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 

  • We begin this week with a message of thanks to all TeamUHN members who worked in service of patients and their colleagues on Family Day. We also recognize the many family members and loved ones in our lives who inspire us to perform at our best.
  • UHN's Board of Trustees met Wednesday. The Board discussed a range of topics, including the federal funding accord for healthcare, the provincial government's plan to reduce surgical wait times, and how the province and UHN are responding to health human resources challenges. The Board also discussed the importance of advocacy, particularly when it comes to clinical pressures, education of the future workforce, and federal funding for Research – an area in which Canada is lagging behind. As part of its standing reporting, the Board received updates about UHN's quality and safety initiatives, our culture, the Synapse project, the organization's finances, and major capital projects. At each meeting, there is a focus on a clinical program – in this case, the Board discussed UHN's Emergency Medicine Program, including key performance metrics, challenges, and opportunities. Finally, with respect to Research Commercialization, the Board was provided with an overview of the pathway to launch a new venture, using the commercialization pathway for Adela as a case study. The next Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for April 2023.
  • The Black Legacy Committee (BLC) and the office of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Antiracism (IDEAA) is proud to present the launch of the Black Excellence Series, a transformative change to traditional Black History Month programming that promotes education, safe space, and recognition of Black UHN community members year-round.

    We invite you to leave space in your calendars for:

    1. In Conversation with Stacian Watts, Psychotherapist and founder of the virtual wellness and therapy centre: Watts Psychotherapy in Toronto. Please join us in our sit-down with Stacian as we talk about mental health, self-care, and wellness on March 21st  from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. (RSVP to be sent to your calendars shortly).
    2. The Colour of Proper Care Session 2: Analyzing the Patient Perspective of Black Patients in North America (RSVP to be sent in March).
    3. Community programming in Toronto happening this month, including:

    The BLC also wants to proudly pay tribute to its Chair, Accessibility Advisory Committee Organizer, and one of UHN's most important leaders, Dianne Barham. Dianne has expanded UHN's vision, function, and capacity for change for the past 11 years, lending her incredible insight, empathy, and leadership across the organization – not only within her role in the Digital portfolio but touching countless departments and changing the working and learning environment for her peers and colleagues for the better. Dianne's contributions will continue to shape and impact the progress of the BLC's work and her success in leadership as BLC chair is immeasurable. Thank you, Dianne, for all of your incredible work at UHN.

  • In recognition of outstanding contributions to cancer care by UHN nurses and to support the professional development of nurses, we are pleased to share with you this year's Oncology Nursing Awards. We encourage you to submit nominations for the following five awards: Rose Dean Essence of Oncology Nursing Award; The Rising Star Oncology Nursing Award; Michael Kamin Hart Award of Excellent in Adolescent & Young Adults Cancer Care; Award of Excellence in Nursing Preceptorship/Mentorship/ Teaching; 90/10 Professional Development Project Award. The submission deadline is March 9. The award celebration will be held on April 4, which is Oncology Nursing Day. To submit a nomination and learn more about individual awards, visit the Corporate Intranet page (Corporate Intranet > Departments > CAP > Education > Scholarship and Awards > UHN Oncology Nursing Awards). For more information, please contact Ishrat Patel via email at
  • Kayli Chen, a student in radiation therapy at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, has designed radiation masks to help pediatric cancer patients feel like superheroes. All patients with head, neck, or brain cancer must wear custom-fit, thermoplastic masks during radiotherapy. Recognizing some of the youngest patients would become stressed during treatment, Kayli started creating masks of superheroes and cartoon characters, such as Batman, Spiderman, and Boots from “Dora the Explorer," to give them a boost. “I really love children and if I can help them smile during treatment, that makes me so happy," she told UHN News. Kayli, who spends hours working on these masks at home, is in her third year of Medical Radiation Sciences, a joint program with the U. of T. and the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. She will present this wonderful initiative at a conference for radiation therapists this spring. Read all about it at UHN News.
  • A new Education Centre at UHN's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre opened last week, giving all clinical learners a dedicated space to study and practice their skills. As Dr. Meredith Guiliani told UHN News, learners will benefit from the convenience of this space being located where “learning happens in the hospital." The Education Centre is on the sixth floor of the cancer centre on 620 University Ave. and includes a Health Sciences Library, carrel desks for quiet study, exam rooms with clinical equipment, a classroom that can be divided into smaller spaces, debrief rooms, and a lounge for those seeking to relax. Learn more about the new Centre from UHN News.
  • A new Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Policy and accompanying ERM Framework are now in effect at UHN, moves that will help the organization better identify and manage potential circumstances that could impact UHN's everyday operating environment and the achievement of our strategic objectives. The ERM policy articulates guiding principles and requirements for ERM. The Framework provides the structure, personnel, processes, and tools used to manage our risks. Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) will provide oversight of UHN's approach and ELF members will be assigned as “Risk Owners" for top risks in their areas of accountability, with a “Risk Lead" assigned to each top risk. Activities such as risk identification and reporting are coordinated by designated “Risk Champions" in collaboration with UHN's Senior Risk Advisor. All of TeamUHN actively participate in enterprise risk management by reporting on risks through informal and formal channels such as safety huddles and incident reporting. Together, these documents affirm our commitment to mitigating risk to patients, staff, and the broader community. You can read the Framework and related documents on UHN's Enterprise Risk Management Sharepoint Site. For more information or questions, contact Fraser Pennie (Senior Risk Advisor) at

What happened at the Executive Leadership Forum meeting

UHN's Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) represents a broad range of voices and skill sets from across the organization and provides direction and oversight in service of patients, TeamUHN and our vision of A Healthier World. See the full membership on The last ELF meeting was held on Thursday, Feb. 16.

