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Last week we announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Michener Institute. This means that we are in a phase of due diligence and I thought I'd describe just what that means. It is a time when we can talk with each other about how the integration could happen and what UHN needs to understand about the work of the Michener Institute and how that fits in to UHN. We need to understand the the obligations to Michener staff and students, the facility, the funding and the opportunities which will come to us following amalgamation. It is also a time for everyone – at UHN and Michener – to get to know each other and to begin to dream about what might be possible in the future. I see it as an opportunity to ensure that healthcare across the Province of Ontario has the health human resources it needs and this means that UHN will be working with a variety of hospitals and healthcare institutions which rely on the professionals who come from Michener. Given that the due diligence phase doesn't offer up any surprises – to either organization – we then move forward to integration and welcome Michener staff and students to the UHN family. In this context, we greatly value your creative ideas about how we can approach this together and in a way that benefits all of Ontario.
In the past few weeks we have received many, many suggestions about how we might balance our budget and I would like to thank everyone who sent forward ideas. All of these ideas were collated and sent forward to the executive team, with anonymity preserved. I have asked a smaller group to group similar ideas together and determine which ones will worked on immediately and how that work will be done. The ideas were broken down into general categories in the report. The largest of those categories was 'waste' – in all its forms. It is great to know that so many people at UHN are looking at better ways of doing things that involve the reduction of waste so that we can save both time and money. A fuller report will be coming, but one idea that came up over and over again was the things we could all do to save on our electric bill. We will therefore be working to come up with a myriad of energy saving ideas to complement the great programs that we already have in place.
At the same time we were looking at the savings suggestions, I heard from Ed Rubinstein, Manager, Energy and Environment and one of the things we will be doing this summer is setting the temperature higher on all thermostats throughout UHN. This means that all rooms will be slightly warmer this summer as we reduce air conditioning, which in turn will reduce our cost. When this starts, we will all need to dress in lighter clothing and layers so that we can be comfortable at work while maintaining a professional appearance. The other thing that we can all do is turn off lights and electrical equipment when it is not in use. Every little bit helps.
Today, I had the great pleasure of participating in the Long Service Tea at Princess Margaret. This adds to my experience at the same event recently at TGH and really reinforces my impressions of what great employees we have! I feel privileged to be able to work here to support all of you.