Arthritis diagram imageHealth care needs are always in flux as things like patient demographics and technology change. UHN programs must occasionally shift and adjust to meet those needs and continue providing crucial health care services.

The UHN Arthritis Program is one such example of an area that recently paused to take stock, review their clinical and research strength, and adjust to better meet patient needs. Over 20% of Canadians report some form of musculoskeletal health issues—meaning arthritis, rheumatism, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, and more.

As a result, over the past year, the program has undergone an overhaul, emerging with a new strategic plan and more specific focus to guide it forward. The most visible change has been to rename the Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis Program to the UHN Arthritis Program.

Also notable is that UHN now hosts the only program of this kind that brings together rheumatology, osteoporosis, orthopedic and hand surgeries, and population health research together, with the eventual goal being to create an interdisciplinary osteoarthritis centre. It is Canada's largest interdisciplinary arthritis program.

Other highlights from the past year include work towards the establishment of an integrated arthritis biobank, development of patient safety initiatives in surgery, and research into linkages between osteoarthritis, diabetes, and obesity.

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