Corporate Scorecard: ED Wait Time for Inpatient Bed

  • Background: UHN's Corporate Scorecard, which outlines 17 key performance indicators (KPIs) for the organization, is an important tool in monitoring UHN's performance against targets and objectives. Each quarter, results are shared with the Executive Leadership Forum. At last week's ELF meeting, Q3 results were shared and the discussion was focused on the KPI pertaining to Emergency Department wait times for inpatient beds (90th percentile).
  • Who Presented? Brenda Kenefick (Director, Patient Flow), Marnie Escaf (VP Clinical), and Megha Bhavsar (Director, Strategy & Transformation, Clinical Support & Performance)

    What I need to know: UHN's wait times are comparable to peer hospitals but longer than the organization's internal stretch goal. At Toronto General, where the target is 17.2 hours to an inpatient bed, year-to-date results show the wait is 27.6 hours. At Toronto Western, where the target is 21.5 hours, the year-to-date figure is 32.4 hours. When compared to fiscal year 2019-2020, Toronto General is 6.2 hours higher and Toronto Western is 13.2 hours higher. Drivers of ED wait times include impacts from health human resources challenges, more patients being held in EDs waiting for isolation spaces or availability of telemetry packs.


Closing Notes 

  • You may have noticed that has had a bit of a refresh. There are still a few wrinkles to be ironed out so please let the Web Team know if you encounter an issue by filling out this form. Most of the changes are behind the scenes and the benefits are for our external users. The site has a more modern and responsive user interface and loads much faster. This work was done over a number of months and tested extensively by a core team: Mojgan Nemati, Vince Addario, Adam Latuns, and Nik Kojevnikov. 
  • If you missed last week's International Day of Women and Girls in Science event hosted by the Krembil Research Institute at UHN, be sure to check out this recording. The free virtual public education event, moderated by broadcaster Mary Ito, featured three remarkable scientists and clinicians discussing their journeys: Dr. Karen Davis, Senior Scientist at Krembil, Amina Adama, a PhD student at the Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute, and Laura Passalent, an Advanced Practice Physiotherapist and clinician investigator at Schroeder Arthritis Institute. More than 4,000 students, teachers, and parents participated, some from as far as Italy and Zimbabwe, and were able to ask these TeamUHN members questions about their careers. The Honourable Marci Ien, the federal Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth of Canada, also delivered an inspiring message about the power of education. Read UHN News for more on this event and click the image below to see the recording.
  • Tomorrow – Feb. 22 – is Pink Shirt Day, recognized around the world as a day to stand up against bullying. Pink Shirt Day began in 2007 with a simple act of kindness when teens at a small-town Nova Scotia high school wore pink in support of a Grade 9 boy who was bullied for wearing the colour the day before. Since then, people in more than 180 countries have taken part in Pink Shirt Day, always on the last Wednesday of February each year, raising awareness about the importance of kindness and inclusivity, and raising funds for youth anti-bullying initiatives. Embracing differences is an important element in building A Healthier World and, as an organization, we can do more to keep patients, families, and staff safe from bullying. Tomorrow, please consider wearing a pink shirt to show support for the work happening in schools and further raising awareness of this important social issue.
  • Don't miss this story about how UHN led the development of Canada's first boot camp to help future Pathologists' Assistants (PAs) prepare for the gross room, where they dissect organs, examine body parts removed from surgery, and measure tissue. Dr. Klaudia Nowak, a pathologist in UHN's Laboratory Medicine Program, worked with PAs at UHN and other Toronto hospitals over seven months to develop a two-week boot camp for students from the University of Toronto, with both classroom sessions and hands-on grossing modules. “The main goal was to create the foundations for PA students in the gross room, but also to give them critical skills that will allow them to think beyond the gross room and how their grossing would impact patient management," Dr. Nowak told UHN News. The team will present their findings at the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) Annual Meeting next month – the largest gathering of pathologists in the world. It all underscores how vital teaching and learning to everything we do here at UHN. Read the full story.
  • UHN innovators and entrepreneurs with big ideas on the future of healthcare are invited to take their shot at $50,000 in prizes in the KITE PowerPlay Pitch Competition. This competition, open to innovators at all stages of product and technology development, will be the signature event at the International Conference on Aging, Innovation and Rehabilitation (ICAIR) at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on May 8. "We are looking for energetic, innovative and passionate health care innovators who can address an unmet need in the health care industry, through preventative health care solutions, treatment and management of disabling injuries and illnesses, restorative assistive devices to help restore function, diagnostic tools, digital health, and others," says Dr. Milos R. Popovic, director of UHN's KITE Research Institute and Chair of the ICAIR organizing committee. There is no registration fee to participate. The deadline for online application submissions in March 13Read more about this one-of-a-kind competition at KITE.
  • A recent study from UHN's KITE Research Institute has shed light on how the brain changes over the long-term after moderate to severe traumatic injury. The research team followed the recovery of 40 adults who experienced brain injury and measured brain connectivity between different regions from five months to several years. The findings suggest that while connectively increases at first, the brain seems to reverse course and lose connectivity at around one-and-a-half years after injury, signifying a decline in brain function. "Combined with our previous findings, the current findings suggest that the brain is not static in the chronic stages of injury, contrary to previous assumptions," says KITE Senior Scientist Dr. Robin Green. Head to UHN News to learn more or read the full study online.
  • And now.. our TikTok of the week. This video helps us better understand the fine work that nurse practitioners do at UHN.


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Have a good week,


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