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In Paris this past week, UHN was recognized as winners in the 1st annual Climate Champion Awards of the 2020 Health Care Climate Challenge. These awards recognize the hospitals, health systems and health organizations at the forefront of the movement towards low-carbon healthcare. UHN received a SILVER in Energy Efficiency, a GOLD in Climate Resiliency and a SILVER in Climate Leadership. This is a remarkable achievement for UHN and our team . You can learn more about our UHN team here in the Talkin' Trash blog spot. I am quite sure that their Fearless Leader – Ed Rubinstein – AKA the Director, Energy & Environment – Infrastructure Facilities will be challenging all of us in 2016 to be even greener by finding ways to be reduce our waste and our energy consumption. This work has never been more important, given Canada's commitment to create a healthier and sustainable environment at the recent Climate Change summit.
In case you missed my note last week, The UHN Board of Trustees has approved the integration of the Michener Institute and UHN. Our integration officially begins on January 1, 2016 which is quite a way to start the new year. We are all looking forward to welcoming everyone at Michener to UHN in the new year and to begin the work that will see us all grow as a diploma granting educational institution and a health care system.
I also want to recognize the extraordinary award received last week by Barb Tiano at Princess Margaret. Barb was named Torontonian of the Year on the CBC's Metro Morning's Friday show. When I listened to her interview and the way she talked about what she and the rest of the team at Princess Margaret try to do for people when they come to the hospital, I couldn't have been any prouder of this organization and the people who work here. As most people know, Barb has been staffing the Information Desk in the main lobby of Princess Margaret for many years. What was crystal clear in her interview is that she understands that her role can provide comfort and hope and that she solves problems all day long. She has much to teach all of us about taking joy and pride from our work. Barb is a champion in our shared efforts to enhance the patient experience.
As we move into the Holidays, we are at the threshold of flu season. For millions of people every season, the flu can mean a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, fatigue, and miserable days spent in bed. However, you may not realize that each flu season, flu also causes hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and thousands or sometimes tens of thousands of deaths. Please remember that it's not too late to get a vaccine to protect yourself, your loved ones, our patients and staff. Flu shots are available through Occupational Health & Safety or at all pharmacies, including the ones at UHN.
As we close out 2015, my first year at UHN, I extend my sincere holiday greetings to the entire UHN community. I wish you and yours a holiday season filled with happiness and good health.