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

  • It has been another challenging year, but there is still much to celebrate at UHN. Join UHN's Virtual Holiday Forum tomorrow on Dec. 14 (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)! Livestream here (Chrome and Firefox only). A recording will be made available for colleagues who cannot attend. Thank you everyone for your hard work.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 information at UHN. The UHN COVID-19 Update is a great resource for all the latest information at UHN regarding the pandemic. Every update is posted to the Corporate Intranet's COVID-19 Preparedness page, under 'Latest News;' past updates are organized by year and month at the bottom of the Internal Communications tab. All Health Services information, including contact forms, are available here. When working off site, the Corporate Intranet can be accessed through Office360 Webmail which is behind the TeamUHN tab on UHN's website.
  • Cancelling all in-person, onsite holiday gatherings at UHN. The message, sent last Wednesday, December 8, was a difficult one to send, but given the rising cases of COVID-19 in Ontario and the uncertainty around the Omicron variant, this was a necessary action to ensure each other's safety and that of our patients. As we saw happen to our colleagues in Spain, we need to avoid the risk of entire units or divisions being compromised by an outbreak. A reminder that IPAC Recommendations for Holiday Decorating, Treats, Gatherings and Travel is available here and are updated as required.

What happened at the Executive COVID-19 IMS Table

In response to COVID-19, UHN activated its Executive COVID-19 IMS (Incident Management System) table. Membership includes our Executive Leadership Forum and other members of COVID-19 work streams. The group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is a snapshot of the discussion.

Cases of COVID-19 are rising in Ontario

  • Background: After very steady case counts during the fall, Ontario is starting to see many more cases of COVID-19. This week, the seven-day average surpassed 1,000 cases. Though hospitalizations remain stable so far, admission to Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in the province are starting to creep up.
  • Who presented? Susy Hota (Medical Director, IPAC)
  • What do I need to know? The good news is that Ontarians continue to answer the call to get vaccinated, with 87 per cent of individuals over the age of 12 now having received two doses; and there is strong uptake so far among 5-11 year olds for paediatric doses. However, the uncertainty around the Omicron variant requires that everyone stay vigilant. Continuing to strictly follow all public health measures, limiting indoor gatherings and contacts, and getting a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine when you are eligible, are all critical to the continued management of this pandemic. UHN leadership swiftly implemented changes to our recommendations to reflect this development.

Overview of last week

Accreditation Completed

  • Background: Last week, UHN's second phase of Accreditation was completed. This year saw the very first Accreditation conducted in a hybrid virtual/in-person format. My thanks and congratulations to everyone for the hard work and preparation over several months, to ensure a successful week.
  • What happened last week? On Friday, a virtual meeting was held with UHN leadership to share some of the survey's preliminary findings, and the accreditors hosted a virtual Town Hall for all of TeamUHN.
  • What do I need to know? While we won't have the final result of Accreditation for some weeks, the accreditors provided an overview of their observations, which you can view in this recording. I was certainly pleased to hear such positive comments about the work of TeamUHN – especially considering the challenges of the past two years. The pandemic has tested us all, but based on the report last Friday, I would say we are passing with flying colours.

Closing notes

Joy Richards takes on the role of UHN, Executive-in-Residence, Health Education Development at the Michener Institute of Education. The most critical issue facing healthcare today is the shortage of healthcare professionals across all disciplines. UHN has the capacity within The Michener Institute of Education to address this issue. In this new role, Joy will support the creation of creative and long-lasting solutions to the growing shortages of healthcare professionals. This means Joy will step down from her current role as Vice-President, Patient Experience & Chief Health Professions. An announcement with respect to Joy's interim replacement will be made in the coming days.

December 10 was Human Rights Day. Every year, the world recognizes Human Rights Day: the day when, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This day is dedicated to promoting equality, peace, justice, freedom and the protection of human dignity and rights with this year's theme highlighting "equality" and Article 1 of the declaration, that "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."

Congratulations to Lorna Baptiste on her retirement after 42 years at UHN! Lorna first start at Toronto General in 1980 as a nurse on 5 Bell Medicine before moving to the Operating Rooms – (OR) where she witnessed the world's first lung transplant – before finally joining the CVICU in 1986 where she has been an integral part of the team. Her dedication to quality patient care as well as supporting learners and new critical nurses has had a major impact. Lorna spearheaded the unit's application for the Beacon award, and leaves the legacy of having the CVICU become the first Canadian ICU to be awarded its Gold level.

Congratulations to Rodney Sammy on his retirement after 41 years at UHN! Rodney first started working at UHN in 1980 in the Nutrition Department before moving to other areas at UHN such as the Mailroom and Transportation. For the past 17 years, Rodney has been a Receiver in Materials Management, and a valued member of the team. Thank you Rodney, for your service and dedication to excellence and for your Team Work, Caring and Dedication to our Department and to UHN.

Congratulations to Colleen Scully on her retirement after 40 years at UHN! Generations of nurses have benefited from Colleen's mentoring as she supported them while they learned the in-charge role – helping them problem-solve and identify resources. Colleen built many relationships with staff, and enjoyed getting to know the people behind their hospital role. During codes, Colleen's great skills in de-escalation, along with the guidance and decision-making she provided, were greatly valued by staff. With all the adventures she has faced in her 40 years at UHN, Colleen could certainly write a book! We are grateful for her years of dedication and friendship, and thrilled to have her stay on in a casual AOS (Administrator on Site) role.


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Have a good week,

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