Fire Prevention Week at UHN

Fire Prevention Week at UHN
On duty at the Fire Prevention Week booth at Toronto General Hospital, (L to R) Vito D'Amico, Fire Marshal, Toronto Rehab, Grace Ivo, Executive Assistant to CEO, Kevin Smith, UHN President & CEO, John Chartrand, Senior Manager, UHN Fire & Life Safety (F&LS), Sparky (Nicolas Hill, technician, F&LS), Perry Ross, Fire Marshal, Toronto General, Jennifer Haines, Administrative Assistant, Security and F&LS, Tom Watson, Fire Marshal, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. (Photo: UHN

UHN's Fire & Life Safety Department hosted a series of events in support of 2019 National Fire Prevention Week – Oct. 7 to 11.

Promoting this year's theme – "Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape!" – the team had booths in UHN hospital sites aimed at educating members of TeamUHN and the public on the small but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.

While preventing home fires was the focus of the information and giveaways at the booths and the Canada-wide campaign by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the messages apply to any location.

"Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go," says John Chartrand, Manager,Fire & Life Safety, who appeared at the booths with UHN Fire Marshals and a colleague dressed as Sparky, the NFPA's Dalmatian mascot. "No matter where you are, look for available exits.

"If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately."

In Canada, most fire deaths occur in the home, where people believe they are most safe.

Canadian fire departments respond to about 26,000 structure fires each year. In 2015, those fires caused more than 1,400 injuries and nearly 200 deaths.

The Princess Margaret and Brazilian cancer centre sign collaboration agreement

The Princess Margaret and Brazilian cancer centre
(L to R) Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, Medical Director, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Dr. Kevin Smith, UHN President & CEO, and Vivien Rosso, CEO at A.C.Camargo Cancer Centre in Brazil, at a signing of a collaboration agreement last week between the two centres. (Photo: UHN)

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and A.C. Camargo Canter Center, a leader in oncology in Brazil, have signed a collaboration agreement.

It will see the two share care best practices and clinical indicators, promote processes improvement, implement innovative teaching activities and leverage translational, clinical and quality-of-life activities.

Canadians and Brazilians undergoing cancer treatment will also benefit from the increased offer of new studies and therapies under development.

"International collaboration is the hallmark of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and this agreement between two great cancer centres in Canada and Brazilis the great legacy resulting from many earlier collaborations between these renowned institutions to improve the lives of those with cancer, along with scholarship, education and research," says Dr. Kevin Smith, UHN President & CEO.

First Test Your Limits for World Heart Day Hosted at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre

Annie Smith
(L to R) Annie Smith, Patient at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC); Dr. Barry Rubin, Medical Director, PMCC; Dr. Kevin Smith, UHN President & CEO; Dr. Rafa Alonso, Cardiologist, PMCC; Dr. Heather Ross, Division Head of Cardiology, PMCC; Kyra Black, Heart Transplant Coordinator, PMCC. (Photo: UHN)

On Friday, Sept 27, the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC) hosted its first-ever Test Your Limits event for World Heart Day event.

Drawing awareness and support for the research Dr. Heather Ross's Test Your Limits [Editor's Note: Link is no longer available] initiative has enabled over the past 13 years, the goal of the event was to encourage the UHN community to decide how they will "test their limits" and commit to improving their heart health.

Set up in the Robert R. McEwen Atrium in Toronto General Hospital, the interactive display featured heart health activities and trivia led by the Cardiac Rehab team from Toronto Western and a Test Your Limits demonstration where clinicians and previous Test Your Limits participants cycled on stationary bikes to lead a heart-healthy example.

More than 150 peopledropped by to sign a personalized commitment to make a change in their lives to better their heart health.

"Remember you have the POWER in you to change!" says Dr. Ross on Twitter. "150 minutes of exercise a week, a heart healthy diet, sleep hygiene, and stress reduction - test your own personal limits. Set your goals and make them a reality."

Thank you to everyone who came out and made Test Your Limits for World Heart Day a success!

UHN occupational therapists pay it forward to the community

Tina, a patient at Toronto Western Hospital (TW), inspired a group of occupational therapists to start a donation drive for toiletries and hygiene products for women living in shelters. (Photo: OT Team)

October is Occupational Therapy (OT) Month, and this year UHN OTs collaborated with patients and staff in a new initiative to serve the needs of some of Toronto's most complex patients.

