Each week, we share a list of 10  great things that happened at our sites. Do you have a story you’d like to share? Send it to communications@unityhealth.to.

1. Unity Health Toronto recognized by the Trillium Gift of Life Network

The Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN) recognized Unity Health Toronto with an award for its commitment to implementing leading donation practices and integrating organ and tissue donation into quality end-of-life care. Hospitals that exceed the target of 90 per cent eligible approach rate are recognized. In 2020-21, Unity Health Toronto achieved 93 per cent eligible approach rate. Read more about the distinction here.

2. The Forgiveness Project Toronto used craft  and artistic expression to help people who struggle with substance use

Robyn Alexander, an addiction counselor at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, and Loretta Faveri, a local Toronto artist, worked with individuals who struggle with substance use to craft a beautiful tapestry that explored themes of shame, forgiveness, passion and joy. Read more about the moving initiative here.

3. Dr. Pat O’Campo shares her thoughts on how to make research more inclusive

Dr. Pat O’Campo, the new executive director of Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s, shared the various ways she’s working to make health research more inclusive by addressing inequities. O’Campo is a recognized researcher on issues of marginalization, including domestic violence and precarious work. “Sometimes people will think research is objective and that researchers get at the truth. But in fact we’re very much biased by all of the same factors that influence society to generate inequities. These are not easy problems to solve.” Read the profile here.

4. Dr. Gary Bloch co-authors analysis on ‘social prescribing’

Dr. Gary Bloch, a family physician at St. Michael’s, co-authored a new CMAJ analysis that examined how interventions to improve the social situation of patients in primary care can lead to improvements in health and create more holistic care.

5. Drs. Nancy Baxter and Fahima Dossa find male doctors disproportionately refer patients to male surgeons

A new study led by Dr. Nancy Baxter and Dr. Fahima Dossa analyzed nearly 40 million referrals to surgeons in Ontario and found that male doctors disproportionately refer patients to male surgeons over similarly qualified and experienced female surgeons. The findings suggest that male physicians hold biases that disadvantage female surgeons and could further widen the gender pay gap in medicine. Read the study in JAMA Surgery.

6. Dr. Matthew Mueller answers questions about this year’s flu season

Dr. Matthew Mueller, the medical director of Infection Prevention and Control at St. Michael’s, shares why this year’s flu season may be especially severe, how best to protect yourself and what you can do to prevent overburdening the healthcare system. Read the Q&A here.

7. Drs. Tali Bogler and Stephen Hwang weigh in on how to boost COVID vaccination rates

Dr. Tali Bogler, chair of family medicine obstetrics at St. Michael’s, and Dr. Stephen Hwang,  a physician and research scientist at St. Michael’s, spoke with the Toronto Star about low COVID vaccination rates among the homeless and pregnant women, and what can be done to reduce barriers to access for these populations.

8. Dr. Prabhat Jha speaks to CTV News about strategies to use in an evolving pandemic

Dr. Prabhat Jha, director at the Centre for Global Health Research, spoke to CTV News about what steps should be taken to manage the pandemic as it evolves and third dose booster shots become widely available.

9. Dr. Shazeen Suleman speaks to Ontario Today about the link between children’s health and basic income

Dr. Shazeen Suleman, a pediatrician at St. Michael’s, spoke with CBC’s Ontario Today about the minimum wage increase to $15 and how that may impact the one in five children in Ontario who live in poverty. Listen to her interview here.

10. Dr. Corinne Fischer co-led a study that suggests listening to personally meaningful music can improve the brain health of Alzheimer’s patients

Dr. Corinne Fischer, director of geriatric psychiatry at St. Michael’s Hospital, co-led a new small study that showed that listening to music that is personally meaningful can induce beneficial changes in the brains of patients with early Alzheimer’s and dementia.