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I'll start this week's message by welcoming Ms Fatima Sheriff to the Office of the President & CEO as the new Director, Strategy and Planning. Fatima will work closely with me, Ruth Gopaul and Annie Palmer in an effort to streamline the work of my office and ensure that strategy and planning are well supported. Many of you will have worked with Fatima in the past as she has held a number of roles at UHN, the most recent of which is her work at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre; including the development and oversight of international consulting programs with Kuwait and Qatar and cancer strategy stewardship. Fatima is an MBA graduate of York's Schulich School of Business with a Bachelor of Science degree from McMaster University. She has now moved in to the Corporate area in the R. Fraser Elliott Building and I look forward to her input in all of the work that we will be doing across UHN. Fatima will be working with all of UHN's leadership and I know that they respect Fatima, are delighted with her appointment, and the Executive Team and President's Office will benefit from her support, organizational insight, and advice.
This past week there was a Toronto Star editorial about patient violence towards healthcare workers which referenced UHN's statistics from 2014 as doubling from the previous year. This is true and this increase arises because we now have a system which encourages all of us to report incidents of violence. We need to know when this happens so that we can work with staff to ensure that UHN is making the workplace as safe as we possibly can for everyone. We also need to remember that in many cases, patients who are violent have conditions that impair their judgement and limit their self control. These conditions include substance abuse, active psychiatric disease, cognitive impairment, reaction to drugs being given for treatment, dementia, and delirium. Please report all incidents of patient violence so that we can work together to ensure workplace safety for each other. Our safety focus includes employee safety as well as patient and workplace safety.
Each week I work on visiting new groups at UHN to continue my process of asking questions, listening to all of you, and learning about UHN. Last week, I connected with a great group of Toronto General leaders who meet monthly to talk about patient and employee safety and our journey to reduce preventable harm together. I shared some insights on our planning process as well as some ideas and thoughts about safety behaviours and tools that we will consider in planning our transformation. I also had the chance to meet with our talented Infectious Diseases team that works throughout UHN and in the Sinai Health System to help us treat complex infections and use antibiotics appropriately. This week my visits include a full day with our SIMS team learning all about our information technology services internally and externally.