​Dear Fellow UHNers: 

At the end of my first week as President and CEO, I would like to thank you for such a heartfelt and warm welcome – especially the "warm", given the shock of returning to Ontario in January after many years living away in a balmier climate, no toques required! My plan to learn about this amazing organization starts with each one of you and the key role that you have in serving the patients and families under our care, educating the next generations of health care professionals, and performing the world class research that UHN is known for. 

My focus this initial week has been visiting with front-line staff in the four hospitals and also with teams in Research and Education. Without exception, I have been struck by your tremendous enthusiasm and incredible energy. I've also enjoyed many random encounters with other employees – on elevators, in stairwells, in the Tim Horton's line, and while walking out of the building one bitterly cold night while heading toward the parking garage. I value these opportunities to meet and chat,  and hope that you will introduce yourself whenever our paths may cross.  

In the meantime, I'd like to wish you all a very Happy New Year and share a few highlights and observations from this week.  

  • Tight teamwork abounds – inter-professional collaboration and a deep commitment to patients and colleagues, right across the organization. As I have said to many, it seems to be in your DNA!
  • Strong focus of clinical and research teams working together to develop innovative solutions to patient needs
  • Huge appetite to advance knowledge translation into clinical practice to improve patient outcomes
  • Culture of mentoring supported by a rich, diverse pool of talented professionals who are committed to training … and learning
  • Community outreach program to help elderly residents in long-term care avoid preventable visits to the Emergency Department
  • Significant role of Volunteers  in many areas of patient care, including clinical support and navigation

On my first day, I asked one of the first people I met to describe what she liked about working here and she replied: "It's a huge organization, but it feels like a family." I have heard that sentiment echoed every day since, in every corner of the organization. So thank you again for welcoming me warmly into the UHN family, I'm ready for Week Two!

 

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