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

  • Update on short-term disability policy to include absences due to being a living donor. UHN is proud to announce it has joined the Canadian Society of Transplantation (CST) Living Donor Circle of Excellence program. Recently launched, this program aims to eliminate the financial costs of being a live organ donor by recognizing companies whose policies support living donation. The Ajmera Transplant Centre and the Centre for Living Organ Donation at UHN have been partners in developing this program, and you can learn more about it here.
    • We are updating our short-term disability policy to include absences due to being a living donor covered under our sick leave policy. This means it is now a standard practice across UHN, rather than a process that was covered on a case-by-case basis as was done in the past. If you plan to be a living organ donor, or would like more information, please contact (Leader, Total Rewards in People and Community).
  • Updating UHN's Visitor Policy. All Toronto Region hospitals will be meeting this week to discuss their policies on inpatient and outpatient visitors in light of the Province of Ontario's move to Step 3 of the reopening framework last Friday. Thanks to Laura Williams (Director, Patient Relations) who will attend the meeting and provide UHN with any information about changes to the Essential Care Partners & Visitor Policy. We know it's a terrible hardship for patients and families to be separated and will work to demonstrate the needs of the patient come first by moving as quickly as safely possible to reunite patients and families.
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Status and Home Testing Policy. COVID-19 vaccination records are held by the Province of Ontario and cannot be accessed by hospitals. UHN's Vaccination Policy is that you must report your vaccination status to Health Services. Those who report as 1. I will not be vaccinated, 2. I cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, 3. I will not be registering my vaccination status with Health Services, are being enrolled in a home COVID-19 testing program. If you haven't reported yet, please let Health Services know here [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available].

Executive COVID-19 IMS Table Disbanded

  • UHN's Executive COVID-IMS Table has been disbanded. Last Friday was the first day that UHN had no active COVID-19 cases in any of its hospitals. However, there are still patients at UHN who were hospitalized for COVID-19 and are still receiving care because of the lasting effects of the virus. Given the strong vaccination rates in the community and the declining case counts, the COVID-IMS Table has been disbanded. This is good news, and my only request is that, in light of the Delta variant and other possible variants of interest, everyone continue to follow public health guidelines and hospital policies throughout the summer. We want to do everything we can to avoid a resurgence of this disease and a fourth wave.

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 July 15, 2021.

Synapse: Scheduling and Registration Go-Live on Epic

  • Background and why this was brought to ELF: Synapse represents our clinical transformation journey which will be supercharged by a new Health Information System (HIS) from Epic. ELF acts as the Executive Steering Committee for the project and is accountable for making decisions that affect the project schedule, budget, scope, or quality parameters, along with managing any risk to the organization. A best practice for Epic implementations, is to have scheduling and registration teams go-live on the HIS two to three weeks before the enterprise-wide go-live. This approach has shown to help ensure continuity of care and maintain patient flow volumes as much as possible. Further, it helps create a smooth transition for patients using the myUHN Patient Portal, and reduce stress during the full go-live.
  • Who presented? Robert Slepin (Senior Project Director, HIS), Sarah Muttitt (Chief Information Officer)
  • What do I need to know? The weekend of May 14-15, 2022 is the target date for the scheduling and registration go-live on the Epic system. Planning is currently in progress to ensure the people, places, processes, and systems involved in this event are ready in every way. You can learn about the Synapse timeline, Readiness & Engagement Forums, and more at the Synapse site.

Re-evaluating UHN's Benefits Plan

  • Background and why this was brought to ELF: Throughout the pandemic, it has been clear that people would like UHN's benefits system to include more support for mental health. Thanks to this feedback, the People and Culture team (formerly Human Resources) is conducting an evaluation of the current offering, working with TeamUHN to seek input on any proposed changes, and comparing with best practices. This will take some time as changes to this program necessitate input from across the organization and from our union partners.
  • Who presented? Andrea Vearncombe (Leader, Total Rewards, People and Culture).
  • What do I need to know? This work will seek to define a benefits package that meets the most needs of the most people at UHN. An engagement process will be developed to ensure that we hear the needs and views of TeamUHN as we develop options and alternatives. Updates on the progress of the work will be provided to TeamUHN from People and Culture.

Welcome, Dr. Miyo Yamashita, President & CEO of PMCF

  • Background and why this was brought to ELF: Miyo joined UHN last week as the President & CEO of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (PMCF). Though she comes to us most recently from the University of Toronto's Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society, Miyo is no stranger to the UHN family, having formerly held the position of Chief Privacy Officer and Director, Community Integration.
  • Who presented? Kevin Smith (President & CEO, UHN).
  • What do I need to know? Miyo will be spending the next months becoming acquainted with everyone in the cancer program across Care, Research and Education. We are thrilled that UHN will benefit from her impressive leadership acumen with experience in healthcare, banking, and technology. Please join me in welcoming Miyo to UHN.

Overview of last week

Cancer unit established at Toronto General Hospital

  • Background: Many cancer patients develop treatment-related illnesses while they are going through the course of treatment for their illness. Subsequently, many of these patients are then seen in the Emergency Departments at both the Toronto General and Toronto Western hospitals. On any given day, our hospitals have a minimum of 50 cancer patients needing General Internal Medicine (GIM) services – most through the Toronto General ED.
  • What happened last week? Working together, Marnie Escaf (Vice President, Clinical) and Fayez Quereshy (Vice President, Clinical) and their teams who support the acute care sites, have established a unit at Toronto General, which will cohort cancer patients requiring admission for GIM services.
  • What do I need to know? Having a unit focused on treatment-related illnesses for cancer patients ensures that there are close linkages between these patients and the Princess Margaret Cancer Program.

Closing notes

Congratulations to the winners of the COVID-19 Vaccine Prize Draw. UHN is hosting a COVID-19 Vaccine Prize Draw for everyone who received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and informed Health Services. So far, there have been three draws for five prizes each time. These were held on June 25, July 9 and July 16. We will not list the winners' names as this would reveal their vaccination status. If you haven't let Health Services know you are fully vaccinated, there is still time to be eligible for the remaining draws which will be held on July 23 and August 25. If you haven't done so yet, you can inform Health Services of our full vaccination here [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available]. Prizes include iPads, portable speakers and smart tablets.

Members of TeamUHN are the lucky winners of Toronto FC tickets. Last week, 80 members of TeamUHN won a pair of tickets to the Toronto FC match against Orlando City SC, which took place on Saturday, July 17. This marked Toronto FC's first match at BMO Field since September 1, 2020. We are grateful to Toronto FC for extending this generous offer to all Toronto-area hospitals and inviting frontline healthcare workers to the game.


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Have a good week,


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