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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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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 entity became the University Health
After his departure, Dr. Hudson continued to lead health care forward in Ontario through various positions in Ontario's health system.