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In the News

Unity Health Toronto in the news:

May 16

Ontario warns Toronto to drop drug decriminalization request
CBC News
Unity Health is mentioned
The Ontario government says it is “100 per cent opposed” to Toronto Public Health’s bid to have small amounts of illegal drugs for personal use decriminalized in the city.

May 15

Spryte Medical announces first human use of novel intravascular brain imaging technology, published in Science Translational Medicine
Associated Press
Comments by Dr. Vitor Mendes Pereira
Spryte Medical, an intravascular imaging and AI company today announced the publication of their first-in-human study of its neuro Optical Coherence Tomography ( n OCT) technology in the peer reviewed journal Science Translational Medicine, entitled “Volumetric microscopy of cerebral arteries with a miniaturized optical coherence tomography imaging probe.”

“Snake-like” probe images arteries from within
IEEE Spectrum
Comments by Dr. Vitor Mendes Pereira
Neurosurgeon Vitor Mendes Pereira has grown accustomed to treating brain aneurysms with only blurry images for guidance.

Remote surgery showcased in Abu Dhabi could be future of healthcare, experts say
The National News (UAE)
Comments by Dr. Vitor Mendes Pereira
A glimpse into the future of health care was offered on Wednesday when a doctor in Abu Dhabi remotely simulated surgery on a stroke victim in Korea.

Doctor in UAE, treatment 7,000km away in Korea: World’s first public telerobotic surgery trial performed for stroke
Khaleej Times
Comments by Dr. Vitor Mendes Pereira
Giving a sneak peek into what the future of healthcare holds, a for emergency stroke treatment was successfully performed by a doctor in Abu Dhabi on a model about 7,000km away in Seoul, South Korea.

May 14

Absolutely Interdisciplinary 2024 fosters innovation and collaboration
U of T News
Comments by Dr. Muhammad Mamdani
How can we design artificial intelligence (AI) systems that are aligned with human values? And how are these technologies impacting our world today?

In world first, XCath to perform live telerobotic surgery model trial at Abu Dhabi Global Healthcare Week
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. Vitor Mendes Pereira
In a world first, a UAE-owned company will be performing a live robotic surgery in Abu Dhabi on a model in South Korea, demonstrating the immense power of remote telerobotic surgery for emergency interventional procedures in cases like stroke and cardiovascular emergencies.

May 13

Caring for the health-care workers who care for us
CBC Radio – The Current
Interview with Dr. James Maskalyk, Alaina Cox and Tsering Luding

Health-care workers face immense pressure in Canada’s understaffed and overcrowded emergency rooms. But while they care for us, who cares for them?

Preparing for future health emergencies
CityNews 95.7 Halifax
Interview with Dr. Andrew Pinto
Dr. Pinto, Prepared project lead and a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, joins Todd to discuss how scientists and clinicians across Canada are preparing for future pandemic threats.

In world first, UAE’s XCath to perform live telerobotic surgery model trial
Arab News
Comments by Dr. Vitor Mendes Pereira
In a world first, a UAE-owned company will be performing a live robotic surgery in Abu Dhabi on a model in South Korea, demonstrating the immense power of remote telerobotic surgery for emergency interventional procedures in cases like stroke and cardiovascular emergencies.

May 11

Thousands of Canadians are on doctor wait-lists. Are they effective?
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
In Ontario, the average wait time for the thousands of prospective patients on the province’s list looking to be connected to a family doctor is, according to the government, around 90 days.

May 10

Ontario faces fifth consecutive year of soaring drug poisoning deaths, calls for expanded harm reduction services
The Manitoulin Expositor
Comments by Dr. Dan Werb
The alarming trend of escalating drug poisoning deaths continues in Ontario for the fifth consecutive year, with projections exceeding 3,000 fatalities annually, averaging over 8 deaths per day.

