​Good morning, 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

  • I'm pleased that the Boards of University Health Network and West Park Healthcare Centre have approved moving forward with a voluntary merger after extensive due diligence. As shared in our joint e-newsletter last week, a formal application was submitted to the Ministry of Health for approval – a key milestone. As we have said from the outset, this potential integration is about leveraging the significant resources and knowledge of both organizations to develop one of the world's leading rehabilitation centres. To read the latest newsletter with West Park CEO Anne-Marie Malek, review FAQs, or learn more about this process, please visit WestPark-UHN.com.
  • Here we grow again! Princess Margaret Cancer Care Network has welcomed a new partner – the Cancer Centre at Oak Valley Health's Markham Stouffville Hospital. This network seeks to have cancer centres collaborate to share expertise, resources, and information to enhance access to cancer services. As Dr. Keith Stewart, Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, told YorkRegion.com, UHN is “thrilled to establish collaboration for clinical trials, molecular testing, and knowledge exchange that will benefit the patients of Oak Valley Health," which joins Southlake Regional Health Centre, Grand River Hospital, and Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services in the program. This is another great example of how UHN is providing leadership in our system and encouraging the kind of teamwork that unlocks discoveries for our patients. Read more online.
  • Don't miss this UHN News story highlighting how UHN's Laboratory Medicine Program (LMP) stepped up to help the Kenora Rainy River Regional Lab Program (KRRRLP) when its only pathologist retired, jeopardizing services for thousands of patients. Staff from both organizations collaborated on strategies to ensure continued service despite resource challenges, with LMP staff travelling north to train medical laboratory technologists to handle increasingly complex cases. This shows once again how the LMP, which supports 25 hospitals in northern Ontario, exemplifies the belief that all communities deserve excellent care. “The UHN mission is 'A Healthier World,' and we need to start in our backyard," Christine Bruce, Senior Director, LMP, told UHN News. Read the full story online.
  • UHN researchers have discovered links between structural changes in the brain and neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, and hallucinations, of various neurodegenerative diseases. A research team led by Dr. Carmela Tartaglia at Krembil Brain Institute analyzed brain imaging and clinical data from more than 510 adult men and women who participated in the Ontario Neurodegenerative Disease Research Initiative. They found neuropsychiatric symptoms were common across all conditions studied, with depression being the most prevalent. Read more at UHN News.
  • UHN is proud to partner with the DAISY Foundation to launch the DAISY Awards honouring our remarkable UHN nurses. Sharing nursing stories of excellence is essential so our nurses can truly understand the impact they have on the lives of the people they work with and care for. The DAISY Award is an international program that recognizes and celebrates the extraordinary clinical skill and compassionate care given by nurses every day. On a regular basis – with the aim being monthly – a UHN nurse, nursing team, or nurse leader is selected to receive the DAISY Award. The first award will be given out in March 2024. Additional annual DAISY awards will be distributed during Nursing Week in May. Nominations can come from patients, parents/families, and staff from across UHN who are invited to fill out the online form to submit a nomination. Learn more about the DAISY Award online. Questions? Please email daisyawards@uhn.ca.

Closing Notes

Tomorrow – November 28 – is "Giving Tuesday," a global generosity movement and a chance to give back to important causes. Research has shown there are both physical and mental health benefits to charitable​ giving, particularly associated with overall happiness, sense of social connection, and belonging. This year, if you are able, consider donating to our amazing Foundations – UHN Foundation and The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. By giving right where you work, you can make an even greater impact on life-saving research, educating the next generation of health care workers, and enhancing patient care at UHN. Consider donating through I Give @ UHN – learn more at igiveatuhn.ca. Later this week, you will also receive communications on UHN's support for the United Way Greater Toronto's 2023 Community Campaign to end local poverty and ensure thousands of people across the Greater Toronto Area can access food, shelter, and mental health support. Please consider supporting this organization's fine work. Together, we are building A Healthier World.

December 1 is World Aids Day, which commemorates the lives lost to HIV-related illnesses and raises awareness about the challenges faced by those living and at risk for this virus. While therapy has improved such that many living with HIV can control the virus with a single daily pill or an injection every other month – and HIV may be prevented with pills and injections – patients still too often face stigma and discrimination and may have lower quality of life. It continues to be important to increase education about transmission including the concept of U=U – undetectable means un-transmissible. The clinical and research teams at Toronto General's Immunodeficiency Clinic have served HIV patients for more than 30 years. A multidisciplinary team provides exceptional care to hundreds of clients and the clinic's renowned research team conducts clinical, basic science, epidemiologic, and psychosocial studies to uncover new insights into the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS-related conditions and improve quality of life. Learn more about World Aids Day.

November 25 was International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which shone a spotlight on this widespread human rights violation. The World Health Organization estimates that 736 million women – nearly one in three – have been subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence from a non-partner. Globally, violence against women and girls is often unreported because of fear of retaliation or stigma. The UN has again launched its UNiTE campaign – 16 days of activism until Dec. 10 – calling on citizens to push for an end to gender-based violence. At UHN, we are grateful for the work of UHN Women to uplift TeamUHN and educate about the gender-based challenges women face.

And now… our video of the week. In this clip, we spend a day with a TeamUHN kinesiologist who helps cancer patients improve movement and balance through exercise.


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Have a good week,


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