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

UHN staff lend their support to the Invictus Games

Lyndhurst Group
Toronto Rehab team involved in athlete categorization for the Invictus Games (L to R): Jamie Young, Marissa Constand, Rebecca Wightman, Sivakumar Gulasingam, Scott Durno, Lara Feasby. (Photo: UHN)

Invictus is latin for unconquered. A fitting label for competitors of the Invictus Games – an international, multisport, para (adaptive) games for armed services personnel and veterans who are wounded, injured, or disabled.

This year's event is held in Toronto Sept. 23 to 30 and welcomes 550 athletes from 17 countries competing in a variety of sports, including swimming, cycling, rowing, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.

Here's how UHN staff volunteers are getting in the game:

Categorization Team

A team of six clinical staff from Toronto Rehab's Lyndhurst Centre, including physiatrist and Lead Categorizer Dr. Sivakumar Gulasingam, are amongst the 16 national and international classifiers responsible for sports specific grouping of athletes.

All para athletes require categorization prior to competition to account for the varying degrees of impairment that affects a sporting event. This helps establish specific sports classes to ensure all athletes are competing on a level playing field in any given sport.

"In my experience I've seen how these kinds of events can add quality and purpose to people's lives, bring optimism of the future, and it's inspiring to see people setting their individual best – and beating it," says Dr. Gulasingam.

Sport Specific Crew

Terri Stuart McEwan
Terri Stuart-McEwan, Executive Director of the Solid Tumour Oncology and Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre at Princess Margaret, will be volunteering as part of the Sport Specific Crew. (Photo: UHN)

Terri Stuart-McEwan, Executive Director of the Solid Tumour Oncology and Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre at Princess Margaret, will be volunteering with the Sport Specific Crew for Wheelchair Basketball, Sitting Volleyball and Cycling.

The team is responsible for ensuring that athletes have an outstanding experience and offering the best possible platform for competition.

"As a proud member of a military family, I volunteered to be part of something that supports wounded military personnel to be their best, but also show my appreciation for what they have given to us," Terri says. "I firmly believe in the power of sport to showcase athletes and inspire hope over adversity."

UHN Wellness plans a 5S event to declutter

Wellness before and after photos
A look before and after the Wellness team participated in a Lean 5S event to clean up their space. (Photo: UHN Wellness)​

Tired of working in a cluttered space with safety hazards and spending time searching for things, the UHN Wellness team decided to do something about it. 

The team, which includes Elise Gerencser, Paul Smits, Kevin Majchrzak, and led by Susan Ludwig, engaged Gio Cumming, Process Improvement Lead for Human Resources (HR), to plan a 5S event.  Together with volunteers from the HR and Lean teams and inspired by Deb Davies, TGH Emergency Department manager's many Lean 5S accomplishments, the team went to work organizing their space.

5S is a structured approach to the organization of the work area. 5S stands for the five phases of implementation – sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. It encourages visual control and helps identify waste by helping staff easily recognize what is out of place or what is missing.

The team noticed the improvement right away.

"Who knew how much unnecessary stuff could be stored in such a small space," said Elise, Customer Service Representative, UHN Wellness.

"I was personally amazed how much order could be created by standardizing processes and creating a defined space for everything," said Kevin, Wellness Coordinator. "We've eliminated some confusing processes for staff and increased our own efficiency."​

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