​Good afternoon, TeamUHN!

It is a pleasure to connect with you across care, research, and education through this weekly CEO update – all in service of A Healthier World.

Key reminders and updates

  • Tomorrow – Feb. 13 – is Wear Red Canada Day at UHN, a chance to highlight the importance of reducing the risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death in women worldwide. Though heart diseases affect 1 out of 3 women globally, women's cardiovascular health remains understudied and far too many women are under-treated. In fact, it is estimated that heart attack symptoms may not be recognized in more than half of women. For the 6th year, the Canadian Women's Heart Health Alliance (CWHHA) is leading a Wear Red Canada campaign to draw attention to women's heart and vascular health. On Feb. 13, TeamUHN is encouraged to wear red and show their support by posting photos to social media with the hashtags #HerHeartMatters and #WearRedCanada – be sure to tag @UHN. Learn more from Wear Red Canada.
  • Project Aspire marked two significant milestones last week. On Tuesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones visited the BMO Auditorium at Toronto Western Hospital to announce funding for the new $1-billion patient and surgical tower to be built at the corner of Bathurst and Nassau streets. We are immensely grateful for the government's investment in the future of Toronto Western and Ontario's hospital infrastructure. This support will allow UHN to elevate our pioneering work caring for some of the most complex neurological and orthopedic cases across Ontario. You can watch the announcement here. With funding in place, EllisDon, the construction manager for the project, can begin preparing the site. The first step was to close the Nassau St. entrance and adjacent surface parking this past Friday evening. Enclosure of the construction site has started and will continue over the coming days. Learn more.
  • Congratulations again to Aimee Langan, the new Vice President, Clinical, Diagnostics and Laboratory Medicine at UHN. Aimee comes to us from William Osler Health System, where since 2019 she has served as Director of Diagnostic Imaging, Laboratory Services, and Neurodiagnostics. Her appointment to the Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) represents a return to UHN, where she began her career 20 years ago as Project Manager and Senior Data Analyst. It's always wonderful to see a TeamUHN member come back home to support our exciting mission of building A Healthier World. Aimee will work with her VP colleagues across UHN to enhance Imaging and Laboratory Medicine services, research, and education.
  • UHN is committed to taking every possible measure to protect the safety of every member of TeamUHN and foster a secure and supportive work environment. Over the past year, the newly formed UHN Workplace Violence Prevention Advisory Committee (WPVAC) – a cross-functional team of subject matter experts led by Diana Elder, VP, People & Culture and Marnie Escaf, VP, Clinical – has been diligently working on taking an organization-wide approach to enhancing UHN's workplace violence prevention strategy. I encourage you to visit the new Workplace Violence Education SharePoint site to learn about what has already been implemented and what's ahead. There is also a growing collection of resources for downloading.
  • I'm pleased to see the $3.1-billion deal reached between the federal government and Ontario to improve health care in this province over the next three years. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the investment Friday, saying the funding will help the province increase access to family doctors, hire more health professionals, and reduce wait times. Per the deal, Ontario will create new primary health-teams, expand enrollment in health care education programs by more than 700 spots – including 70 in Northern Ontario – and modernize its digital infrastructure to better share information. This level of cooperation between different levels of government to tackle problems in our system is very welcome. At UHN, we will continue to advocate for more investments, particularly in the exceptional research that improves our health, environment, and economy. Learn more about this agreement from the Government of Canada.
  • A hearty UHN welcome to new Deputy Minister of Health Deborah Richardson, a deeply respected and experienced public servant. Ms. Richardson, a Mi'kmaq woman from Pabineau First Nation, made history several years ago as the first Indigenous woman to be named Deputy Minister in Ontario. We at UHN look forward to working together in service of patients and those privileged to serve them. We also thank Dr. Catherine Zahn for her distinguished and exemplary term as Deputy Minister, particularly her wisdom, compassion, and relentless focus on patients and providers during a period of great challenge. Dr. Zahn has been appointed the Chair of Ontario Health, the agency that coordinates the delivery of health care in Ontario. We at UHN also salute Bill Hatanaka, the inaugural chair of Ontario Health since 2019, for leading the board through the toughest moments of the pandemic and back to recovery, along with Ontario Health President and CEO, Matt Anderson.

Closing Notes

If you couldn't attend the excellent virtual event hosted by UHN's Krembil Institute to mark International Day of Women and Girls in Science, be sure to watch the recording. It was riveting to hear Drs. Tina Felfeli (Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute), Nikita Looby (Schroeder Arthritis Institute), and Nardin Samuel (Krembil Brain Institute), and moderator Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa discuss what inspired them to enter their respective fields. More than 4,000 students from around the world signed up for the event. Watch online and read UHN News for more.

Journalists from The Toronto Star recently spent 12 hours on the night shift at Toronto Western Hospital emergency department (ED), resulting in a four-page spread over the weekend. The story and powerful photos capture the dedication and professionalism of TeamUHN members serving in one of the city's busiest EDs, from doctors and nurses to security staff, as well as the challenges they confront. My thanks to the ED team and all those involved in facilitating this project. Read the story at The Toronto Star.

And now… our video of the week. In this clip, we spend the morning with a UHN Surgical Resident in celebration of Resident Doctors Appreciation Week.


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Have a good week,


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