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

  • Tomorrow on Tuesday, June 15 (12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.) – Virtual Open Forum on COVID-19:
    • Submit questions here including your full name or enter #UHNCOVID-19x48 on Slido.com. Including your name will help support transparency and collegiality at UHN.
    • Livestream here (Chrome/Firefox).
    • Read answers to FAQs here – updated regularly. (Corporate Intranet > COVID-19 Preparedness > Virtual Open Forum (top right box) > Open Forum FAQ).
    • Shout out a colleague or team! Submit your recognition for TeamUHN here or go to Slido.com and search for #ThanksUHN. Reminder to please include your full name in order to have your comment accepted.
  • Taking time off to rest and recharge.
    • As Wave 3 of the pandemic took hold, TeamUHN was asked to defer any planned vacation for four weeks, if possible. Now that we have emerged from that intense period of response, staff are encouraged to take time off to rest and recharge.
    • Please work with your manager or direct supervisor to plan your vacation in accordance with your department's staffing needs – as we continue to repatriate redeployed staff and gradually increase our clinical activity, we need to balance everyone wanting to take well-deserved time off with appropriate staffing levels that ensure safety. My deepest thanks to all members of TeamUHN who responded to this request to support our pandemic response.
  • Thank you TeamUHN: COVID-19 Vaccine Prize Draw! In recognition of members of TeamUHN who prioritized vaccination as soon as they were eligible, we are hosting a prize draw over the summer months for fully vaccinated staff:
    • Everyone who received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN clinic and informed Health Services is automatically entered to win. Register here to book your first dose if you haven't already.
    • If you were vaccinated at a UHN clinic or outside of UHN, remember to notify Health Services to be entered in the contest. Health Services cannot access the provincial system, so if you haven't reported your vaccine status to Health Services, they need to hear from you.
    • To opt out of the contest, send your name and employee ID, to hsvaccines@uhn.ca Subject line: **UHN Vaccine Prize Draw Opt Out**
    • Tomorrow's Open Forum will include more information about the UHN Vaccine Prize Draw, which is possible thanks to the generous support from the UHN Foundation and the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. Five winners will be randomly selected on each of the prize draw dates, occurring: June 25, July 9, 16 and 23, and a final draw on August 25. Winners will select a prize on a first come, first serve basis – tune in to tomorrow's Virtual Open Forum on COVID-19 (June 15) to hear more about the draws and the prizes.

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.

International Travel, Federal Government Decision and Quarantine

  • Background: The subject of international travel, the need to quarantine after returning to Canada, and the reasons for international travel was discussed. For the duration of the pandemic, UHN and other TAHSN hospitals have asked staff not to travel internationally but, if people did travel, it must be for essential reasons (such as the delivery of care in another country), and quarantine is required upon return. Last week, the federal government announced it will soon update its policy on international travel, indicating that anyone with proof of being fully vaccinated will be permitted to travel and quarantine would not be required upon return to Canada. These changes are expected to take effect in July, though an exact date has yet to be determined. 
  • Who presented? Dr. John Granton (Medical Director, Health Service)
  • What do I need to know? UHN's policy on international travel will align with the directions and implementation date of the Government of Canada; that is, fully vaccinated individuals will no longer be required to quarantine upon return to Canada, unless directed by the Province or Toronto Public Health. UHN still asks that staff continue to restrict international travel for essential purposes related to clinical care, education and research, and that both the individual's supervisor and Health Services be informed of any travel plans in advance, as well as the date of return to the hospital following travel.

Vaccination of Inpatients and UHN's Proposed COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Policy

  • Background: By the end of this week, all members of Groups A, B, C & D will have received a link to book their second dose appointment. Members of TeamUHN currently working from home (Group E) are encouraged to book their second dose through the provincial booking system, as UHN's supply will be focused on supporting the work going on across the City to prioritize second doses in hot spot areas. There was also discussion about ensuring that inpatients could receive first doses while in hospital and guidance around the eligibility for second doses for inpatients. More information about this will come to clinical teams this week. Finally, there was also discussion about UHN's proposed COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Policy which will be introduced over the next two weeks. A tentative target date for implementation of Monday, July 5 was set. Once the policy is in place, home testing prior to coming to work will be expected for those who have not notified Health Services of their vaccination status, choose not to be vaccinated by choice, or cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.  
  • Who presented? Emily Musing (Clinical Vice President and Chief Patient Safety Officer)
  • What do I need to know? Ensuring the safety of all patients, staff, learners and anyone else entering a UHN site is essential. To do so, we all need to do our part: 1) Please notify Health Services of your vaccination status if you have not yet done so. 2)  More information about the vaccination of inpatients will be distributed this week and was also shared in Friday's UHN COVID-19 Update. 3) If you are working from home, please consider the provincial booking system to book your second dose.  Also, see the note above regarding the prize draws for all those who have reported their vaccination status to Health Services.

