​​UHN on the Go is our monthly feature highlighting news and events at UHN.

Re-opening of Lyndhurst's smoke-free gazebo

smoke-free gazebo
The ribbon cutting ceremony for the re-opening of the Lyndhurst Centre gazebo. (Photo: Jatinder Bains)

The Lyndhurst Centre's Smoke Free Task group have re-opened the centre's outdoor gazebo.  The gazebo overlooks scenic parkland between Lyndhurst and Sunnybrook hospitals.

For a number of years the gazebo was the property's designated smoking space.  With the recent legislative changes that prohibit smoking on hospital grounds, the task group had an opportunity to either tear down the gazebo or repurpose the space.

With the incredible efforts and support of Facilities staff, the gazebo has been transformed into fresh space for staff, patients and visitors to enjoy.  The Leaside Botanical Society helped to provide the space with flowers and planters.

A ribbon cutting ceremony took place to open the space and a Wellness Wagon was on campus to provide information on healthy living and finding support for those trying to quit smoking. The event coincided with the acknowledgement of World No Smoking Day, which was celebrated around the globe on May 31.

The Lyndhurst Smoke Free Task Group expressed a sincere thank you to all those staff and physicians who supported the team.  More support for staff, physicians and patients is on the way in the form of clinical guidelines, education modules, order sets and medical directives.

Toronto Western Hospital neurosurgeon's discovery lands on exclusive list

Dr. Fehlings
Dr. Michael Fehlings’ work into the use of Riluzole as a neuroprotective treatment for spinal cord injury is being recognized as a top achievement in the field over the past 20 years. (Photo: UHN)

Dr. Michael Fehlings' groundbreaking research into the use of the drug Riluzole as a possible neuroprotective for the treatment of spinal cord injury has been named one of the top achievements in the field of spinal cord injury repair over the past 20 years by a prestigious spine journal.

Dr. Fehling's latest accolade comes courtesy of the Becker's Spine Review, which compiled an interactive timeline going back to 2001 that highlights breakthroughs in spinal cord injury, repair and technology that have "advanced our understanding of the complexities of primal cord injuries."

Dr. Fehlings is a spine neurosurgeon at Toronto Western Hospital and Senior Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute in Toronto who has published more than 400 more peer-reviewed articles in the areas of spinal cord injury and complex spinal surgery.

"We are in an exciting time in spinal cord injury research where the basic science discoveries made in the 1990s are now being translated into practical treatments for patients," Dr. Fehlings told UHN News. "The work with the sodium channel blocker shows great promise to help people with traumatic and non-traumatic forms of spinal cord injury."

The timeline credits Dr.Fehlings' team with discovering that Riluzole has the potential to protect nerve cells following spinal cord injury if used shortly after injury. A clinical trial is currently under way with results expected sometime in 2017.​

Heart Failure Update 2017 draws world-renowned speakers

Badiwala
Dr. Mitesh Badiwala, a cardiac surgeon at UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, addresses Heart Failure Update 2017 last month. (Photo: Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research)

At Canada's largest meeting devoted to heart failure – and second-largest cardiovascular meeting overall – nearly 500 clinicians and researchers united in an event focused on the latest in advances for one of the world's most damaging diseases.

Heart Failure Update 2017 marked a huge success with the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research joining the Canadian Heart Failure Society for the first time in welcoming a faculty of 50 international, Canadian and local experts to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on May 12 and 13.

The event drew world-renown speakers from such international institutions as Harvard University, Brigham and Women's Hospital, University of Oxford, University of California-San Diego, University of Utah, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris.

The diverse agenda explored a wide range of pressing issues and innovations in clinical care and in scientific exploration around a disease that affects more than one million Canadians. Topics ranged from stem cell therapies to advanced heart failure to fibrosis to remote patient monitoring to atrial fibrillation to the intersection of heart failure and diabetes as well as renal disease.

The meeting faculty included, for the first time in Canada, a patient who led an entire workshop around advocating for the needs of those living with the disease.

Videos from Heart Failure Update 2017 will soon be available at www.hfupdate.ca.​​

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