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Rita and Emily
Rita Nwaulu (L) and Emily Hay are among the members of UHN’s inaugural Strategy Forum, which met for the first time last week. (Photo: UHN)

Rita Nwaulu and Emily Hay both see it as an opportunity to make UHN even better.

Dedicated members of TeamUHN, the pair – one clinical, one non-clinical – have joined UHN's inaugural Strategy Forum. A recently formed, voluntary advisory committee of 22 highly-engaged TeamUHN members, including two Patient Partners, it's designed to provide fresh perspectives and collective advice to UHN senior leaders on the execution of UHN's strategic plan.

The Strategy Forum met for the first time on Sept. 26. It will report to UHN's Executive Leadership Forum (ELF) on Oct. 17.

Rita, who has been at UHN for nearly seven years, volunteered because she feels it's a new way to engage with the organization.

"The opportunity to sit on an advisory committee for UHN's executive leadership team and to assist with UHN's Strategic Plan – 'A Healthier World' was a chance for me, as a new leader at UHN, to provide input, collaborate with other leaders and see the organization from a different lens," says Rita, a clinical nurse specialist in the Emergency Department/Regional Geriatric Program at Toronto Western Hospital.

Every three months, programs, departments and portfolios from across UHN will present their own strategies to the Strategy Forum, setting the stage for engaging dialogue about how the organization can move towards our vision of A Healthier World. Rotating co-chairs will share the Forum's recommendations to ELF, which will then drive decisions and actions.

'Opportunity to collaborate with a variety of individuals'

Emily, a Senior Project Analyst, Strategy & Change for UHN Connected Care based at Atrium on Bay, says the ability to collaborate was a key reason she wanted to be part of the Strategy Forum.

"I joined the Strategy Forum for the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of individuals from different disciplines across the organization to better understand strategic initiatives underway at UHN that aim to better the patient, caregiver and care provider experience," says Emily, who has worked at UHN for more than six years.

Marijana Zubrinic (Thoracic Surgery Nurse Practitioner; TeleMonitoring & Nurse Practitioner Innovation Lead, Surgery) and Justin Young (Director, Business Development and Consulting, Commercial Strategy) co-chaired the first forum meeting.

Additional chairs who will rotate during 2019-20 include Nathalie Brown (Behaviour Therapist and Rehabilitation Therapist Supervisor, Acquired Brain Injury-Neuro Cognitive Service), Farrah Schwartz (Manager, Patient Education and Engagement, Patient Engagement) and Azadeh Yadollahi (Scientist, KITE-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute).

Like Rita and Emily, Marijana is looking forward to working with her Strategy Forum peers who have expertise spanning UHN.

"It is exciting to work with all the members of the Strategy Forum so closely, each a leader in their own field with a vast skill set and many years of experience that they bring to the table," Marijana says.

For more information on the Strategy Forum's work, including its first report to ELF, keep an eye on Kevin's weekly update.

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