Syphilis cases surge in Canada
The Manitoulin Expositor
Comments by Dr. Sean Rourke
Recent federal data paints a stark picture: in 2022 alone, Canada recorded nearly 14,000 cases of infectious syphilis nationwide, along with 117 instances of early congenital syphilis. This represents a nearly 15-fold increase from just eight cases reported among infants across the country merely five years earlier.

May 8

What Canadians need to know about AstraZeneca withdrawing its COVID-19 vaccine
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. Michelle Sholzberg
AstraZeneca has initiated the worldwide withdrawal of its COVID-19 vaccine because of a “surplus of available updated vaccines,” and it has requested that the European authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine be pulled. While most countries ceased using the shot in 2021, this move Tuesday makes that cessation official.

AstraZeneca withdraws its COVID-19 vaccine worldwide
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Samir Gupta
AstraZeneca says it is withdrawing Vaxzevria, its vaccine to protect against COVID-19, from global markets. The vaccine was used early on in the pandemic in many countries, including Canada.

Researchers outline how cells activate to cause fibrosis and organ scarring
Medical Xpress
Comments by Dr. Boris Hinz and Fereshteh Sadat Younesi
New research led by Unity Health Toronto that examines how fibroblast cells in the body are activated to cause fibrosis and organ scarring has been published in Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology.

New guidelines for depression care emphasize patient-centred approach
University of British Columbia News
Comments by Dr. Sidney Kennedy
Psychiatrists and mental health professionals have a new standard for managing major depression, thanks to refreshed clinical guidelines published today by UBC researchers at the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT).

What questions do you have about COVID-19?
CBC Radio – Ontario Today
Interview with Dr. Fahad Razak
Dr. Razak is an internal Medicine Physician at St. Michael’s Hospital. He’s also the former scientific director of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.

May 7

Disability and poverty: Funding and structure of new federal benefit unacceptable
Healthy Debate
OpEd written by Dr. Gary Bloch
While doctors were up in arms over the federal budget’s changes to the capital gains tax, many overlooked an announcement with far more consequence for their low-income and socially marginalized patients – one that will place an immediate burden on our already stretched work lives.

PAS panel addresses historical trauma faced by Indigenous groups, calls on pediatricians to act
American Academy of Pediatrics
Comments by Dr. Ryan Giroux
When a medical resident came to Benjamin D. Hoffman, M.D., FAAP, in 2012 with concerns about an 18-month-old Navajo patient who was having muscle and motor difficulties, his heart sank, knowing the likely diagnosis.

May 6

Could better asthma inhalers help patients, and the planet too?
NPR
Comments by Dr. Samantha Green
During an asthma check-up at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Joel Rubinstein gets a surprising pitch — for the planet, as well as his health.

U.S. lawmakers are taking aim at private equity in health care. Here’s what is happening in Canada
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Danyaal Raza
In the U.S., the growing role of private equity firms in health care is coming under heightened scrutiny, with Senate committee hearings and a cross-government public inquiry launched earlier this year.

Scientists, clinicians across Canada preparing for future pandemic threats
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Andrew Pinto
Nearly $574 million will be doled out to researchers across the country for projects aimed at ramping up Canada’s preparedness for future health emergencies, including the next pandemic, the federal government announced on Monday.

Family Medicine leaders collaborate on new national approach to pandemic preparedness
Queen’s University News
Comments by Dr. Andrew Pinto
Drs. David Barber and Michael Green, Queen’s Family Medicine (QFM), are collaborators on an $18.9-million initiative to shield Canada against future pandemics.

Canadian Hub for Health Intelligence and Innovation in Infectious Diseases awarded $72 million
U of T News
Comments by Dr. Andrew Pinto
Four research programs in the Canadian Hub for Health Intelligence and Innovation in Infectious Diseases (HI3) have received $72 million in federal funding from the Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF) and Biomedical Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF), bolstering the country’s biomanufacturing capacity and readiness to respond to emerging health threats.

Staples Canada and MAP launch the largest Even the Odds fundraising campaign to date with ‘Close the Gap’
Canada Newswire
Comments by Dr. Stephen Hwang
Staples Canada is amplifying its support for MAP, Canada’s largest health equity research centre, to ‘Close the Gap’ on inequity in Canada.

