Learning Week group
​Celebrating at the kickoff of this year’s UHN Teaching and Learning Week, (L to R), Lynda Mao, Audrea McLaughlin, Raluca Serban, Salehah Hakik, Hasina Jaffer and Lisa McQueen. (Photo: UHN)

Preceptors across UHN share their memorable education moments

Preceptors are critical in guiding more than 6500 learners across UHN each year to apply academic learning into practice, and to empower new employees to thrive in teams at all sites.

As part of the celebration of Teaching and Learning Week 2024 from Feb. 26 to March 1st, memorable education moments were shared by preceptors, including Amhara Duncan-Lindo, a registered nurse at Toronto Western Hospital.

"I remember coming to the intensive care unit being a scary moment," Amhara recounted. “I had a preceptor who explained every step of the way at the bedside: what she was doing and what it meant for the patient.

"The level of care and compassion she showed towards my learning experience stripped away so much fear and anxiety I had. With each task I performed, she was right there with me to listen and answer the questions I had. She pointed to resources I could use when I was on my own.

"That made a huge impact that is truly lasting. These interactions have transformed how I showed up with confidence, not just for my patients but also for the trainees that I've been a preceptor for."

The week, meant for everyone at UHN who is teaching or learning, provided an opportunity to connect, learn something new and feel recognized for their exceptional contributions to education every day.

TeamUHN members were invited to participate in the keynote presentation by Paula Rowland, featured workshops, panel discussions, contests, education awards and professional education days.

Dignitaries at the announcement at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre included, (L to R), Natalia Kusendova-Bashta, MPP Mississauga Centre; Adrian Foster, Mayor of Clarington, Ont.; Peter Pattison, President of Interventional Oncology at Boston Scientific; Jason Van Wart, Laurentis President and CEO; Todd Smith, Ontario Minister of Energy; Sylvia Jones, Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Health; Dr. Keith Stewart, Director of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre; Dr. Jonathan W. Cirtain, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer at BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT) and President & CEO of BWXT Medical Ltd. (Photo: UHN)

Made-in-Canada isotope announced at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

UHN welcomed Todd Smith, Ontario's Energy Minister, and Sylvia Jones, Ontario's Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, to the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre March 7, for the announcement of a made-in-Canada nuclear isotope that helps cancer patients.

The Darlington nuclear generating station will create the isotope, known as Y-90, with Laurentis Energy Partners, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation; Y-90 is an essential component in a life-saving treatment for liver cancer patients.

BWXT Medical and Boston Scientific already manufacture the treatment in Ontario but, until now, have had to import their supply of isotopes from nuclear reactors outside of Canada, primarily Russia. Having a local supply will ease concerns about access to raw material.

Liver cancer patients at UHN already benefit from this targeted therapy, along with 100,000 liver cancer patients around the world.

"The production of medical isotopes in Ontario is another way our government is leveraging innovation to connect more people to the life-changing care they need, when they need it," said Minister Jones.

Minister Smith called Ontario's nuclear sector a "medical game-changer."

Dr. Keith Stewart, Director of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, said: "We are proud of the leading-edge cancer care we provide."

"The field of theranostics, which is using radiopharmaceuticals to treat cancer, is exploding worldwide. There are multiple uses in imaging, lots of different kinds of isotopes.

"We anticipate exponential growth in this field."

Jason Van Wart, Laurentis President and CEO, and Peter Pattison, President of Interventional Oncology at Boston Scientific, also spoke at the announcement. They noted that the collaboration will help provide a broader range of medical isotopes.

Clinical trials are already underway at UHN to use this therapy for other kinds of cancer, including prostate and brain cancer. 

The benefit of this more targeted therapy is radioactive medical isotopes can be injected directly into a tumour, rather than blasting the tumour with radiation, which could run the risk of killing surrounding healthy cells.

Liver cancer, an underfunded and under-recognized form of cancer worldwide, is the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths globally.

At the World Kidney Day booth at Toronto General Hospital, (L to R), Janelle Lopez, Christine Nash, Beatriz Mendoza, Frank Shih, Angela Tse, Joy Lee and Anna Gozdzik. (Photo: UHN)

Raising awareness on World Kidney Day

An estimated one in 10 Canadians have kidney disease – about four million people.

In an effort to raise awareness of the importance of the kidneys to overall health, members of UHN's Division of Nephrology, one of Canada's largest, marked World Kidney Day on March 14.

The team hosted a booth at Toronto General Hospital where they offered educational materials on chronic kidney disease and gave passersby a chance to spin a wheel to answer trivia questions for prizes and enjoy healthy snacks.

"Nephrology team members enjoy coming together to plan the World Kidney Day activities," said Anna Gozdzik and Joy Lee, co-Chairs of the UHN World Kidney Day Planning Committee. "It is a chance to highlight the available resources and raise awareness about kidney disease."

They said there were a variety of visitors to the booth throughout the day, including patients and families of patients with varying stages of chronic kidney disease, recipients of kidney transplants and staff from various teams and departments at Toronto General Hospital.

"Visitors were most excited about spinning the wheel and trying to answer questions about kidney disease, and learning something new," Anna and Joy said.

Back to Top