Good afternoon, 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

  • We being by expressing gratitude to all TeamUHN members across UHN sites who worked in service of patients, their community, and their colleagues on Family Day. We also recognize and thank the many family members and chosen family members in our lives who inspire us daily to perform at our best.
  • Congratulations to UHN researchers awarded Challenge Grants from Canadian Cancer Society, which recognize projects aiming to solve problems for those affected by or at risk of cancer. From Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Research, Dr. Shabbir Alibhai's team is developing a tool to predict side effects of cancer treatment using artificial intelligence; Dr. Robert Kridel's team is exploring new treatments for rare blood cancer; Dr. Thomas Kislinger co-leads a team working on overcoming therapy resistance in advanced prostate cancer; Dr. Rebecca Gladdy's team seeks to understand why soft tissue cancers spread; Dr. Andrew Matthew and team are providing sexual health support for people with prostate cancer; and Dr. Abi Vijenthira is investigating ways to improve gut health for people with cancer. A team led by Dr. Marcelo Cypel at Toronto General Hospital Research Institute was recognized for a project to improve treatment for people with cancer that has spread to the lungs. This recognition is further proof of the depth of UHN's talent and our focus on finding solutions for the biggest problems our patients face. Learn more about these projects.
  • Twenty neurology clinics began accepting electronic referrals from external providers on Feb. 7, further expanding UHN's use of Ocean eReferral and continuing to bring the Outpatient Care Strategy to life. Neurology joins the Joint Department of Medical Imaging (UHN, Sinai Health, and Women's College Hospital) and The Division of Medical Oncology & Hematology and Radiation Medicine Program at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in using electronic, sometimes called digital, referrals. Enabling external providers to send digital referrals improves accuracy and expedites appointment booking, saving time and improving the referral experience for patients, providers, and clinics. More areas are expected to adopt the use of Ocean over the coming years as UHN continues to transform experiences and create alignments for greater impact. 
  • Don't miss this story exploring how Princess Margaret Cancer Centre's Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre helps patients quickly discover if they have breast cancer and initiate treatment. It is not uncommon for people to wait weeks or even months for a diagnosis after uncovering a breast abnormality, a situation that causes enormous psychological strain and anxiety. Since 2009, this clinic has given patients quicker access to diagnostic services and the answers they need. One such patient, Vina, says she was able to get an ultrasound, mammogram, biopsy, and preliminary diagnosis, and begin planning her surgery all in the same visit within two days of her referral. Her treatment started two weeks later. “I really believe getting screened for cancer should be as easy as telling your doctor your ankle hurts and getting an X-ray," she said. Read UHN News to learn more about how the Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre is changing lives, one patient at a time. And be sure to watch this beautiful video on Vina's journey.
  • The KITE Research Institute is putting a call out to UHN researchers, inventors, and entrepreneurs to share their best ideas for the future of health care in a $50,000, Dragon's Den-style pitch competition this May. The KITE Power Play Pitch Competition offers monetary prizes to help innovators advance ideas that will address an unmet need in health care, whether that means exciting early concepts and prototypes or finished products and services. This is one of the most exciting ways that UHN can continue to support bold thinking in the health care space. The deadline for online application submissions is March 8. This event will take place at the International Conference on Aging, Innovation and Rehabilitation (ICAIR) on May 6 and 7. Learn more on UHN News and the Power Play website.

Closing Notes

And now… our video of the week. This clip takes us to the Valentine's Day candy gram giving event at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, where patients could show gratitude to health care providers with chocolates and a card.


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Have a good week,


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