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January has been a whirlwind of meetings, visits and opportunities to listen to what you have to say about working at UHN. It also ended with my first 'snowstorm' in a while, although this one was mild, short and not too disruptive. No need to "call in the army" as was suggested by a former Mayor of Toronto.
The week started with my first Quality Committee of the Board of Trustees. This committee is chaired by Dr. Dhun Noria, one of our members of the Board. It was very evident that all of us - front line employees to Board members are deeply committed to the safety of our patients, a high standard of care, and the support needed for staff to deliver on the promise of exceptional care. The Terms of Reference for this committee may be found here and our website also has the other Board committees and membership of the committees:
I had a chance to connect with all of UHN's Nurse Practitioners in their quarterly get together. They bring extraordinary skills, talents, energy, and enthusiasm into unique roles that are so incredibly patient-centered. I learned so much by listening to their perspectives on where our excellence lies and on opportunities that we have to build on that foundation of excellence.
I'd also like to recommend that people take a look at the intranet series on End-Of-Life Care at UHN. In one place I found the resources we have committed to this important topic, the people who are working to deliver this care and stories from our patients and family members about what it means to them when the care we deliver at the end of life is compassionate and supportive. Drs. Charlie Chan and Joy Richards are leading our formal Advanced Care Planning initiative and they tell me that one of the things that will be worked on is supporting our staff to have these conversations with patients and families – possibly the hardest conversation that a clinician can have with a patient. This is aligned international efforts to focus attention on compassionate advance care planning that begins with the clinical teams "considering the conversation".
My week ended on a sad note today as I went together with several UHN representatives to the funeral of Joseph Rotman, a man who has been deeply committed to his community for many, many years – with philanthropic gifts and with his time. Mr. Rotman and his family have been committed to UHN for many years and I know that those of you who have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Rotman, his wife Sandra and their son Ken, will join with me in expressing our sympathy for their loss and our gratitude for the Mr. Rotman's services to our community, the City of Toronto and this country.
Next month I will begin my series of half day visits with each of our clinical programs. I will also be out and about meeting with staff and employees in all parts of UHN. I look forward to meeting more of you and learning all about your area of UHN!