Through the month of September and October, a team of OTs have collected donations of new toiletries and hygiene products for women to address the lack of personal hygiene products available in some women's shelters. These donations will be given to two local shelters in Toronto.

Heather Sloman, an OT at TW, says the initiative was inspired by the story of Tina, a patient her and her team supported.

Tina has received treatment at TW for several complications from diabetes. She is one of many people in the city who is affected by the housing crisis, and during one of her visits she expressed concerns about not having a stable place to live upon discharge from hospital.

"Most patients want to return home as soon as possible and UHN OTs make it a priority to ensure that patients do get home safely and quickly," Heather says. "But some of our UHN patients don't have a home to return to."

Heather and her colleagues, including Jaclyn Gilpin and Alison Lake, took it upon themselves to address one of the main gaps Tina found in the shelter system– making toiletries available to women for hygienic purposes and the sense of dignity this provides.

"We hope this lets women in these tough circumstances know that they have allies in the community," says Heather.

If you'd like to contribute, please bring sealed toiletries to the Allied Health Room (TW, 3rd floor, East Wing), Room 400 or email for locations to donate at other sites.

UHN launches new research institute

TIER launch
(L to R): Institute Director Dr. Brian Hodges, Scientific Director Dr. Nikki Woods and Applied Research Director Dr. Ann Russell, speak at last month’s launch event. (Photos: UHN StRIDe Team)

The Institute for Education Research (TIER) at UHN is UHN's seventh research institute and will focus on research with a significant impact on health science professions.

Led by Institute Director Dr. Brian Hodges, Applied Research Director Dr. Ann Russell and Scientific Director Dr. Nikki Woods, TIER's faculty will focus on three main themes:

  • Technology, innovation and simulation
  • Societies, systems and structures
  • Teaching, learning and practice

"We're excited about the expansion of UHN Research with TIER and the unique focus on education research" says Dr. Brad Wouters, Executive Vice President, Science and Research.

"It brings a new focus to our research ecosystem, while complementing our existing strengths. It sits at the intersection of care, education and research—the convergence of which are key elements to UHN's corporate, research and education strategic plans."

Dr. Hodges, who is also UHN's Executive Vice President, Education, adds, "UHN is the ideal environment in which to develop new models of learning for health care through research and innovation.

"I can't wait to hear more about the tremendous collaborative opportunities across UHN and the new research culture that will inspire the next generation of researchers, educators and care givers."

TIER will focus on education research, with emphasis on the relation between quality education and quality care. Its future-oriented vision, and its integrated and inclusive approach to fostering collaboration will be key factors in its success.

During the Sept. 12 launch event, Dr. Russell said, "achieving our vision of leading the world in transforming health care education through experimentation, creativity and curiosity will take time and an unwavering commitment."

But this is a commitment the co-directors are prepared—and eager—to make.

"There are incredible ideas across the education research community and TIER will give us a chance to bring them to life," Dr. Woods said. "Education research plays an important role within the complex structures of our healthcare system and the care providers of tomorrow are counting on us to deliver meaningful changes to the way we educate."

The ELLICSR annual Thanksgiving lunch turned into a successful food drive

ELLICSR Thanksgiving
The ELLICSR team enjoyed their annual Thanksgiving lunch while giving back to the community(Photo: ELLICSR Centre for Health Wellness and Cancer Survivorship)

This year the team at the ELLICSR Centre for Health Wellness and Cancer Survivorship did something a little different to celebrate Thanksgiving. In addition to their annual turkey sandwiches and potluck team lunch, they decided to give back to the community by turning it into a food drive as well.

For three weeks leading up to the lunch, the team ran a food drive for the Fort York Food Bank (FYFB). Weekly contests were held to bring in donations and it was a great success.

"We have an amazing team at ELLICSR and we love to host events that bring us all together. This year's food drive was a new initiative that everyone really rallied behind," says Dr. Jennifer Jones, who is Co-Director of the ELLICSR Centre."It felt great to give back to our community. It will definitely be an annual thing and hopefully we can expand across UHN next year."

In total, the team collected nine boxes of food donations which were picked up on Friday afternoon. FYFB's Food Program is a member agency of the Daily Bread Food Bank provides low-income individuals and families living in our community with a three-day supply of groceries.

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