Aleksandra Pikula

Congratulations to Dr. Aleksandra Pikula, a member of the vascular neurology staff and a clinician investigator at UHN's Krembil Brain Institute, for being named the Jay & Sari Sonshine Chair in Stroke Prevention and Cerebrovascular Brain Health.

This achievement will allow Dr. Pikula and her team to explain innovative and comprehensive strategies to address stroke prevention and cerebrovascular brain health. It will also allow them to develop interventions to help prevent an unsustainable rise and impact of stroke on individuals and health care systems through advanced preventive and lifestyle medicine models, with focus on patient-reported experience and outcomes, and close partnerships with the community.

Further, this will also allow Dr. Pikula and her team to establish innovative and new patient-centered and community-driven research, accelerate existing research projects, strengthen partnerships in the health care and public health spheres, and encourage community outreach activities to impact the global fight against stroke and cerebrovascular disease through initiatives towards global brain health at the national and international level.

Dr. Aleksandra Pikula is an internationally recognized expert in the field of vascular neurology and lifestyle medicine, with overarching clinical research interests focused on examining the effects of various factors (biological, psychological, social, lifestyle) on vascular brain health in younger adults.

Her translational research efforts have evolved around complex lifestyle medicine interventions and their integration into existing clinical practice models. At the same time, she has explored social determinants of health (sex and cultural disparities) and raised awareness around personalized and culturally tailored implementation of behavioural and system-based changes to support brain health across the population.


Dr. Cathy Craven, Senior Scientist at UHN's KITE Research Institute, has been named the Cope Family Chair in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Health Systems Innovation at Toronto Rehab.

The chair is part of a generous $1.7 million donation to UHN from George and Tami Cope. In her role as Cope Family Chair, Dr. Craven will work to advance research and improve the health, wellness and quality of life for patients with SCI, by providing patients information and tools to help self-manage their health conditions and achieve their goals of neurorecovery and full community integration.

Dr. Craven is also the Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Program at Toronto Rehab, the Chair of the Pride In Patient Engagement in Research (PiPER) Steering Committee at UHN and a Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at University of Toronto (U of T).

Dr. Craven is an internationally renowned expert in the field of spinal cord injury rehabilitation. She earned her medical degree and completed specialty training in physical medicine and rehabilitation at McMaster University, a fellowship in SCI Rehabilitation and a masters in Clinical Epidemiology at the U of T.

Congratulations Dr. Craven.


Congratulations to the following recipients of the 2023 Princess Margaret Cancer Education Awards:

  • Jolie Ringash, winner of the Excellence in Mentorship Award, which recognizes any staff or faculty member in the Princess Margaret Cancer Program who has acted as a mentor and made a significant impact on mentees;
  • Angela Cashell, winner of the Excellence in Education Support Award, which acknowledges an individual or team for their outstanding contribution to education programs through programmatic support;
  • Warren Lewin, winner of the Innovation in Education Award, which recognizes an individual or team who has contributed to an exceptional and innovative educational program or experience for learners of any kind in the cancer program;
  • Rebecca Wong, winner of the Outstanding Contribution to Cancer Education Award, which recognizes individuals who demonstrate their commitment to learners through their contributions to learner fieldwork/placement, clinical lab or small group experiences, student research, continuing professional development, best practice forums, or faculty development;
  • Amir Safavi and Xin (Kevin) Wang, winners of the Robert V. Brady Award, which recognizes two residents, one from medical oncology and one from radiation oncology, who have made a significant contribution to patients and the oncology community within the cancer program;
  • Enrique Gutierrez, winner of the Best Fellow Award, which recognizes fellows who have made significant contributions to patients and the oncology community within the cancer program;
  • Winnie Li, Michael Velec, Srinivas Raman, Patricia Lindsay and Anthony Demacio, winners of the Video Award, for their videos on what to expect before, during and after treatment on the MR-Linac.

The Cancer Education Video Award Competition is designed to solicit great ideas for educational development from various departments and individuals across the cancer program. Video resources can be directed to patients and families or for staff and/or trainees. This competition is supported by funds raised from the Cancer Education OneWalk Team. Videos produced are made available on the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre YouTube Channel and/or on the UHN Intranet depending on suitability and target learners.


UHN is one of the 31 recipients of the Provincial Eligible Approach Rate Award from the Ontario Health Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) for exceeding the provincial eligible approach rate target of 90 per cent.

A hospital's eligible approach rate measures the number of families approached to discuss the potential of organ donation for their loved one against the total number of cases where donation was a possibility, and a family could have been approached.

UHN achieved a 100 per cent eligible approach rate from TGLN, the provincial government agency responsible for organ and tissue donation and transplant.

That rate means every potential organ donor last year was referred for approach by UHN staff.

"This remarkable performance reflects an incredibly strong donor identification process at UHN," says Dr. Andrew Steel, Medical Director, Medical-Surgical Neuro ICU and Hospital Donation Physician at Toronto Western Hospital.

"In partnership with Trillium Gift of Life Network, we have worked hard to improve our performance from 2018-19 when our eligible approach rate was 41 per cent at Toronto General and 77 per cent at Toronto Western," Dr. Steel says. "This change did not come easy but was made possible because of the commitment to excellence in providing the best possible care for our patients."

Congratulations to all members of the team on this amazing achievement.




Congratulations to all staff at UHN's Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and Emergency Departments (EDs) for the role they played in receiving two awards from the Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN).

The awards from Ontario Health's TGLN, the provincial government agency responsible for organ and tissue donation and transplant, were for the UHN teams' dedication and commitment to organ and tissue donation.

In 2022-2023, UHN was one of 25 hospitals to receive the TGLN Provincial Conversion Rate Award for reaching a conversion rate of 79 per cent, which exceeds the target of 63 per cent set by TGLN. The conversion rate is the percentage of potential organ donors who went on to become actual donors.

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