Connie Medeiros
​Connie Medeiros is retiring after 37 years, with great pride and gratitude for being able to support the vast array of needs across patient care, education and research at UHN. (Photo: UHN)

Connie Medeiros wants it known that after 37 years at UHN, she is taking an EARLY retirement.

The Supervisor in Accounts Payable (AP) still has a bounce or two left in her step as she says goodbye to her team in Finance, and all her colleagues at UHN.

"I am leaving with a great sense of pride," says Connie. "Not everyone gets the opportunity to work in an organization of this calibre, for as long as I did."

Canada's No. 1 Hospital is recognized for achievements in the areas of patient care, education and research, all of which require the strategic partnership of the Finance Team, of which Connie has been a pillar.

Ensuring every patient, and all members of TeamUHN have what they need, when they need it, is critical to the day-to-day work Connie has done for almost four decades.

From her early days at the Toronto Western Hospital, Connie has always stood out for her warm and humorous ways. Quick to laugh, and always ready to welcome newcomers, Connie is also known for her dedication and immense knowledge of the AP practices at UHN.

"Connie is an amazing person, with a deep reservoir of wisdom and insights," says Darlene Dasent, Executive Vice President and UHN's Chief Financial Officer. "Leaders like myself rely on people like Connie who know more than just procedures and processes, but also have deep institutional history and are always willing to share their experiences in order to keep us moving in the right direction."

There is always some concern when someone of such value and long-standing leaves their team, but one of Connie's colleagues suggested a unique solution.

"Leave your brain behind, and just take your body," was the first response from one of Connie's long-time friends, Linda Tonellato, Project Working Group Lead, Accounts Payable in UHN Finance.

"Connie has lived through many eras over the years in AP," Linda says. "She helped transition this team as we moved away from paper-based to electronic payment requests, she took the lead on revising many procedures to make them more effective, and truthfully, she can, and has, jumped on and off projects at the drop of a hat because she knows everything.

"And it's no small thing that she can even fix the photocopier!"

'We will truly miss her'

An organization the size and complexity of UHN could be daunting to both young and mature finance professionals and Connie is very proud of her efforts over the years to welcome aboard and shepherd new colleagues.

"I think of everyone as my kids," says Connie. "I want them to feel like they can come to me with any questions, big or small, and I want to help build their skills so they are confident enough to work here.

"The standards are high, and if you work hard enough, there are incredible opportunities to be had here."

Connie's warm ways are legendary in the department and everyone remembers what their first interactions with her were like.

"I will never forget my first day at UHN, more than 12 years ago," says Rosanna Machado, SAP Working Group Co-Lead, Accounts Payable in UHN Finance. "I was coming into this new team from (Toronto Rehab), when we merged, and it felt like it was a brand new job, and I was nervous.

"Connie was the first to welcome me and just did her best to make me feel instantly part of the team, it's what she does with every person who joins AP."

It is a testament to Connie's commitment to constant learning, resilience in the face of continual changes in technology and business practices, and her enjoyment of her colleagues, that 37 years went by in a blink.

"I was cleaning out my files and discovered these hand-written performance reviews for Connie, dating back to the 1980s," says Kelly Enair, UHN's Deputy Chief Financial Officer. “Her rich organizational history really makes it possible for us to constantly be questioning our best practices.

“We can have confidence in our solutions because Connie has seen everything and will tell you what does and doesn't work!

"We will truly miss her, but every one of us wishes her the most amazing EARLY retirement."

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