Meet our new chief residents

July 10, 2019 – Each year, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital welcome new chief residents (CRs) to guide the experience we offer to incoming medical students. The CR role honours the skills and abilities of stand-out residents and places them in a position to help formally train and mentor the next generation of students.

We are sharing their stories over the month as they move into this important role. They tell us what inspired a career in medicine, what they’re looking forward to in the coming year, and what they value about working at Unity Health Toronto.

St. Joseph’s chief residents:

St. Michael’s chief residents:



Announcing Unity Health Toronto’s new chair of the Board of Directors: Colleen Johnston

Colleen JohnstonJuly 8, 2019 – Unity Health Toronto is pleased to announce that Colleen Johnston has been appointed as chair of our Board of Directors, effective late June 2019. Johnston is currently vice-chair of Unity Health Toronto, and brings decades of senior leadership experience from the corporate financial industry, where she was actively involved in promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Johnston has served on the boards of Bridgepoint Health, WestJet, Shopify, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and McCain Foods.

Johnston has received numerous top industry honours, and was inducted into Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Hall of Fame in 2007. An accomplished leader with a down-to-earth approach, she is a firm believer in making an impact at every touchpoint.

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Bridging another gap in our system

Cover image of July/August Our Shared Purpose newsletterBringing peritoneal dialysis care to Providence addresses a pressing need

Across Toronto, few rehab facilities have staff trained to provide peritoneal dialysis. That could’ve been an issue for Ray Mark.

Mark knew he’d need extensive rehabilitation following a series of significant health issues last winter that left him unable to use both of his legs. Mark had lived a full and busy life. He was working at a job he enjoyed, loved spending time with his young granddaughter and had an active social life with his partner, Nettie.

But last November, everything suddenly changed.

Read July/August 2019 Our Shared Purpose newsletter




Paul Cullen stands near the entrance to the Providence Falls Prevention Clinic

June 26, 2019 – Whenever the staff at Providence Healthcare’s Falls Prevention Clinic ask how Paul Cullen is doing, he can’t help but belt out a James Brown song.

“The staff are so kind, professional and very conscientious. They provide such care here. Whenever they ask me how I’m feeling during my appointments, I respond with ‘I Feel Good,’” Cullen explains with a laugh.

Since 2014, the Falls Prevention Clinic and its team of experts has been helping individuals who are at risk of falling and want to improve their mobility, balance and co-ordination. Common causes for falls include chronic medical conditions, environmental reasons, fear of falling, or normal changes associated with aging.

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Reimagining patient education: building better tools to improve health literacy

Kidney transplant patient information booklet cover

June 12, 2019 – With support from the Patient and Family Education program, Lucy Chen has learned valuable lessons to help patients with kidney disease better understand and interpret complex health information. As a frequent participant in the program’s Community of Practice sessions, Chen has embraced Unity Health Toronto’s proactive approach to tackling health literacy issues and their impacts on patient care and the hospital experience.

In the last decade, research has confirmed that low health literacy is associated lower adherence to medication, poor chronic disease management and outcomes, and increased hospitalization.

 In response, the program’s team has created workshops and courses that help staff, physicians, and learners develop more impactful patient education strategies and resources based on best practices.

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Bringing our Mission and Values to life

Our people tell you why these are foundational to our organization

Zeny Marquez (left), registered nurse, ProvidenceMay 21, 2019 – Providence, St. Joseph’s and St. Michael’s were founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph with a mission of caring for all in need, with a particular focus on the poor, vulnerable and forgotten in society. Across three centuries, we’ve continued to honour this tradition of compassionate quality care.

Last June, we set out to develop a new mission statement and set of values for Unity Health Toronto. We asked you to help us find the right words to reflect how. In the coming months, the Mission Integration team will be sharing more about how our Mission and Values will shape our future.

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Speech and Hearing Month

Celebrating those who empower the ability to communicate

Cover of Unity Health Toronto Strategic PlanMay 13, 2019 – Speech, language and cognitive disorders can adversely affect academics, work and social interaction. Speech language pathologists and audiologists train extensively to optimize these most human of functions: communication and swallowing – talking and eating.

When an individual’s ability to effectively communicate or swallow changes because of conditions such as stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, head or neck cancer, or dementia, it can have a huge impact on their quality of life.

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Celebrating physiotherapists

Restoring movement, ability and quality of life

May 13, 2019 – May is Physiotherapy Month at Unity Health Toronto! We are celebrating our physiotherapists (PTs) by highlighting the work that they do to support our patients, families, caregivers and community.

Across Unity Health Toronto’s three sites, physiotherapists work clinically as part of the interprofessional team in the majority of medical and surgical units, critical care, ambulatory care, family health teams, specialized clinics, inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation programs, and the community. Physiotherapists refer, supervise and work with Physiotherapy Assistants.

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Introducing Unity Health Toronto’s first strategic plan

Cover of Unity Health Toronto Strategic Plan

This plan is the culmination of months of research and engagement. We reviewed emerging local, provincial, national and global trends in health care. We took a deep dive into our own work to examine our service areas and patient mix across our three sites. We looked carefully at the communities we serve and how they are growing and changing.

We invited our partners, our patients, families and our communities to join us in our planning journey. Through interviews, focus groups, surveys and pop-up booths, we asked people to tell us what they want from Unity Health Toronto, where they feel we should and must contribute, and we asked people to tell us about their aspirations for Unity Health. We asked people to dream big.

This plan is the result. This document outlines our vision for the future of Unity Health Toronto and the commitments we are making – together.

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May 1, 2019: Get to know our new vice-president of Research and Innovation: Dr. Ori Rotstein

April 30, 2019: Dialysis at Unity Health Toronto often seen as a ‘bridge to transplant’

April 18, 2019: A patient’s journey from dialysis at St. Joseph’s to transplant at St. Michael’s

April 15, 2019: Providing care for pregnant women with addictions

April 2, 2019: Better techniques help doctors and staff manage responsive behaviours

March 25, 2019: A day in the life of a NICU/pediatrics registered dietitian

March 14, 2019: The importance of remembering sun exposure harms in the wintertime

March 11, 2019: Partnership highlights how music helps people living with dementia

March 1, 2019: “Utilizing the power of food as medicine”

March 1, 2019: From everyday issues to complex needs, social workers are on the front lines of care

Feb. 27, 2019: How did psychotherapy help you?

Feb. 22, 2019: Dr. Ori Rotstein named new VP of Research and Innovation

Jan. 15, 2019: New research appointment recognizes nurses and health disciplines

Jan. 9, 2019: Early rehabilitation in critical care the focus of pilot project

Dec. 13, 2018: It’s official – we have a network name!

September 2018: Strategic planning – building our network’s future together

Aug. 1, 2018: Happy anniversary to us!

July 2018: Our inaugural Annual Report is here

July 2018: Have a voice in shaping our Mission and Values statements

Jan. 3, 2018: Dr. Tim Rutledge appointed new president and CEO

Aug. 1, 2017: It’s official – welcome to our new health network!

June 2017: Joint message from the chairs

June 2017: TC-LHIN supports integration proposal

April 2017: Proposal for integration between Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital submitted to LHIN

February 2017: Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital explore creation of health network

September 2016: St. Joseph’s Health Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital partnership discussions