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) Six Unity Health scientists recognized for exceptional research influence

Six Unity Health scientists were named to Clarivate’s Highly Cited Researchers list, an annual list that draws on data to rank researchers in terms of their influence and publication citations. Dr. Sharon Straus, Dr. Laurent Brochard, Dr. Peter Jüni, Dr. Sidney Kennedy, Dr. Lawrence Leiter, and Dr. Art Slutsky were recognized for significant influence in their respective fields. Congratulations to all!

2) We recognized World Prematurity Day and the St. Michael’s NICU celebrated its 20th anniversary

Unity Health staff recognized World Prematurity Day (Nov. 17), a day to raise awareness about preterm birth and the concerns of families of preterm babies. Approximately 15 million babies are born preterm each year, accounting for about one in 10 babies globally.

To recognize the day, staff at the St. Joseph’s NICU gave tie-dye onesies and teddy bears to the babies, and care packages and special cookies to parents. At the St. Michael’s NICU, which also celebrated its 20th anniversary, families were given Tim Horton’s gift cards and staff were treated to lunch by Abbott Nutrition. Major landmarks around the world, including the CN Towner, were lit up in purple to mark the day. See photos from the day.

3) Dr. Anne Wormsbecker answers parents’ questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for kids

With Health Canada set to approve the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids, Dr. Anne Wormsbecker, Unity Health pediatrician, answered parents’ questions about the COVID-19 vaccine for kids aged 5-11. Dr. Wormsbecker explains why kids have a lower dose, the rigorous scientific process that went into the shot, and how to make little ones feel comfortable before the big day. Read the Q&A with Dr. Wormsbecker.

4) A St. Michael’s surgical program is awarded for innovation

A St. Michael’s Hospital surgical program received the 2021 Innovation Award from the Cancer Quality Council of Ontario for finding new ways to personalize care for older cancer patients. The Older Adults Surgery and Oncology Program is made up of surgeons, geriatricians, anesthesiologists, nurses, social workers, dieticians, and physiotherapists. The team works together to tailor care for individual patients and their families before their admission to hospital. Read more about the award.

5) The New York Times speaks to Dr. Paul Das for story about COVID-19 test swabs

In a story about COVID-19 testing and why some people feel discomfort when swabbed for COVID-19 and others feel fine, the New York Times spokes with Dr. Paul Das, a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital. Read the story.

6) How can we improve access to diabetes care? Unity Health experts weigh in

We recognized World Diabetes Day by speaking to Unity Health experts on how they’re working to improve access to diabetes care every day. Dr. Robin Verduyn, a physician at Providence Healthcare, says Providence takes a team approach to patient care, involving a doctor, dietician and a pharmacist. The team then connects the patient with community resources who will help with the patient’s care after discharge. “Being told you have diabetes can be scary. By giving patients and their families the tools and education they need to manage diabetes, we decrease their fears and empower them to live healthier lives.”

7) Sue Hranilovic speaks about the impact of COVID-19 on gender-affirming surgeries

During Trans Awareness Week (Nov. 13-19), Sue Hranilovic, a primary care nurse practitioner at St. Michael’s, spoke to the Toronto Star about the impact COVID-19 has had on gender-affirming surgeries. Hranilovic said research shows that if people have to wait longer for medical gender affirmation, suicide attempts are higher. “This is a life-or-death issue.”

8) Why are pregnant people more at risk for COVID-19? Dr. Tali Bogler explains

Dr. Tali Bogler, chair of family medicine obstetrics at St. Michael’s Hospital, spoke to CTV’s Life Unmasked about why pregnant people are more at risk for serious COVID-19 outcomes and why they should get vaccinated.

9) Dr. Tara Kiran urges patients with chronic diseases to continue to book in-person doctor’s appointments

Dr. Tara Kiran, a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, spoke to the Toronto Star about virtual care, and why it’s important for people with chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension to continue to make in-person appointments to see their family physician.

10) How can new technologies play a role in diagnosing breast cancer? Dr. Yvonne Bombard shares her thoughts

Dr. Yvonne Bombard, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute scientist, spoke to Healthy Debate about her GENOMICS ADvISER app that can help women at high risk for breast cancer choose whether they want to learn about their risk for other diseases. She says in an initial trial of the app, patients found the app provided better education than talking to a genetic counsellor.

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