Schulich profs help prepare for future pandemics
Western News
Comments by Dr. Andrew Pinto
Downtown cores stood silent, streets were almost empty and people stayed six feet apart – that was the ”new normal” four years ago when, after 180,000 cases worldwide and more than 4,000 deaths, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

May 2

Physician: Capital gains tax changes will not destroy health care in Ontario
Toronto Star
OpEd by Dr. Danyaal Raza
Doctors are getting burnt out. Nearly 40 per cent of family doctors are considering retiring in the next five years, while early career physicians are most likely to experience burnout.

Immigrants to Canada see MS risk rising with time in country: Study
Multiple Sclerosis News Today
Comments by Dr. Manav Vyas
Among immigrants to Canada, the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) is higher for those who have spent a greater portion of their life in Canada, a new study reports.

May 1

Patient holds Guinness World Record for oldest kidney transplant recipient
Hospital News
Comments by Meriam Jayoma-Austria and Dr. Ramesh Prasad
St. Michael’s Hospital patient Walter Tauro has officially been named the oldest kidney transplant recipient in the world by the Guinness World Records after receiving the kidney at age 87.

Minimally invasive cardiac surgery reduces trauma
Hospital News
Comments by Dr. Gianluigi Bisleri
It has been two months since Bojan, a 51-year-old man, attended the Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery (MICS) Clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital. After experiencing two major open-heart surgeries in the past, Bojan was offered an alternative pathway of care by Dr. Gianluigi Bisleri that uses a less invasive surgical approach to reduce trauma and return patients to their regular lives faster.

Using technology to improve the diagnostic process for patients with a rare disease
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Comments by Dr. Yvonne Bombard
Genome sequencing plays a crucial role in diagnosing rare genetic diseases and sometimes also identifying the risk of other health conditions that might not be directly related to an individual’s primary health issue.

April 29

Most homeless people have mental health disorders
Medscape
Comments by Dr. Stephen Hwang
Most people experiencing homelessness have mental health disorders, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Canada needs to do more to prepare for an aging, and more diverse population
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. Andrew Pinto
Canada needs better data to prepare for its future with a rapidly aging – and increasingly diverse – population, experts warn.

April 27

Talking about colon cancer awareness
CBC News – Our Toronto
Comments by Dr. Ian Bookman
This weekend, racers of all ages will be lacing up for the Bum Run, an annual event that raises money for colon cancer.

April 26

Sheridan celebrates student co-op and work-integrated learning achievements
Sheridan College
Maia Azevedo is profiled
Last month, in partnership with Sheridan’s Faculties, the Career-Integrated Learning department hosted the annual Co-op and Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) Student of the Year Awards at the Sheridan Conference Centre located at the Trafalgar Road Campus in Oakville.

April 25

National school food program is a big boost for children’s health
Ottawa Citizen
OpEd by Dr. Daniel Bierstone and Dr. Sloane Freeman
A historic milestone for the health of Canadian children was achieved in last week’s federal budget with the government’s announcement of $1 billion over five years for the creation of a national school food program.

Homeless hospital patients stay twice as long at double the cost
CBC News
Comments by LP Pavey and Dr. Carolyn Snider
Canadians experiencing homelessness stay nearly twice as long in hospital at a cost over double the national average, in part due to the housing crisis, a sweeping new health-care report finds.

Healing power
U of T Magazine
Comments by Dr. Muhammad Mamdani
About eight years ago, artificial intelligence seemed poised to revolutionize health care. IBM’s much-hyped AI system, known as Watson, had rapidly morphed from winning game-show contestant to medical genius, able to provide diagnoses and treatment plans with lightning speed.

A sentinel for global health
U of T Magazine
Comments by Dr. Kamran Khan
In late 2019, a company called BlueDot warned its customers about an outbreak of a new kind of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. It wasn’t until a week later that the World Health Organization issued a public warning about the disease that would later become known as COVID-19.

