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(Clockwise from top left) Ed Rubinstein, Director of the Energy & Environment team, logged his kilometres running; the team's route from Mexico to Costa Rica for Challenge 2; Lisa Vanlint put in her kilometres kayaking; the stunning view of Toronto's skyline from a team member's bike; Mike Kurz, Energy Team Lead, wracked up his kilometres by bike. (Photos: UHN)

Team building with virtual – and green – trips around the world

UHN's Energy and Environment team has stuck to its New Year's Resolution for 2021: logging kilometres to complete virtual trips around the world.

The nine-member team, under the Facilities Management – Planning, Redevelopment & Operations Department (FM-PRO), logs their kilometres – from walking, running, biking, rowing, rollerblading, kayaking, etc. – on a shared spreadsheet and fills in a virtual route on a map. Each team member has a goal of five kilometres per day.

Ed Rubinstein, Energy & Environment Director, always wanted to go to Norway, so he suggested the first challenge route: a return trip from Oslo to Norvik, which is 3,108 kilometres.

"When the Energy & Environment team had to pivot to virtual team meetings, I saw this as a great way for us to encourage each other to get outside in pursuit of a common, fun goal," says Ed. "The fact that it involved active transportation, which the team promotes and supports at UHN, was a nice fit too."

They've already completed two virtual trips – the second from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to San Jose, Costa Rica, which was a total of 3,439 kilometres. They are planning a third.

For Lisa Vanlint, Manager of Energy & Environment, it gives her something to look forward to and ease anxiety during the pandemic.

"It allows us to interact as a team on something more lighthearted than the latest outbreak, especially since we rarely see each other in person," Lisa says, adding that they also discuss their progress at weekly meetings.

"It helps keep us motivated to keep moving."

The ongoing challenge is especially fitting as April is Earth Month.


The Pharmacy team at UHN's Ajmera Transplant Centre at Toronto General Hospital show off their banana-strawberry macarons, which were a gift from a local bakery in late March to mark Pharmacy Appreciation Month. (Photo: Courtesy Angela Fok)

Gratitude is the best medicine! Sweet treats for UHN Pharmacy team

It was a creative and delicious treat for some members of the UHN Pharmacy team.

March is Pharmacy Appreciation Month. To mark the occasion, a local bakery – Daan Go Cake Lab – delivered more than 200 banana-strawberry macarons to Pharmacy team members at UHN.

The treats were coloured yellow and red, and individually wrapped to mimic hospital unit-dose packages of the most requested flavour of the oral antibiotic suspension, amoxicillin.

"It was a great way to celebrate and shine a light on all the wonderful members of our Pharmacy team, who work tirelessly to support patient care," says Angela Fok, a pharmacist at Toronto General Hospital and previously Toronto Rehab, who arranged the donation through her husband's bakery.


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