Last night CBC aired the first episode of Keeping Canada Alive which chronicles one day in Canada's healthcare system. The show featured the journey of one of our patients, Alex Dritsas, and the work of the team at Toronto Rehab. Alex came to us with a spinal injury so severe that he was unable to do anything for himself and last Thursday night he walked in to the screening that CBC held for the show. Alex's story is emblematic of the effect we have on people's lives every day and the fact that Canada's healthcare system is essential to the wellbeing of all Canadians. There is no doubt that that the people of UHN contribute to that wellbeing and there is also no doubt that through our focus on care, teaching and research we can continue to care, while  improving the system. Next week's episode features Heather Ross.

We have posted the slide deck from the September 17th Town Hall and there is one slide in the presentation that is critical to our understanding of what we are here to do and how we must work together. It says: 1) Don't Hurt Me 2) Heal Me and 3) Be Nice to Me which distills our efforts to three expectations that any patient or any staff member has of us when they come to UHN. The first point speaks to safety – for our patients and our staff. The second is about the quality of our care, which for me is inextricably linked to research and education because we are always looking for better ways to heal. The third is about the way we work with people – our patients and our colleagues. In the weeks ahead we are organizing Town Halls with the leadership of the UHN. I encourage you to attend, but if you can't, send your questions along and I will find a way of answering all questions and making those answers available to everyone at UHN.

My final note today is about the Speak Up for Safety survey which launches October 26. It is important that everyone takes the time to complete the survey which will give us an understanding of the culture at UHN in terms of the ability to speak up for safety – patient safety and your own safety. We would like at least 70% participation and I would welcome your thoughts on how we can achieve that goal.


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