April 24

Can virtual health care help save a collapsing system?
CityNews Big Story podcast
Interview with Dr. Tara Kiran
Most of us have had a virtual health-care appointment sometime during the pandemic. Those of us that didn’t almost certainly encountered virtual care of some form or another. As we enter the post-pandemic era, there is a push by some for more virtual care.

How AI can reduce turn around times for clinical trial contracts
Hospital News
Comments by Karen Ung and Mani Kang
Unity Health Toronto is one of the first hospitals in Canada to work with Google Cloud to develop a generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI) tool to speed up the process of reviewing complex research contracts.

Time spent in Canada increases MS risk for immigrants: study
Global News
Comments by Dr. Manav Vyas and Dr. Dalia Rotstein 
New research is shedding light on the risk immigrants in Canada face of developing Multiple Sclerosis. Data shows the risk for the chronic disease goes up for people who have spent more of their life in the country.

For immigrants to Canada, risk of MS increases with proportion of life spent there
American Academy of Neurology
Comments by Dr. Manav Vyas
Immigrants to Canada who have spent a greater proportion of their lives in Canada have a greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) than people who have spent a smaller proportion of their lives there, according to a study published in the April 24, 2024, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

April 23

How to make the most of your virtual mental health care appointment
Healthy Debate
OpEd by Lucie Langford and Braden O’Neill
Think back to March 2020. Suddenly, instead of seeing your family doctor in person, your appointments were by telephone or video call. The phone rang. You waited one … two … three rings and then picked up. “Hello, it’s your family doctor. What can I help you with today?”

April 22

HIV self-test kit: Experts slam government decision to end funding for program — ‘This shouldn’t be happening’
Yahoo! News
Comments by Dr. Sean Rourke
Advocates and health-care experts are concerned about the federal government’s decision not to renew funding for HIV self-testing kits, a program that cost just over $17 million over two years, pointing to the effectiveness of the devices and stressing it will have a severe impact on underserved communities.

Canadian Vinyl Industry names Toronto Anesthesiologist with Sustainability Excellence in Healthcare award
Vinyl Institutue of Canada
Award won by Dr. Ali Abbass
The Vinyl Institute of Canada (VIC) announces that their groundbreaking PVC Medical Device Recycling program continues to see robust growth from Hospitals in the GTA and surrounding areas.

April 20

Who needs Paxlovid now? New guidelines suggest only highest-risk groups should get COVID drug
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Andrew Pinto
If you consider yourself at a higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 — because of your age, or maybe due to preexisting health issues — you might assume you’ll be able to get treatment with Paxlovid when the time comes.

April 19

The Ottawa Hospital doctors to try AI for patient notes
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Muhammad Mamdani
The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) is launching a pilot project this June that will use a Microsoft artificial intelligence tool to record conversations between patients and doctors and transcribe them into medical notes.

How ‘social contagion’ could be driving some youth to identify as transgender
National Post
Comments by Dr. Joey Bonifacio
It’s considered one of the most important and perplexing developments in the field of transgender medicine over the past 15 years: The startling surge in gender-distressed children being referred to gender clinics, especially biological girls.

“Canada has the best health care”: Markham man receives kidney transplant at age 87
Markham Economist & Sun
Comments by Meriam Jayoma-Austria
June 11, 2023 marked a day of rebirth for Markham resident Walter Tom Tauro, who received a kidney transplant at St. Michael’s Hospital at the age of 87 years and 262 days, earning recognition from Guinness World Records as the oldest kidney transplant recipient worldwide.

April 18

What now? AI, episode 3: Innovation for good
U of T News
Interview with Dr. Andrew Pinto
While the news headlines about AI often focus on dangers and risks, the potential for life-saving innovation in fields such as health care is huge.

