Group of four nurses
Discharge Nurse Navigators – General Surgery (L to R) Marcia Johnson, Yvonne Davis, Danae McKenzie and Mugs Zweerman won the Local Impact Award – Clinical Team. (Photo: UHN)

Four Discharge Nurse Navigators, a team focused on environmentally sustainable patient care, a registered nurse seeking to brighten everyone's day and an administrative coordinator who goes above and beyond the call of duty are the winners of this year's UHN Local Impact Award.

Also honoured is a team that significantly reduced preventable patient harm across UHN through work on Hospital Acquired Conditions (HACs), earning the Quality and Safety Award, which is new this year.

The five awards, which were handed out at the Report to the Community meeting in the MaRS Discovery District Auditorium, recognize employees or teams whose work has made significant improvement in patient care or the workplace at UHN.

This year's five award winners are:

Discharge Nurse Navigators – General Surgery at both Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital is the winner for the Local Impact Award – Clinical Team, for their integral role in supporting general surgery patients once they are discharged.

The four registered nurses provide an array of care services, including on-site education before patients are discharged, telephone response seven days a week, support and coaching to informal caregivers, coordination of access to physician consultation, and more.  In 2018/2019, the Discharge Nurse Navigators prevented 1,232 Emergency Department visits through phone consultations.

non-clinical team
UHN Energy & Environment Team (L to R) Songyang Hu, Mehdi Motakefpour, Ed Rubinstein, Mike Kurz, Lisa Vanlint, Allan Wu. On team but not in photo, Sinthusha Sivakumaran. (Photo: Courtesy Energy & Environment Team)

Energy & Environment Team is the winner for the Local Impact Award – Non-Clinical Team, for "supporting patient care through a sustainable environment" for almost 20 years.

The Team is recognized for incorporating initiatives that enhance UHN's Purpose, Values and Principles, such as the UHN wide LED lighting replacement, which cut energy use in half while also increasing lighting levels in corridors by 45 per cent. Also, the implementation of the Toronto General Hospital  Deep Lake Water Cooling Project allowed the hospital to be cooled by Lake Ontario water as opposed to electrical chillers, saving UHN about $1 million per year in utility costs.

"The University Health Network's vision is 'A Healthier World.' By living the values of safety, compassion, teamwork, integrity, and stewardship, UHN's Energy & Environment has helped breathe life to this vision, both inside and beyond UHN's walls," wrote one of the team's nominators. 

Paul Tascione, Nurse – Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is the winner of the Local Impact Award – Individual Clinician, for his dedication to patient-centered care. He is also praised for his commitment to his colleagues in developing a "social committee" focused on team-building and enhancing morale.

Paul is recognized by his nominators for his "dedication to delivering patient-centered, holistic care to patients who are facing potentially life-threatening diagnoses."

Lydia Yeung
Lydia Yeung is recognized by her nominators for always doing “her best to help everyone on the team with any issues or questions.” (Photo: Courtesy Lydia Yeung)

Lydia Yeung, Administrative Coordinator – Toronto Rehab is the winner of the Local Impact Award – Non-Clinical Individual, for excelling in her role as administrative coordinator for Dr. Alex Mihailidis, while enthusiastically going above and beyond to support other scientists in the group.

Lydia is praised by her nominators because "she contributes to the high quality of our group's work, organization and continuity of processes, and overall feeling of social connectedness within the team."

HAC Prevention Co-Leads
The Hospital Acquired Conditions Prevention Leads (Back row, L to R) Leslie Heath, Leanna Graham, Mary Ann Neary, Linda Flockhart, Lori Taylor; Front row, (L to R) Dr. Susy Hota, Judy Costello, Jin Huh. On team but not in photo: Pam Savage, Dr. Jeff Singh and Dr. Tim Jackson. (Photo: UHN)

The Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC) Prevention Leads, is the winner of the Local Impact Award – Quality and Safety, for positively impacting all areas of UHN and showing measurable results in preventing patient harm.

After the first full year of broad implementation, UHN has prevented 239 cases of hospital acquired conditions, which would have cost $2.6 million and 1,250 additional bed days. By preventing these 239 cases, UHN was able to treat an additional 195 patients.

Congratulations to all of this year's recipients and nominees. Thank you for all of your hard work and your dedication to the patients and staff of UHN.

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