Overview of last week

Finance & Audit Committee of the Board recommend approval of the 2020/21 audited financial statements

  • Background: The role of UHN's Finance & Audit Committee is to make recommendations to the UHN Board of Trustees and Michener Board of Governors on financial management, facilities and space management, information technology, and compliance oversight. The committee is chaired by Barbara Stymiest (UHN Trustee). 
  • What happened last week? On June 8, the Finance & Audit Committee met virtually to review: the 2020/21 audited financial statements as presented by our auditors Ernst & Young (EY) for both UHN and the Michener Institute of Education at UHN; the reappointment of our external auditor, EY; the internal audit plan and key audit themes update by KPMG; and the Finance Strategy document developed to support UHN Priorities.  
  • What do I need to know? With no audit issues noted, the Finance & Audit Committee recommended to the UHN Board of Trustees and the Michener Board of Governors the approval of the 2020/21 audited financial statements for both UHN and for Michener. Our external auditors EY were recommended to be re-appointed for 2021/22.

Board of Trustees Held UHN's Annual General Meeting

  • Background: The Annual General Meeting of the Board of Trustees is normally held the third week of June. This is a legal requirement that normally also sees us gathering for a Report to the Community complete with celebration, awards and a reception.   
  • What happened last week? Because of the pandemic, the decision was taken to complete the legal business of the Board virtually with the hope that we can hold the celebration and awards in person some time before the end of the year. The Board received and approved the financial statements for the year 2020-21 and these will be posted once we have the final copy from UHN's external auditors. The Board also approved the slate of Trustees for the year 2021-22 with the addition of Ms. Pamela Warren, a partner with Egon Zehndor, an international search firm. The current membership can be viewed here
  • What do I need to know? UHN ended the fiscal year 2020-21 in a balanced position, mostly due to the financial support received from the Province of Ontario to cover the costs of COVID-related activities. The Board of Trustees also expressed extreme pride in all of the work done by TeamUHN during the incredibly challenging times of the pandemic. They recognize everyone's contributions to be outstanding, and a major reason for the province's ability to cope with the strain of the pandemic.

Closing notes

  • This week (June 13-19) is National Blood Donor Week: Each year, UHN provides patients with 40,000 units of life-saving blood. The Laboratory Medicine Program's (LMP) Blood Transfusion Laboratories (BTL) are home to comprehensive, 24-hour blood transfusion services for all surgical and clinical programs across UHN. BTL support is critical for complex cardiovascular, transplantation, bone marrow transplant, and surgical oncology procedures as well as immunology programs. As UHN looks to gradually increase clinical activity, there is an urgent need for blood donation across the city and province. Over 100,000 new blood donors are needed in Canada this year to keep up with demand. Canadian Blood Services reports that one in two Canadians is eligible to donate blood, but only one in 60 does. Thank you to members of TeamUHN who rolled up their sleeves and supported this life-saving cause. Review the list of eligibility requirements for more information and take the two-minute eligibility quiz. If you are determined to be eligible online, you will be able to book your first appointment.
  • June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD): Recognized by the United Nations, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day promotes better awareness of this global issue. In Canada, approximately 1 in 10 older persons will experience some form of neglect or physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse in their later years. Systemic and structural issues related to income, housing and accessibility to community support services can further increase the risk of elder abuse for older adults, especially those living in racialized or marginalized communities – which has become increasingly apparent during the pandemic. A new online Elder Abuse resource developed by UHN/Sinai Health's Healthy Ageing & Geriatrics Program in partnership with UHN's Patient Education Program, is available to further support older patients who may be experiencing elder abuse, 
  • June 10 was Portugal Day: In 2017, the House of Commons passed Bill M-126, declaring June as Portuguese Heritage Month and June 10 as Portugal Day in Canada. M-126 gives us the opportunity to recognizes the incredible contributions of the Portuguese community in Canada.

Feedback?

Your feedback is welcome and valued. Please reply directly to me or leave anonymous feedback here.

Have a good week,

Kevin


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