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

  • Virtual Open Forum on COVID-19 this week – Tuesday, December 21, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
    • With the evolving situation of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, we are hosting one more Open Forum this year to provide the latest updates of what we know and answer questions.
    • Submit questions here or enter #UHNCOVID-19x52 on must include your full name for you question to be accepted. Including your full name helps support transparency and collegiality at UHN
    • Livestream link here (Chrome or Firefox only)
  • A friendly reminder to help patients follow UHN's Universal Masking Policy. As we face another potential wave of the pandemic, it is important we continue to use all the tools and resources available to keep patients, visitors, and each other as safe as possible. Masking is a critical component of reducing transmission and, at UHN, helps with both source control as well as protection from COVID-19. Whenever possible, please ensure that masks are available for patients and Essential Care Partners (ECPs) so they are able to comply with this policy. ECPs should also be aware they must wear their mask for the entire duration of their visit. Many thanks for helping to educate patients on this policy when they are admitted to any UHN site, and providing gentle reminders when they are not compliant.
  • My thanks to The Vaccine Team who worked all weekend in order to give TeamUHN secure appointment booking links reserved for healthcare workers at UHN's two Vaccination Clinics. Special shout-out to Camille Lemieux, Emily Musing, Shiran Isaacksz, Leanna Graham, Tamara Dus and Michael Caesar who all lead teams prepared to do whatever is necessary to get third doses into arms. I am very proud to work with all of them and am very grateful for their dedication to your health and wellbeing. New slots will be posted today with an All Users to let you know how the slots can be accessed.
  • This is the last weekly CEO update of the year – the next one is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. Critical updates will be sent during this period if necessary. Thank you for taking the time to stay informed and for continuing to help fellow colleagues stay connected via word of mouth. I wish each of you and your families a very happy and healthy holiday season.

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.

Operations planning for a potential surge in hospital admissions

  • Background: Cases of COVID-19 are rising rapidly across the province – largely due to the Omicron variant. Though we haven't yet seen a dramatic rise in hospitalizations, positive cases are doubling every two to three days. Given these circumstances, institutions across the healthcare system are developing response plans should we see a surge of patients needing hospitalizations.
  • Who presented? Susy Hota (Medical Director, IPAC)
  • What do I need to know? Last week, Public Health Ontario updated personal protective equipment (PPE) guidelines to include an N95 mask for anyone giving direct patient care or support to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Read UHN's full message about this update here. UHN has a robust supply of N95s in several sizes, pleasure ensure your fit-test is up to date but do not hesitate to use them in situations where you feel one is needed.

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 December 16, 2021.

UHN Quality & Safety Summit open to all of TeamUHN

  • Background and why this was brought to ELF: Quality & Safety (Q&S) is a major focus of attention for TeamUHN to ensure that we deliver the best care in the world, every day. In order to empower and support staff to embody this value, a half-day Q&S Summit, open to all TeamUHN on a voluntary basis, is proposed for the morning of March 4th, 2022.
  • Who presented? Lucas Chartier (Medical Director, Quality & Safety and Deputy Medical Director, Emergency Department)
  • What do I need to know? TeamUHN's bandwidth remains stretched given our ongoing COVID response and Synapse implementation, which makes an ongoing and deliberate focus on quality and safety by both providers and leaders a crucial initiative. The Q&S Summit will ensure that providers and leaders can: 1. remain focused on high-quality and safe care; 2. hear from thought leaders on how to leverage data and technology to deliver better care for our patients; 3. co-develop approaches to improve system quality priorities (e.g., escalation of care), and 4. learn essential skills to develop and advance Q&S initiatives.

COVID-19 Document Management

  • Background and why this was brought to ELF: The COVID-19 pandemic has had – and continues to have – a profound impact on UHN and the Hospital has been tasked with assisting provincial and federal pandemic response efforts in areas outside standard operations. In order to best support pandemic response efforts, UHN repurposed and developed several committees with accompanying record creation in order to meet the many needs of both internal and external initiatives. Ensuring documentation supporting such efforts is managed and maintained is critical for any risk mitigation.
  • Who presented? Marc Toppings (Vice President & Chief Legal Officer)
  • What do I need to know? Working with our insurer, internal auditor and external legal partners, Management has now captured key documentation from applicable committees to help ensure they are retained into the future. In addition, for any future committees or work not captured in the first go-round, an instructional document has been prepared regarding the intake process to create new Sharepoint sites, and ensure documents are captured and retained in the same way, with the appropriate preservations in place.

Overview of last week

Third Doses for Health Care Workers and Family Members

  • Background: The Vaccine Team at UHN was able to stand up two clinics in record time last week, opening reserved slots to all health care workers at UHN, Mount Sinai, Women's College, SickKids and Toronto Grace hospitals. While many were able to access the appointment slots, unfortunately, the link was rapidly shared outside the hospitals and available appointments filled almost immediately.
  • What happened last week? The available appointments at UHN's vaccine clinics were filled by the end of the day on Thursday, December 16 for all available appointments to December 23.
  • What do I need to know? On Friday, December 17, the Vaccine Team developed a plan, to ensure that, going forward, the available vaccine appointments are reserved for healthcare workers and their members of their household. Be on the look out for an All Users today from Gillian Howard with more information and please get your third shot if you have not done so already.

Closing notes

Hotel respite again available for TeamUHN (Courtyard Marriott – subject to availability). Thanks to the generosity of our donors to the UHN Foundation and the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (PMCF), UHN is pleased to offer free hotel stays at the Courtyard Marriot (Yonge/College) for TeamUHN, beginning Monday December 20th, 2021. Eligible members of TeamUHN can apply for the program via the Corporate Intranet:

Toronto General Hospital is now home to 126 new secure, indoor bike parking spots. Thank you to our colleagues in Facilities Management – Planning, Redevelopment & Operations (FM-PRO), who undertook this project last year to not only provide sustainable transportation for staff, but also a safe, COVID-19-friendly way to commute to work. The new bike parking area at TGH can be found at the southeast corner of Gerrard Street and University Avenue, and is intended to be a shared space for TGH, Princess Margaret, Toronto Rehab and other UHN site staff. Simply use your UHN ID to gain access. This project also included secure bike parking upgrades across other UHN sites, including:

  • A new outdoor bike cage at Toronto Western Hospital, located on Leonard Street, across from the Krembil Discovery Tower (TWH already has secure, indoor bike parking in the Krembil Discovery Tower, just north of the Leonard Street entrance. Use your UHN ID for access).
  • A new bike cage at TR's Lyndhurst Centre.
  • New bike racks (covered by security cameras) at TR's Bickle Centre, close to the main entrance.
  • New bike racks at Michener.

To learn more about cycling at UHN, join the Bicycle User Group (BUG), by emailing


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Have a good week,

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