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

  • Today is a national day of mourning to commemorate the death of Queen Elizabeth II, whose funeral took place earlier today in London, U.K. UHN will observe a moment of silence at 1 p.m., pausing for 96 seconds to honour her 96 years of public service and remarkable reign.
  • Congratulations to the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre at UHN, which has been named one of the world's top 10 specialized hospitals in the area of oncology by Newsweek magazine. This recognition, based on a global survey of more than 40,000 medical professionals, only underscores all of the incredible work done at the Princess Margaret to conquer cancer in our lifetime. See Newsweek's full rankings.
  • UHN Connected Care and the Toronto Western Family Health Team are hosting vaccination clinics for TeamUHN and Mid-West Toronto OHT healthcare workers eligible for bivalent Moderna booster shots. The clinics will be held on weekday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays at the Toronto Western Family Health Team at 440 Bathurst St. The clinics will have separate booking links for health workers and other priority groups. This booster dose can be given three months after one's last shot, though the recommended interval is five months. Healthcare workers can book their appointment here. The group code is QE2.
  • Bill 7, legislation passed by the provincial legislature last month with the goal of freeing up acute hospital beds, comes into force on Wednesday, Sept. 21.The changes will mean that patients who require an alternate level of care can be moved to a long-term care home not of their choosing on a temporary basis while awaiting placement at one of their preferred homes. Beginning Nov. 20, hospitals will be required to charge discharged patients who refuse to leave a fee of $400 for every day they remain in hospital, after a 24-hour period. I know that the conversation around Bill 7 has been emotionally charged and I respect that there is a range of views about this legislative tool and approach. As I said in a recent Twitter thread, UHN operates both acute and long-term sites and wants to see patients served in the setting that is best equipped for their success. We will ensure that this policy tool from the provincial government is implemented with sensitivity, respect, civility, and compassion for patients. We will also look at needed supports, such as transportation to LTC facilities. From my perspective, the issue underscores why the work we are doing to create a continuum between hospitals, LTC, and home care is so important for patients and their families. Read more about Bill 7 on the Government of Ontario website.
  • The work to stabilize Epic within the UHN environment – that is, fixing what isn't working as intended or poses any patient risk – continues to progress well. In parallel, the Synapse Working Groups are collaborating with Epic and Digital application managers and leaders to review and prioritize requests for changes with an aim to further build out the roadmap for 2023/2024. Given the power of Epic and excitement for possibilities, it's not surprising that many requests are being submitted through ServiceNow (the official and most effective way for requests to be captured for review). However, good stewardship of resources necessitates a clear, objective, and sustainable decision-making process that keeps the needs of patients at the forefront and creates realistic workloads for the Digital team and other stakeholders. Last week, that process and the list of approved projects for the remainder of 2022 and into 2023 were shared with MLC COG for their feedback and guidance on clinical impacts and resourcing. The scope and timing of those projects will be published when finalized. In the meantime, watch for summaries and tip sheets about changes that will result from routine system updates in September and October and a system upgrade in November.

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 Thursday, Sept. 15.

Integrated Care Expansion and Governance Update

  • Background and why this was brought to ELF: The group leading Integrated Care (IC) efforts at UHN updated ELF about plans to expand the program's pathways and grow support to more than 10,000 patients each year, and sought ELF's endorsement to form an Integrated Care Executive Committee to facilitate and provide strategic oversight to rapidly accelerate growth for the program.
  • Who Presented? Shiran Isaacksz (VP, Connected Care), Chris Chan (Medical Lead, Connected Care), Carolyn Gosse (Clinical VP, Home Care & Seniors Care), and Jake Tran (CEO, Toronto Grace)
  • What do I need to know: ELF enthusiastically supported the proposal to create an Integrated Care Executive Committee that will report to ELF to ensure ongoing alignment with existing departmental and organizational priorities. This committee will provide strategic oversight to advance the Integrated Care model at scale, at UHN and beyond. This group will also have the opportunity to discuss the sustainability of the model with Ontario Health representatives on the committee. I am proud to serve as the co-chair of the committee along with Phyllis Berck, a Patient Partner who has provided invaluable insight. Next steps include establishing an evaluation working group next month and continuing with IC implementation efforts with Surgery (orthopedics), Medicine (ED, GIM), and Specialty Pathways (Multi-Organ Transplant, Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities).

Closing Notes

September 20th is Rehabilitation Day, and I invite our entire UHN community to join us in celebrating the rehab professionals at UHN and across Toronto. At Toronto Rehab, teams are dedicated to helping patients overcome the challenges of disabling injury, illness or age-related health conditions, so they can safely return to their communities and live active, healthier and more independent lives. We are also thankful for the many rehab professionals in acute care. The KITE Research Institute is a world leader in complex rehabilitation science. With a focus on prevention, restoration, enhanced participation and independent living, researchers are actively engaged in developing new treatments, devices and products. UHN Altum Health specializes in multi-disciplinary outpatient rehabilitation with expertise in musculoskeletal injury and concussion. Altum's team of allied health professionals help people achieve improved health and function by providing the right care, at the right time, with the right providers. Visit Altum Health on University to book a physiotherapy appointment and to learn how Altum is exclusively bringing rehabilitation to TeamUHN at an affordable cost.

Dr. Douglas S. Lee of UHN's Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) is co-leading a national team of more than 50 investigators to study interactions between the heart and the brain. The initiative, co-led by Dr. Gustavo Saposnik at St. Michael's Hospital, was recently awarded a $3 million, four-year grant from Brain Canada and Heart&Stroke. They will research how the heart and brain interact in cardiac and neurological diseases, with the goal of identifying biomarkers to help predict who is at risk of developing dementia. "What we're really focusing on is earlier diagnosis," Dr. Lee told UHN News. "The earlier we diagnose, the earlier we can intervene, and perhaps prevent some of the major diseases from happening in the first place." Read all about this project at UHN News and be sure to check out the video prepared by PMCC, linked below.

It's BBQ season at UHN! Last week, I was delighted to stop by the staff appreciation BBQ for the teams at the Toronto General and Princess Margaret, and I was happy that our colleagues at the Toronto Rehab Bickle site also celebrated. TeamUHN members at Toronto Western will enjoy their BBQ tomorrow, while the staff from TR Lyndhurst and Ramsey and TR University sites will celebrate on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. My sincere thanks to all those who organized these events, including those who served the hamburgers, hot dogs, and other treats. I hope everyone knows how much we deeply value and appreciate every member of TeamUHN, across all our sites, who make it possible for us to excel in care, learning, research, and scholarship. It's no great mystery why UHN is one of the very best hospitals in the world. It's because of our amazing, dedicated staff.


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Have a good week,


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