Our UHN programs and services are among the most advanced in the world. We have grouped our physicians, staff, services and resources into 10 medical programs to meet the needs of our patients and help us make the most of our resources.
University Health Network is a health care and medical research organization in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The scope of research and complexity of cases at UHN has made us a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care.
Our 10 medical programs are spread across eight hospital sites – Princess Margaret, Toronto General, Toronto Rehab’s five sites, Toronto Western – as well as our education programs through the Michener Institute of Education at UHN. Learn more about the services, programs and amenities offered at each location.
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Being touched by illness affects us in different ways. Many people want to give back to the community and help others. At UHN, we welcome your contribution and offer different ways you can help so you can find one that suits you.
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On June 25th, 2011, my life changed.
As a result of what happened that fateful day, I became a Cardiac Mentor at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre two years later.
My role as a Cardiac Mentor has been rewarding on many levels.
National Volunteer WeekApril 12-18, 2015
I can relate to patients
On a personal level, I can share my experiences of having had a major heart attack, a second heart attack, and a number of procedures afterwards.
As a result of these experiences, I am able to connect with patients undergoing similar events even if they are undergoing them for different reasons. I can listen, discuss, support and share with patients and their families in a positive way.
The importance of a healthy diet
On an informative level, I am able to share the importance of healthy diet and exercise which has always been a part of my life -- even before my health challenges began.
After having attended cardiac rehab twice now, with diligence and even perhaps stubbornness, I am now able to lightly jog with confidence on a treadmill, bike up to 30 km, and walk 5 to 8 km a day. It seems unbelievable as it's nowhere near what I could do before, but I've learned to accept the past.
By making the right food choices, exercising regularly, meditating, and having a positive attitude, I have dedicated myself to getting well. I have worked very hard to not succumb to my illness.
Every day, I work to ready myself physically and psychologically should my Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, an inheritable genetic disorder affecting connective tissue, choose to strike again. I have learned to make adjustments and recognize that even though my body has limitations, I can still enjoy life and know that I have done everything I can do in terms of prevention.
We are not alone
On a psychological level, I am able to share my coping strategies for the fear of the unknown. It can be a challenge at times and I do cry on occasion, but I have learned it is okay to cry. And, even though others may not share my rare disease, dealing with the difficult reality of accepting a genetic diagnosis is something others may share and relate to.
Knowing we are not alone in any illness is sometimes a feat that can lead to a positive shift.
Helping people helps me
On a spiritual level, helping people helps me heal too.
I am certain I am breathing now because of my love for life; the love and support I have from family and friends; my cat Vincent whose purrs heal me; and the medical staff at Sunnybrook, Toronto Western and Toronto General Hospital. I am especially grateful to my heart surgeon, Dr. R.J. Cusimano, for whom I will always hold a special place in my heart.
The most rewarding experience of being a Cardiac Mentor is that I am able to help and inspire people with my journey.
By listening to their concerns and answering their questions, I am able to offer them support as they go through their own journeys. There are times when just being there is enough. Each visit is a unique encounter and opportunity to make a difference, and ultimately impact another person in a positive way.