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

Holiday Food Drive for the Daily Bread Food Bank

holiday food drive
UHN’s Clinical Nutrition team collected 480 pounds of food during their holiday food drive for the Daily Bread Food Bank. (Photo: UHN)

The Clinical Nutrition group reached out to their colleagues through the month of November to encourage participation in a Holiday Food Drive in support of the Daily Bread Food Bank.

The Daily Bread Food Bank is the largest food relief agency in Toronto. They provide nutritious food – 40 per cent of it fresh – to 200 charitable programs across the city.

These programs address basic human needs and provide counselling, training and a welcoming environment where people can get the services and support to make positive changes in their lives.

With a goal of 250 pounds, the holiday food drive ran from Nov. 20 to Dec. 1. There was an overwhelming response and the team nearly doubled its goal, donating 480 pounds of goods.

We sincerely thank all those who participated in this initiative. Their generosity and kindness made it a huge success.

Minister of Science visits UHN

Ming-Sound Tsao and Min. Duncan
Dr. Ming-Sound Tsao describes to The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Federal Minister of Science, some of the novel approaches used by the PM Living Biobank to create unique experimental cancer models from patient-derived tissues. (Photo: UHN Research)

UHN welcomed The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Canada's Minister of Science, to tour its research facilities. The 90-minute visit last month highlighted selected research focusing on precision cancer medicine happening at two locations: Princess Margaret Cancer Centre (PM) and the Princess Margaret Cancer Research Tower.

The visit was hosted by senior leaders — Dr. Brad Wouters (Executive Vice President, Science and Research, UHN), Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz (Medical Director, PM), Dr. Rama Khokha (Interim Research Director, PM), Gill Howard (Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications, UHN) and Laura Syron (Vice President, Community Programs, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation).

Researchers in the Tumour Immunotherapy Program, the PM Living Biobank, the PM Genomics Program, and the STTARR Innovation Centre had an opportunity to showcase innovative research and state-of-the-art facilities.

Minister Duncan's visit also provided the ideal opportunity to show UHN's full support for Canada's Fundamental Science Review, Investing in Canada's Future: Strengthening the Foundations of Canadian Research.

Cancer Rehabilitation and Survivorship Retreat: Three Steps to Building a Resilient Team

CRS team retreat
Top (L to R): Resilience Activity icebreaker and silent meditation. Bottom (L to R): Laughter therapy and the Cancer Rehabilitation & Survivorship Team. (Photo: UHN)

With a diverse group of experts, including a physiatrist, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, kinesiologists, massage therapists, social workers, a dietician, a wellness chef and researchers, the Cancer Rehabilitation & Survivorship (CRS) team at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre has been committed to promoting the well-being of cancer survivors.

In their retreat this winter, they applied this expertise to themselves by cultivating team resilience.

Resilience is the capacity to recover from challenges, to adapt well to change and to keep going in the face of adversity. It is a concept linked to staff engagement and patient safety, familiar to the UHN community. But there is a distinction between individual and team resilience, said Stephanie Phan, Clinical Lead. 

A group of resilient individuals does not make for a resilient team. Research shows that the three key strategies for building a robust team that can sustain performance and morale over time are:

  1. Minimizing: Team members anticipating challenges before they arise and assessing their readiness and vulnerabilities together.
  2. Managing: Backing up and supporting one another when pressure hits.
  3. Mending: Recovering after challenges and learning from them.

The group brainstormed actions for these strategies.  A team resilience survey was done before the team retreat and another will be done after six months to look at the impact of the retreat on staff.

To learn more about the tools used in this retreat or to take advantage of the free wellness classes by the CRS team, please contact Myann Marks at myann.marks@uhnresearch.ca ​

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