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 celebrates National Nursing Week

Unity Health is celebrating National Nursing Week by recognizing the amazing nurses who work at our hospitals. This year’s theme is “We Answer The Call,” and nurses shared with us what the profession means to them and why they chose  it as a career. “I became a nurse because I love empowering patients and families in health and healing,” said Jade Dias, clinical nurse specialist at St. Joseph’s Health Centre.

2. Providence Healthcare poster wins People’s Choice Award

Providence Healthcare won the People’s Choice Award of Best Poster at the GTA Rehab Network Best Practices Day 2022 Virtual Conference. The poster, titled “Developing an innovative outpatient Post-COVID Condition rehabilitation program to address the unique needs of this patient population,” was submitted by a team of Providence staff, with Peggy So, occupational therapist, as the primary author. Congratulations to the entire team on the award!

3. Can patient data improve hospital care? GEMINI program seeks to find out

We spotlighted GEMINI, a St. Michael’s- created program that collects, standardizes and analyzes clinical data from hospitals to improve how healthcare is delivered. GEMINI is the brainchild of Dr. Fahad Razak and Dr. Amol Verma, two general internal medicine physicians and researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital. Since its inception more than seven years ago, GEMINI has grown into the largest network of its kind in Canada, covering 33 hospitals and 60 per cent of the province. Drs. Razak and Verma spoke about how GEMINI has evolved since its inception and how it played a key role in understanding care provided during the pandemic.  

4. Meet the team working to restore eyesight to patients throughout the pandemic

We profiled the research team working to improve and save vision for patients with retinal diseases. The team is led by Dr. Rajeev Muni, researcher at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, and together they focus on treatments that preserve the vision of patients who have conditions such as wet age-related macular degeneration. Despite the pandemic, Dr. Muni and the team continued working on studies that involved injecting medication into the eyes of patients on a fixed schedule. They’re now hoping to analyze interim research data in the next few months.

5. St. Michael’s-led study sounds alarm on mental health burden faced by homeless adolescents

Adolescents experiencing homelessness in the U.S. have significantly worse mental health and substance use outcomes than their housed counterparts, according to a new study co-led by researchers from MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions. The study, published in JAMA, also found that teens of colour and teens who identify as LGBTQIA+ bear a disproportionate burden of homelessness in the U.S. “Our study is a call-to-action for schools, health systems, and policymakers to address the significant burden of mental health and substance use challenges faced by homeless adolescents,” said Michael Liu, MPhil, study co-author and research coordinator at MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, and Harvard Medical School student.

6. Research examines differences in patient experience with primary care during the pandemic

A new study examined patients’ care-seeking behaviours in the early stages of the pandemic, including their use and views of virtual care. The survey, co-led by Dr. Tara Kiran, family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, included more than 7,500 participants, most of whom received care from their primary care clinic during the pandemic. The survey found that among those who received care, 30 per cent stated that they delayed seeking care due to the pandemic. The survey also found that newcomers, people living with a lower income and those reporting poor or fair health have a stronger preference and comfort for in-person care.

7. CBC News profiles 96-year-old volunteer George Linton

CBC News profiled George Linton, a longtime volunteer at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. George, who was recently awarded the Governor General’s Sovereigns’ Medal for Volunteers, can be seen with his guitar in hand singing for patients and staff. George, who started volunteering with his late wife Peggy, mostly plays familiar country or folk tunes and says the most popular patient request is for “You Are My Sunshine.” He said he hopes his award inspires others to use their talents and passions to spread joy. “If you can find something you not only like doing, but other people are going to enjoy, why not keep at it if you can?”

8. ‘My job is to be honest and transparent’: Dr. Fahad Razak speaks about new position as COVID-19 Science Table director

Dr. Fahad Razak, internist at St. Michael’s Hospital, spoke to CBC’s Windsor Morning about taking on the new role as director of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Table. Dr. Razak said the primary objective of the Science Table is to control the virus and reduce suffering, but also allow people to have happy and full lives. “My job is to be honest and transparent about what we see scientifically,” he said.

9. Should parents be worried about hepatitis cases in kids? Dr. Anne Wormsbecker offers insight

There are at least 20 countries around the world, including Canada, that have reported unusual cases of acute hepatitis in kids and the cause of these clusters is not clear. Dr. Anne Wormsbecker, pediatrician at St. Joseph’s and St. Michael’s, spoke to Today’s Parent about what is known about the cases and what symptoms parents should keep an eye out for.  

10. Research by Dr. Cindy Lee-Dennis highlights post-partum depression in new dads

Dr. Cindy Lee-Dennis, Women’s Health Research Chair at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, spoke to Global News about post-partum depression in new fathers. While research shows that new dads are at risk for anxiety and depression, most studies on post-partum depression tend to focus solely on new moms. “Fathers are now facing the challenges of transitioning into parenthood because of their involvement and their engagement, so they encounter the stressors that mums encounter with the birth of a new baby,” she said.

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