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Good Monday morning,

Thank you to everyone who has helped inform UHN's strategic plan thus far. If you haven't had a chance to weigh in, please visit UHNstrategicplan.ca and click the button to complete the 2-minute survey. The survey is anonymous and available on our public site so that our patients, their caregivers and our community partners can contribute to our plan as well. Their feedback is essential! Please encourage colleagues and patients to complete the short survey. In the meantime, this is what we've heard from Team UHN so far:

  • What are UHN's strengths? Our people – to which I wholeheartedly agree! – followed by our breadth and scope of services and research.
  • What makes UHN special? The integration and calibre of care, research and education. Of course, we know we must further strengthen this integration if we are to truly maximize the potential of Team UHN and ensure we remain and advance our position as a world leading academic health sciences centre. 
  • What matters to you? Quality of work life so that we can deliver safe, compassionate care of our patients. Contributing to curing disease and suffering. 

This is a consequential time in Canadian healthcare as we manage increased demands for our services, advancements in cutting-edge technologies including artificial intelligence, and our important partnership with Ontario's new government. I hope you will all take the time to speak up and help finalize UHN's strategic plan so we are well positioned to deliver transformative care and innovation and do our most meaningful work.

Now onto our buildings. Frankly, much of our space challenges staff to deliver the highest quality of care yet they do an outstanding job despite the challenges. There are things we can appreciate about our space at UHN though – here are a few things I noticed during my visits to Princess Margaret and Toronto Rehab last week. I must say TR's Lakeside Centre is very well maintained and renovated despite being an older building. What caught my eye were the notches carved into the ends of each handrail installed in their hallways, providing a signal to visually impaired patients that the handrail is coming to a stop. The hope is to offer this level of detail and patient-centered design for every person across UHN. And I'm glad we're making investments in needed infrastructure at Princess Margaret to better serve our patients thanks to undesignated funds raised through the Foundation and the generosity of our donors. So, while we absolutely need better space to serve our expanding population of patients, let's remember to appreciate the environments that many of our teams are working hard to create and maintain.  

Now is our time to celebrate some moreLocal Impact Award nominees. In addition to learning about your colleagues' work below, I encourage you to take a moment and recognize someone on your team today for their impact. Feeling valued and strong teamwork are hallmarks of great places to work! And I guarantee you will make that person's day.

  • Brittany Jenkins: Brittany is an Advanced Practice Nurse Educator in the Emergency Department for Toronto Western. As a medical educator myself, I am impressed to hear that Brittany utilizes teaching styles tailored to individual learning needs and that she demonstrates flexibility and reason without compromising academic requirements.
  • Maggie Ryback, Shauna Biernacki, Winnie Wong, Agnes Oriade and Poonam Sembhi: These five individuals were nominated for exemplifying integrated community-based nursing at its finest. Thanks to their expertise and dedication, they are leading the way in creating and enhancing linkages between primary care practitioners and hospital services, serving at-risk populations who frequent acute care settings.
  • Alan Doyle, Rosemarie Lourenco, Karen Feng, Michele Cook, Emeralda Burke: This team based at Toronto Western is nominated for their work in improving patient safety and streamlining workflows for staff. Within UHN, there was no standard practice for the retention or protection of declined referral paperwork. Thanks to Alan, Rosemarie, Karen, Michele and Emeralda, we now have a practice that can be used across UHN.

Finally, please join me in remembering Dr. Hans Messner who passed away at the Princess Margaret last week. Dr. Messner was a highly respected physician and scientist renowned for his pioneering work in stem cell transplantation. I know that many of us in the UHN community – including the thousands of patients and caregivers he touched – are deeply saddened by the loss of this cherished colleague. For those who'd like to learn more about Dr. Messner's legacy and the Messner Allogeneic Transplant Program, which was named in his honour earlier this month, I invite you to read the UHN News piece.

Thank you for reading,​

Kevin​

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