This Toronto-based tampon brand is providing an inventive solution to insertion struggles
Now
Comments by Dr. Yolanda Kirkham
Nadia Ladak was in her final year of university when she came up with the concept for her lubricated tampon brand, Marlow.

April 15

Opioids responsible for one in every four deaths among young adults: study
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Tara Gomes
The staggering cost of illicit drug toxicity in Canada, especially among young people, is laid bare in new research published Monday that highlights rapid increases in opioid-related deaths with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sharp rise in OD deaths demands better policies for those in their 20s, 30s: study
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Tara Gomes
Opioid-related deaths doubled in Canada between 2019 and the end of 2021, with Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta experiencing a dramatic jump, mostly among men in their 20s and 30s, says a new study that calls for targeted harm-reduction policies.

Over 25 per cent of young Canadian deaths linked to opioids amid pandemic: study
Global News
Comments by Dr. Tara Gomes
More than one in four deaths among young Canadians between 2019 and 2021 were opioid-related, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased use of fentanyl potentially playing significant roles, according to new research.

A quarter of deaths among young adults in Canada were opioid related in 2021
Hospital News
Comments by Dr. Tara Gomes
Premature deaths related to opioids doubled between 2019 and 2021 across Canada, with more than one-in-four deaths among young adults aged 20–39 years attributable to opioids, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

April 12

Study finds no link between COVID vaccines and fatal heart problems in young people
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
A new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows there is no evidence to suggest COVID vaccines cause sudden cardiac death or other fatal heart problems in young people.

April 11

The memory race
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. Jennifer Watt
Tyson Haller was in his early 50s when he learned he had a family history of one of the most feared diseases in medicine.

April 10

Why teenage pregnancy carries those extra risks
Research 2 Reality
Research by Dr. Joel Ray
Teen pregnancy, while not typically fatal, can negatively impact both the young parent and their child’s future well-being. It often sets the stage for a cascade of challenges, potentially leading to premature mortality for the teen parent either shortly after childbirth or in the subsequent years.

April 9

Protecting public health care from private investors
Toronto Star
OpEd co-written by Dr. Danyaal Raza
Private equity investment firms exist to make money for their investors. It’s their job. Over the past decade, private equity firms around the world have increasingly invested in the health care industry, including Canada’s long-term care sector and a growing number of private for-profit surgical centres.

Protonitazepyne and Medetomidine? More unfamiliar drugs in our supply
Filter
Comments by Karen McDonald
North America’s unregulated drug supply has grown ever more unpredictable, which often means deadly. Since the arrival of fentanyl, the likes of benzodiazepines, other tranquilizers and nitazenes have all become more prevalent in the mix. I’ve overdosed on “benzo dope” myself.

April 8

Prevalence of dementia in homeless twice that in housed
Medscape
Comments by Dr. Stephen Hwang
The prevalence of dementia among homeless people is almost twice as high as that in housed populations in Ontario, Canada, according to the results of a new study.

April 7

Semaglutide beneficial in HFpEF patients with diabetes
Medscape
Comments by Dr. Beth Abramson
Weekly injections of the glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) receptor agonist semaglutide (Wegovy, Ozempic), relieves symptoms in patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), obesity, and diabetes much like it does in similar patients without diabetes, according to results of a pivotal trial likely to expand the drug’s approved indications.

April 6

Canada stops funding HIV self-testing kits, leaving activists in disbelief
CBC News
Interview with Dr. Sean Rourke
The federal government is no longer funding at-home HIV self-testing kits, even though new cases of the virus are on the rise in Canada.

April 5

Canada cancels free HIV self-test program despite ‘alarming’ rise in infections
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Sean Rourke
Over the phone, you can hear the dismay in Dr. Sean Rourke’s voice as he describes how the first self-testing HIV kit to be approved in Canada is about to lose federal funding despite an “alarming” rise in positive cases.

April 4

Calling all volunteers! Yes, there’s something in it for you
Canadian Immigrant
Comments by Masooma Raza
Stepping into a new country can be daunting but volunteering can offer newcomers a unique pathway to integration, empowerment and a sense of belonging.

