Good Monday morning,

This is the last weekly update of 2019! I will be sending the next weekly update on Jan. 6 and look forward to taking some time to reflect over the holidays. I hope you all get a chance to do the same! Look forward to a remarkable 2020 with you all.

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! Learn more about UHN's Essentials. Below, you'll find highlights on UHN's Essentials from last week.

People and Culture UHN named one of the best places to work by Glassdoor: This workplace award is unique as it relies solely on the feedback of employees – there is no self-nomination process. We're able to enjoy this wonderful achievement thanks to the staff, physicians, researchers, learners and volunteers who support and celebrate fellow colleagues at UHN. Let's take a moment to celebrate this year-end news while also acknowledging the work that needs to be done when it comes to delivering the quality of work life TeamUHN deserves. I hope you will continue to speak up and partner with us as we work to make a best-in-class work experience at UHN a reality. To those who are leaders at UHN (whether officially or unofficially), please encourage your colleagues to share their ideas and solicit their feedback. Most importantly, make plans to act on the ideas that have the potential for success – and provide a clear, respectful explanation on why you are not proceeding with the ideas that don't.

Partnerships Last week, I was invited by colleagues at Toronto Stroke Networks to speak about integrated care at their annual collaborative event. One of the key components of the integrated care model is setting up a single point of contact, including a 24 hr phone number that patients and families can call – a simple yet highly effective service. Now that we've launched such a successful program in thoracic surgery and we're set to expand in a number of key areas - including services our most marginalized and disadvantaged patients - I know UHN will bring innovative and patient-centred approaches to these new models of care. The other equally important component of integrated care is that it improves quality of work life for those delivering care. In times as challenging and demanding as these, we can't underestimate the importance of always looking at home models of care which can make the demands of care less taxing. We should all be proud that UHN is working to scale integrated care so that care may be delivered across Ontario in a way that's truly wrapped around patients, families and providers.

Compassionate Care and Caring Visiting UHN's Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy, one of our many responses to addressing dementia and delivering tomorrow's care: This innovative place located near Bayview and Eglinton Ave. was brought to life thanks to the generosity of Vonna Bitove (Board member, Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation (TGWHF)) and her family. It was a pleasure learning about how the Academy's art and movement-based programs are helping people with memory challenges feel engaged and connected. We know that feeling connected is important, as loneliness is a key factor in health and well-being – a Minister for Loneliness was appointed last year in the U.K. – and we are proud to be making advancements in this area at UHN. The Academy also advances our scholarly mission by conducting research on best practices in care for people with memory-related issues. Thanks to Velta Vikmanis (Artistic & Program Manager, Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy) for hosting me and several colleagues.

2. Physicians sing in honour of the late Elana Fric

Elana Fric was a beloved family physician committed to serving Toronto's patients and families. Instead of focusing on her tragic death, last week, a group of female physicians including one of our colleagues in Emergency Medicine, Sheryl Seidman, gathered at Leaside United Church to sing in honour of Elana. The concert raised awareness about domestic violence and all proceeds went to Elana's children. For those who are not aware, UHN and our peer hospitals developed this evidence-based module to help colleagues identify signs of violence. Please consider reviewing this module ASAP so we can contribute in some modest way to preventing other tragic events like Elana's death from ever happening again.

3. Submit your anonymous questions about technology for our next Open Forum on Jan. 15 (2:00 – 3:00 p.m.)

Technology and Innovation

UHN's Open Forums give leaders across the organization the opportunity to answer your anonymous questions over the course of an hour. This year, we launched the "A Healthier World" Open Forum series which means we have a dedicated Open Forum for each of our five Strategic Priorities. The next Open Forum will focus on: "Unleash the power of technology and innovation." One topic of discussion will be UHN's clinical transformation fuelled by our new Health Information System – other topics may include how we are developing consumer-friendly technologies to improve the patient experience and provide safer, quality care. Gillian Howard (Vice President, Public Affairs & Communications) and I look forward to co-hosting the event and inviting our colleagues – the technology and innovation subject matter experts! – to the front of the auditorium to answer your questions.

Have a good week,


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