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

  • The Government of Ontario will maintain the provincial masking mandate in select high-risk public settings – including hospital settings such as UHN, public transit, long-term care homes, and shelters – until June 11, 2022. Those requirements were set to expire on April 27. As we grapple with the sixth wave of this pandemic, we know masks are an important tool in helping to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protecting those most vulnerable to the virus. A complete list of where masking is required can be found online.
  • The Government of Ontario has also announced it will begin to receive supplies of AstraZeneca's Evusheld, an antibody treatment approved by Health Canada on April 14 to prevent symptomatic COVID-19 infection in immunocompromised people. The drug will be made available to individuals at the most risk of a severe outcome from COVID-19, including hematologic cancer patients undergoing treatment, solid organ transplant recipients, stem cell transplant recipients, and CAR-T therapy recipients. The province expects to receive its first shipment this week, with more expected in May and June. For more, read the official release. At UHN, the Connected Care team will be responsible for the rollout to support UHN patients and are working closely with Ontario Health to support our region. If you have any questions please contact Shiran Isaacksz at
  • A comprehensive set of tools and resources are now available under UHN's Resilience Strategy. This strategy sets up a vision, goals, and actions to help TeamUHN survive, adapt and thrive in the face of any challenge, especially as we enter Wave 6 of the pandemic. UHN has stepped up many times throughout the pandemic, with TeamUHN members building new processes, systems, tools, and response systems to address challenges that threatened to overwhelm our health system. They invented and implemented new roles, programs, and supports, all while we cared for some of the sickest patients across Ontario. These last two years have also been unimaginably difficult for many members of TeamUHN. UHN's Resilience Strategy provides access to numerous resources to support yourself and your team. It highlights what People & Culture has heard through over 20 focus groups and what we are doing today. It also allows you to share your Exceptional Moments of Resilience and join the People & Culture Co-Design Roster, to inform future programs and strategies. View all UHN Resilience Strategy resources on the People & Culture Intranet today. (Corporate Intranet > Departments > People & Culture > UHN Resilience Strategy)
  • A new COVID-19 TeamUHN Experience Survey launching this week will allow us to look back and move forward. After more than two years' worth of experiences in our personal and professional lives, it is time we take stock, as an organization, of the challenges faced and the lessons learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Emergency Preparedness department is in the process of doing just that by developing UHN's COVID-19 After Action Report. By detailing UHN's experiences from the pandemic's declaration on March 2020 to now, this report will translate our struggles, accomplishments, and learnings into tangible, actionable recommendations to improve and strengthen UHN's future response capability. To do so, they need your help! As a TeamUHN member, your feedback on your experiences and your unique perspective on UHN's pandemic response is essential to understanding the impacts of COVID-19 on staff, physicians, and learners. Please do your part by completing the COVID-19 TeamUHN Experience Survey, which will be distributed in an all-user email on Thursday, April 28, and will close on May 12, 2022. The anonymous online survey takes only 5 minutes to complete, and by entering your email, you can win a $100 Amazon gift card (note: emails submitted will not be linked to the survey data but will be removed and put in a separate randomized draw after the survey closes on May 12).
  • UHN has more than 2,000 Super Users ready to support their peers during go-live. Super Users are an important part of a safe and effective transition to Epic, and feeling "super" at using Epic doesn't happen with training alone. In addition to the two sets of classes Super Users are expected to attend, they need time to practice in the Playground and participate in readiness activities such as Concurrent Charting or reviewing Patient Flow demos. Plus, "To teach is to learn twice" and having Super Users lead huddles about Epic or otherwise share information with their teams helps bolster their and their colleagues' understanding and comfort with workflow changes. While these remain challenging times because of the pandemic, leaders at all levels across the organization are expected to enable Super Users to be ready and know their schedule for support shifts during go-live. More about the Super User program is here.
  • In recent weeks, a small number of UHN patients and staff contracted COVID-19 through contact with Essential Care Partners (ECPs) visiting while contagious. While ECPs are deeply appreciated for the role they play in helping loved ones recover and we know that people can be infectious before they are symptomatic, we are reminding ECPs not to visit while they have symptoms or have been exposed, and to wear a medical-grade mask at all times in the hospital, including in a patient's room. ECPs are also being reminded that they must not to eat in any patient care area, including patient rooms. ECPs who do not follow infection prevention protocols will be asked to leave and lose the designation of ECP.

What happened at the Executive Leadership Forum meeting

UHN's Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) represents a broad range of voices and skill sets from across the organization and provides direction and oversight in service of patients, TeamUHN and our vision of A Healthier World. See the full membership on The last ELF meeting was held on April 21, 2022.

Primary care update

  • Background and why this was brought to ELF: UHN is seeking to create a fully integrated primary care approach that will involve serving and advocating for patients, stepping up as a regional leader, and building up partnerships, both within and external to UHN, as well as a robust research and educational platforms. Key leaders behind this initiative came to ELF to see its endorsement of a strategic plan for primary care from 2022 to 2027.
  • Who Presented? Camille Lemieux (Chief of Family Medicine), Pauline Pariser (Chair, Mid-West Toronto Ontario Health Teams, Primary Care Physician Lead for SCOPE), Brian Hodges (Executive Vice President, Education, and Chief Medical Officer), and Marni Escaf (Vice President, Clinical)
  • What do I need to know: The strategic plan was unanimously endorsed by ELF. It has five strategic goals:
    1. Integrated care and access: looking to collaborate with specialists and non-physician colleagues to deliver seamless, ongoing care to patients with multiple touchpoints to avoid admission.
    2. Innovative models of care: using an interprofessional approach centred on patients' care needs, building on models such as virtual care, Connected Care, and SCOPE, the virtual team that supports primary care providers through a single point of access.
    3. Advocacy and partnership: looking to ensure UHN patients who do not have a primary care medical home can receive access.
    4. Evidence-based care and research: building a research presence at UHN and regionally.
    5. Education: increasing UHN's educational reach to primary care colleagues who are not part of UHN, sharing opportunities and best practices.

Closing Notes

This week, we celebrate National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week. There are more than 4,000 Canadians on the waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant, but the fact is there aren't enough organs for everyone in need. Every year, more than 270 people on the waitlist die in Canada. Home to the Ajmera Transplant Centre, UHN sees firsthand the impact that every organ donor has in saving a life. Follow ATC's social media channels to engage in important conversations about organ and tissue donation: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Today marks the start of Patient Experience Week at UHN, an annual event to celebrate the commitment and kindness shown by all TeamUHN members to provide an exceptional patient experience each day. To honour the hard work of our staff, we have released a series of heart-warming videos where patients are given the chance to thank someone from TeamUHN who has made a difference along their care journey. Watch this series of touching videos — including an emotional interaction between Patient Partner Eden Adejobi and UHN Registered Nurse Geena Garcia (seen below) — by following this link. Read today's UHN News story that highlights what "true partnership" in care looks like and how UHN is embracing its new Patient Declaration of Values.

April 28th is the National Day of Mourning, a time to commemorate and remember all those who have suffered a workplace death, injury, or illness. Also known as Workers' Memorial Day, this occasion is marked in about 100 countries, according to WSIB Ontario, by wearing black and yellow ribbons and observing a moment of silence at 11 a.m. for those lost due to workplace tragedies. TeamUHN members, such as those in our emergency and rehabilitation departments, often care for people left severely injured or fighting for their lives after a workplace incident. I encourage you all to spare a thought today for those workers who left their houses one morning and who either never returned or came back forever changed because of a workplace accident. For more, visit WSIB Ontario.


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Have a good week,


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