​My regular e-mail communication with you highlights some of the events, people and ideas that I've been learning about as we work together to advance UHN. You can also follow my Twitter account where I post links to articles I've been reading, places I've visited and things that I think may be of interest here at UHN and in the community we serve. The Twitter account, which you can see here, is another way for you to get to know me a bit better. Most of the postings are related to health care, science, and innovation and I do post the occasional item that's personal.  So, if you are on Twitter as a channel for your news, follow me @ppisters.  You may also check in occasionally even without a Twitter account!

Last week, Genome Canada announced a ground breaking partnership between Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, LifeLabs Medical Lab Services, and The Federal Department of State (Science and Technology) designed to bring genomic profiling to thousands of Canadian cancer patients. This moves UHN to the forefront of genomic medicine and offers the potential to improve cancer treatment outcomes across Canada while at the same time provide substantial cost savings for multiple provincial health systems. Genome Canada also funded the project led by Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, UHN's Surgeon-in-Chief in collaboration with the U.S. biotech firm Lung Bioengineering Inc., a subsidiary of United Therapeutics Corp. This partnership received a grant to develop a genomics-based diagnostic test to determine whether a donor lung meets transplant requirements  The project proposes a genomics approach to assessing donor lungs and has the potential to save thousands of lives while reducing healthcare costs.  This is science driving clinical care – a direction in which UHN leads the way.

Many people are thinking ahead and planning for the PanAm and Parapan Games. At UHN, we are planning for increased congestion in the city that may impact employee travel to work and patient travel to UHN facilities during the Games. Next week, we'll be posting the TTC and City of Toronto sites on the intranet and the internet that outline TTC service during the Games and specific areas where traffic is likely to be heavy. As you may have seen in the media, there are plans for temporary High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lanes on major highways around the city and the signs say they'll come in to effect on June 29.

June highlights awareness for two health issues – Seniors and Stroke – and both will be featured this week on the intranet and internet. UHN has much to offer seniors with Toronto Rehab taking the lead with research and programs designed to keep seniors functioning well in their homes. And state-of-the art care for people who have had strokes is an essential part of Toronto Western Hospital's Krembil Neuroscience Centre.

Congratulations to the Blood Transfusion Medicine team that was visited by the American Association of Blood Banks and the College of American Pathothogists for accreditation. The result was 100% on the assessment with zero deficiencies so my congratulations to everyone in the blood transfusion labs. Your work is absolutely essential to safe and effective patient care and that work is clearly done to the highest of standards. Preventing mismatched blood transfusions is an example of the safety focus that our Blood Transfusion Medicine Team brings to UHN.

Along with our commitment to keep patients safe at UHN, we all share a commitment to keep our patients private health information private. Violating this privacy commitment can and has resulted in police investigations. Indeed, the Ontario Provincial Police are conducting an investigation into our recent privacy breaches. I urge everyone at UHN to read this UHN News article on patient privacy prepared by our Privacy Office which lists some common questions about privacy and is designed to help everyone understand on our obligations around the privacy of our patients. Let's work together to follow the law and protect patient privacy!


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