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. St. Michael’s Hospital addresses workplace violence with new tools

For emergency department (ED) staff, physical and verbal abuse is a reality of the job, but anecdotes and surveys suggest the violence has gotten worse during the pandemic. The St. Michael’s ED launched two new tools this year to address and potentially mitigate violent episodes in the workplace. Dr. Justin Logan and Kerri, a RN who asked to be identified by her first name, shared how these tools work and how the initiative has given ED staff a voice.       

2. Toronto Mayor John Tory congratulates St. Joseph’s Health Centre

In a special video message, Toronto Mayor John Tory recognized St. Joseph’s staff and volunteers and congratulated St. Joseph’s Health Centre on its 100th anniversary. “Congratulations St. Joe’s for a century of care, and thank you, especially to those on the front lines for their unwavering commitment to serving everyone, without exception, in a professional and compassionate manner.” Watch the mayor’s message.

3. What’s the difference between the adult COVID-19 vaccine and the children’s vaccine? Dr. Anne Wormsbecker explains

Dr. Anne Wormsbecker, pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital, explained in the Toronto Star the difference between the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adults and Pfizer’s vaccine for young children, and how the children’s dose hits a “sweet spot” of an immune system response with minimal side effects. Read the story.

4. How can we make the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids accessible to all families? Dr. Shazeen Suleman shares her thoughts

Dr. Shazeen Suleman, pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital, spoke to the Toronto Star about the importance of making the COVID-19 vaccine rollout for kids accessible for all families. This means administering the shot in child-friendly places that are accessible to kids with disabilities and kids who are neuroatypical. Read more of Dr. Suleman’s suggestions.

5. Report by Dr. Janet Smylie and partners gives new insight on the Indigenous population in Thunder Bay

A new report published by Dr. Janet Smylie of Well Living House and Indigenous health centre Anishnawbe Mushkiki found the Indigenous population in Thunder Bay is two to four times larger than census data. Dr. Smylie explained to CBC news how this data should impact future resource planning. Read the story.

6. St. Michael’s Hospital is the first hospital outside the U.S. to use new device

The emergency department at St. Michael’s Hospital is the first healthcare centre outside the U.S. to use a new device to treat patients experiencing severe hemorrhaging. St. Michael’s was selected to become a REBOA Centre of Excellence and this month, the team successfully used the device on a seriously injured patient. The pREBOA-PRO catheter allows trauma teams to control blood flow and manage serious blood loss in a patient’s abdomen, while ensuring adequate blood supply to the legs, kidneys and bowels. Read more about the accomplishment.

7. Dr. Sharmistha Mishra’s explains what drives her research on pandemics

Dr. Sharmistha Mishra, a scientist at the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions and a St. Michael’s Infectious Diseases physician, is looking to understand what fuels pandemics and how the social determinants of health play a role. Dr. Mishra’s research has shown deep inequities in the spread of COVID-19 and the response to the virus. “Part of what drives our lab is the extent to which the most affected communities and subsets of the population that were actually at the frontlines – the essential workers – were what allowed the rest of us to be just fine.” Read more about Dr. Mishra’s research.

8. Dr. Karim Vellani recognized by the Ontario College of Family Physicians

The Ontario College of Family Physicians awarded Dr. Karim Vellani, a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, a 2021 Award of Excellence. Dr. Vellani was recognized for pioneering a cost-effective home visit service that improved access to care for frail elderly and homebound patients. He was also recognized for working with the Toronto Islands community to maintain home visits during the pandemic. Read more about the distinction.

9. Dr. Jonathon Maguire explains why we depend on clinical trial volunteers

Dr. Jonathon Maguire, a Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute scientist and pediatrician at St. Michael’s Hospital, explained in Chatelaine why the healthcare system depends on clinical trial volunteers and why we need to do more to celebrate trial participants. “We want the health care system to be as strong as it can be and for the risks of health interventions to be as low as possible—and for that, we need clinical trials.” Read the story.

10. Toronto Life recognizes Dr. Irfan Dhalla and Dr. Peter Jüni for advocacy during the pandemic

In its annual list of influential Torontonians, Toronto Life recognized Unity Health’s Dr. Irfan Dhalla and Dr. Peter Jüni, for their work and advocacy this year throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about the recognition.

Previous Ten Great Things articles