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It's a gesture to recognize "your heroic efforts during this ongoing, long pandemic."
Throughout October, a time when we traditionally pause to give thanks, about 16,000 gift boxes, paid for by the independent members of the Board of Trustees of UHN, the UHN Foundation and the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, have been delivered to the homes of TeamUHN members.
The gifts – biscuits, a UHN fanny pack and a message of appreciation – were wrapped in a custom-made box featuring "thank you" in many different languages. Toronto-based Baskits completed the order and had them delivered to the homes of all TeamUHN members over a two-week period earlier this month.
About 200 boxes remain undelivered because of the wrong address but members of the team at UHN People & Culture and Baskits are working to get those delivered as well.
"We know that everyone worked together to ensure that our patients continued to receive the care they needed in an environment which was as safe as possible," reads the thank you message in the card. "We recognize that the safety of every member of TeamUHN was critical and that it was a trying time for everyone in healthcare.
"We also know that it has been stressful for you and your family, friends and loved ones."
Sheila O'Brien, UHN's Executive Vice President of People, Culture & Community, says Board members thought it was important to deliver the gifts to home rather than give them out at work "because they wanted the whole family to know the value they place on the work members of TeamUHN do.
"It's important people understand how much the Board appreciates all that they do."
The message goes on to say that the Board and Foundations "watched with admiration as TeamUHN stepped up to vaccinate the elderly, moved quickly throughout research to take on the challenges posed by this virus, supported long-term care homes, and ensured the vaccination of the staffs of five hospitals was carried out as quickly as possible.
"We all recognize that this isn't normally the work of a hospital – but UHN's leadership has been evident throughout."
voluntary board of 16 elected members govern UHN, as well as two members appointed by the University of Toronto, and representatives from various areas of the hospital. It also has eight different committees, whose membership includes independent trustees who vote and non-voting members.
Meetings, which are open to staff and members of the public, include four regular meetings and the Annual General Meeting.
"Every member of UHN's Board of Trustees and our two foundations is honoured to be entrusted with the volunteer leadership of such a strong and resilient organization," the message concludes. "That strength and resilience comes from you and the people who support you – and we are grateful for it."