I'm sending this message remotely – for the next two weeks I'll be on the road, moving my family to Canada. Currently I'm in Texas getting ready to start our journey from Houston to Toronto. I am so excited to bring my family to this this wonderful city and complete the move – after all, home is where your pets are!

As promised in last week's Looking Ahead the AGM presentation is now live. You can watch it here to learn more about the current challenges we are facing, the work we've done over the past year and what we're looking to accomplish over the next year through our eight areas of focus.

Some of you may already have seen the article in today's Globe and Mail about our Caring Safely Program with Sick Kids hospital.   This article reflects the fact that we are leading the nation with our plan for safer care for patients and a safer environment for all of us. Caring Safely is designed to reduce medical errors and preventable harm for both patients and staff through the adoption of best practices and safety behaviours, which has been approved and supported by our board. Following the safety culture survey we did last fall, Speak Up For Safety, we have implemented some of these practices, such as safety huddles, which are taking place across all UHN hospitals.

With summer officially here, it's the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful weather and one another's company.  We've had a lot of opportunities to do this over the last few weeks at UHN.

 Over the past two weeks I have had the chance to attend staff appreciation barbeques at Toronto General and Toronto Western and I had such an amazing time at both. It was wonderful to connect with so many different members of the UHN community, from infrastructure to pharmacy, volunteers, human resources and beyond. I'm excited to attend the rest of the barbeques over the course of the summer and can't wait to hear your stories.

 Last week while we said goodbye to Kathy Sabo, we also celebrated her extraordinary 40-year career in health care. It was wonderful to hear stories from colleagues, friends and Kathy herself about the transformation that's taken place at Toronto Western and across UHN during her 15-year tenure. You can read more about her career and advice here. She will be missed in the halls, but we know she's not too far!

This week we have released our 2015/16 Q4 Balanced Scorecard results, which you can find here​. Overall, UHN had a very successful 2015/16. There were many indicators that exceeded target and the teams deserve credit for all of their hard work. We met targets every quarter for overtime rates and in spite of the number of ED visits increasing each year, we were able to meet our targets for ED length of stay. Our LEAN team tracks the number of opportunities for improvement that UHN employees contribute to and this year we exceeded target every quarter.

There are some key areas that we're working to improve on as well. We finished below target for central line infections, however there is plenty of work planned to improve going forward as it is one of the six Hospital Acquired Conditions that we have chosen to address under Caring Safely. Alternate Level of Care (ALC) refers to those patients who are still inpatients in our four hospitals but who no longer require the care that we provide. The ALC team has been working very hard and has implemented an number of different change ideas to try and improve metrics associated with ALC. Unfortunately, ALC is a major systemic issue that requires a collaborative effort both inside and outside UHN, as well as involvement from the Toronto Central LHIN and Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to significantly reduce the number of ALC patients in UHN hospitals.


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