity plans in place so we know when we need to do manual resets etc.
  • Putting the needs of patients first means holding ourselves accountable, even when they leave UHN. Last week, one of our patients was discharged from one of our sites to an acute care (non-UHN) hospital. After their discharge, our laboratory medicine team identified a critical finding in the patient's blood results that needed to be communicated. I understand the lab team attempted to escalate the issue but were advised that the patient was no longer in UHN's care – which is a mentality we must quickly change. Thankfully, those who expressed initial reluctance realized it was the right thing to do and a notification was sent to the patient and the patient's new care team. I am glad everything worked out for our patient in the end and will remind our staff that critical or discrepant diagnostic results must be communicated and documented to the patient's provider, regardless of where they are located.
  • Stay home if you're sick: We all received a message from Diana Elder (Executive Director, Human Resources) last week about the importance of staying home when you are ill. I'll reiterate that our Attendance Management Program is used to help managers track attendance fairly and is by no means a disciplinary measure. Let us all do our part to support a culture of integrity and compassion!

2) UHN was named one of Glassdoor's top 20 places to work – congratulations to everyone for making UHN a great place to work for their fellow colleagues! As I mention above, our Strategic Plan is about to be published – and in that plan, we are committing to taking our role as an employer to new heights by empowering and investing in a healthy, diverse TeamUHN. Stay tuned for more.

3) With the generous support of Cheryl and Rob McEwen, UHN launched the McEwen Stem Cell Institute which will be led by Dr. Gordon Keller. The McEwen Institute will play a key role in advancing our research mission – alongside our other five research institutes at UHN – by focusing on stem cell research, regenerative medicine and cell therapies. There has been much progress since the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine formed in 2007, thus leading to the evolution of the McEwen Institute.

4) If you have a question you'd like me to answer live, please join our next Open Forum tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. in Toronto Western's main auditorium (West Wing, 2nd Floor, Room 401). I'll be providing my personal thoughts on our Engagement Survey results – you'll hear more from our colleagues in Human Resources this week – and offering a preview of our 2019-23 Strategic Plan which will be published in a week. Livestreaming will be available here on Chrome and Firefox browsers.

5) We're getting into the holiday spirit in the corporate offices and having a door decorating contest. Please do stop by for a visit if you have time. Grace Ivo, my Executive Assistant and commander-in-chief, had some fun taking over my door. For those of you who may not know the reference, you will want to see if "A Christmas Story" is available on Netflix…. The leg lamp is one of the most iconic movie props of all time!

door decorating contest

A striking resemblance to Ralphie from "A Christmas Story".

Have a good week,


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