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AGM 2014: Celebrating success, courage and more

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​​​​​​​​ Image of AGMStuart Matan-Lithwick, a UHN vision researcher  who is battling one of the diseases he's trying to cure – stands before a hushed crowd at the AGM. (Photo: Cameron MacLennan)​

​When Stuart Matan-Lithwick approached the podium at UHN's Annual General Meeting, not a sound was heard in the standing-room only auditorium.

"I'm so, so honoured to be here," he said. "I can't begin to express what this means."

Matan-Lithwick, a researcher featured on the cover of UHN's Year in Review, has an incredible story to tell. ​The researcher is fighting to cure diseases which cause blindness, including the very disease he is battling himself.

Matan-Lithwick was only one of many to address the roughly 300 UHN staff and supporters at the AGM, held Wed., June 18, in the MaRS Auditorium.

An afternoon to celebrate UHN's success, reflect and plan for the future, attendees heard from a number of speakers on various topics including finance, health quality and performance.

Financial success, big wins

Darlene Dasent, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, presented an update on UHN's fiscal health and highlighted the financial stability of the organization as well as our ability to serve a growing population of patients within tight budget constraints.

Dr. Dhun Noria, Chair of the Quality Committee of the Board of Trustees, presented updates on UHN's big wins over the past year, including:

  • record hand hygiene compliance rate of 91.6 per cent
  • Toronto Rehab integration and the successful lean initiatives which have improved outcomes and reduced the length of stay for patients who can return home sooner and safer.

Image of Justine Jackson
UHN’s interim CEO Justine Jackson spoke about stories of courage featured in UHN’s Year in Review. (Photo: Cameron MacLennan)

UHN was also re-introduced to Justine Jackson in her new role as interim President and CEO.

Justine thanked many groups and departments for their contributions to UHN. She also highlighted a few stories of courage and leadership, featured in this year's Year in Review.

They included the stories of:

  • Alita Gorsline, who donated part of her liver to her lifelong friend
  • Tom Fahlman, who defied all odds by not only beating his rare form of cancer, but walking again​
  • The heart surgeon who saved a mother and son just a day apart.

Special mentions and thanks went to Ontario Deputy Health Minister Bob Bell, who recently left the position of CEO at UHN, and who returned for the meeting.

Cover story: Stuart Matan-Lithwick

One of the highlights of the meeting was hearing from Matan-Lithwick, PhD Candidate, who's researching retina cell biology in Dr. Valerie Wallace's lab at the Krembil Discovery Tower.

Matan-Lithwick's passion for science and research was clear as he told his inspiring story.

As he spoke about the importance of the Krembil Discovery Tower and collaborative atmosphere that the building facilitates, the audience was given a sense of optimism about the future and the positive changes UHN will lead.

Image of Dr. Ralph DaCosta Dr. Ralph DaCosta accepts UHN's Inventor of the Year Award. (Photo: Cameron MacLennan)

Awards of distinction

UHN is an organization of leaders at every level and three were chosen to be recognized at this year's meeting. They included:

  • Researchers Dr. Ralph DaCosta and Dr. Tak Mak were recognized with the Inventor of The Year Award​

Dr. Ralph DaCosta

Dr. Ralph DaCosta was recognized for his development of a hand-held fluorescence imaging device for real-time wound care monitoring and assessment, and its ongoing successful commercialization through the creation of the company Moleculight Inc.

Image of Winner AGMDr. Tak Mak and The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research Therapeutics Group were awarded Inventor of the Year. Above, team member Mark Bray accepts the award on behalf of Dr. Tak Mak. (Photo: Cameron MacLennan)​
​​

Dr. Tak Mak

Dr. Tak Mak and The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research Therapeutics Group were recognized for the team's creation and development of a novel first-in-class cancer therapeutic (CFI-400945) and successful launch of clinical trials.

Global Impact Award: Dr. Alan Hudson

Finally, the Global Impact Award was presented to Dr. Alan Hudson for his service to UHN and commitment to improving health care in Ontario and globally.

Dr. Hudson is a world-class neurosurgeon, researcher and teacher who served as the president and CEO of UHN for almost a decade.

During his tenure, Dr. Hudson was responsible for the integration of Princess Margaret Hospital and The Toronto Hospital (which included the Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital and Doctor’s Hospital at that time). This new entitty became​ University Health Network.

After his departure, Dr. Hudson continued to lead health care forward in Ontario through various positions in Ontario's health system.

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