TW ED ribbon cutting
Members of the Emergency Department staff at Toronto Western Hospital cut the ribbon to open 13,800 square feet of renovated space as the project moves closer to completion. (Photo: UHN)

Toronto Western Emergency Department completes Phase 4 of renovation project

Toronto Western Hospital's (TWH) Emergency Department (ED) has celebrated another milestone of the area's ongoing renovations as it moves closer to completion.

Two triage rooms, four exam bays and two areas to await testing results for outpatients – amounting to 13,800 square feet of space – are now ready for use and will improve overall patient flow in the TWH ED.

"Renovating in an Emergency Department is always challenging," says Lori Cedano, Redevelopment Projects, FM-PRO (Facilities Management – Planning, Redevelopment & Operations). "We often have to modify and adapt our work to the changing clinical conditions to ensure we don't disrupt patient care."

The TWH ED renovation has been in planning since 2016, with construction starting in 2018 to improve current space deficiencies as well as patient and staff flow. Though the pandemic caused a few delays, final completion is expected by June of this year.

"We are thrilled to see these new areas ready for use, they will really make the ED experience better for our patients," says Janet Pilgrim, Interim Nurse Manager, TWH ED.

"Thank you to the FM-PRO team for all their work, and the ED staff for working around the construction to help to provide care for our patients. It is exciting to see this project enter its final stage."

>Angela MacDonald
Angela MacDonald is donating a portion of her book's proceeds to the UHN Foundation to support the Tator Spinal Cord Laboratory, part of UHN's Krembil Brain Institute. (Photo: UHN)

Patient turned author supports spinal cord injury research

A devastating diving accident with a prognosis of quadriplegia and an epilepsy diagnosis requiring brain surgery. Either one on its own is enough to affect someone's life permanently. But having both in short succession at a young age is a recipe for lifetime of despair.

In Angela MacDonald's case, with a lot of hard work and determination, she overcame both diagnoses. But her accident and surgery set her on a path to achieve her life's purpose: helping others to tap into their inner strength to overcome adversity in their lives.

Her story and the lessons learned throughout her recovery are now available in a book, "Absolutely I'm Possible!" Part memoir and part guide for "self-development, healing, personal growth, and spirituality," a portion of the book's proceeds will be donated to the UHN Foundation to support the Tator Spinal Cord Injury Laboratory, part of UHN's Krembil Brain Institute.

"My hope is not only to help anyone dealing with traumatic experiences in their lives, but also support research so that people who have suffered spinal cord injuries have more options or even a full recovery like I did," Angela says. "I am so grateful for the medical care I have received, but it is also inner strength and determination that helped me to heal and I am excited to share my learnings with others."

The book's forward is written by UHN neurosurgeon Dr. Charles Tator, who performed the decompression surgery in 1988 which ultimately restored function in Angela's spine.

"I believe your message is great," Dr. Tator writes. "If we 'listen up,' we too can develop and mobilize the inner strength that is in all of us to meet life's challenges."

Angela's book is available for pre-order with copies expected to ship by the end of March. More information is available at

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