April 3

Mairlyn Smith takes to social media to promote her “Fart Walk”
CBC Radio – Here and Now
Interview with Dr. Ian Bookman
For years now, Toronto professional home economist, cookbook author and TV personality Mairlyn Smith has taken a post-dinner walk with her partner. It’s something she calls a ‘Fart Walk.’ Mairlyn posted a video about it recently on Instagram and TikTok. It’s now received more than 9.3 million views.

April 2

‘Just a pinch’: Women frustrated as medical community downplays pain of IUD insertion
Healthy Debate
Comments by Dr. Greg Hare
Bridget Irwin, a 28-year-old teacher, was told she would experience “some pressure” during her IUD insertion at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, and that it would be very fast. Instead, it was so painful that she nearly passed out. “We had to Uber home because I couldn’t walk,” she says.

Dr. Michelle Sholzberg appointed Division Director – Hematology
U of T News
The Department of Medicine is excited to announce the appointment of Dr. Michelle Sholzberg as Division Director – Hematology beginning on July 1, 2024.

Toronto study finds race impacts opioid treatment
Sudbury.com
Comments by Tonya Campbell
A new study by Toronto-based health researchers has found distinct differences “between ethno-racial groups in Ontario when looking at circumstances surrounding opioid overdose deaths, as well as in the use of harm reduction tools and access to treatment.”

April 1

A housing remedy for Canada’s hard-hit ERs
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. Carolyn Snider and Dr. Sahil Gupta
After three decades as an emergency physician at Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, Louis Hugo Francescutti has come to realize that medicine alone is not health care.

Ontario is in the midst of a drug crisis. These seven charts tell us who’s being hit hardest
Toronto Star
Comments by Tonya Campbell
As Canada grapples with a drug toxicity crisis, new research looking at four years of opioid overdose deaths in Ontario offers a revealing glimpse of the face of these victims.

Young children are facing an epidemic of vision loss, experts say. What’s behind the surge in myopia?
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. David Wong
When Karen Kawawada learned both her young daughters were diagnosed with myopia, she feared they would grow to share her struggles with vision.

March 31

Ontario man now holds world record as oldest kidney transplant recipient
Canadian Press
Comments by Meriam Jayoma-Austria
Walter Tauro says he didn’t even know what Guinness World Records were before he was recognized by the popular British corporation as the world’s oldest kidney transplant recipient earlier this month.

March 30

Ontario man receives Guinness World Record for oldest person to receive kidney transplant
CP24
Comments by Dr. Ramesh Prasad
An elderly man living in the Greater Toronto Area has just been officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest person to have ever received a kidney transplant.

‘It may hurt a little bit’: What is sun gazing? Why some people are staring directly at the sun
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. David Wong
As a child, Pame Luz was told never to stare directly at the sun. But after embarking on a spiritual journey near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 36-year-old has found herself doing just that every day.

March 27

‘Ozempic babies’ are the latest phenomenon attributed to viral diabetes and dieting drug
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Howard Berger
It’s been touted as a weight loss drug for the rich and famous. It could help with addiction treatment, colon cancer, maybe even slow the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Now, Ozempic, and other GLP-1 medications, are being credited with helping to make babies.

Teen pregnancy linked with risk for premature death
Medscape
Comments by Dr. Joel Ray
Teen pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for premature mortality, both among those who carry the pregnancies to term and those who miscarry, according to a new study.

March 26

“Long transition”: Toronto family doctor discusses Ontario Health Teams
Excalibur
Comments by Dr. Danyaal Raza
New regional health authorities introduced by the provincial Ford government are now in place all around the province. Ontario Health Teams (OHTs) are groups of health care providers — including hospitals, doctors, home care providers, and community agencies — that operate in a coordinated way to provide a range of health care services.

March 25

Students lead new study on barriers facing Black medical students pursuing surgical residency
Medical XPress
Comments by Dr. Jory Simpson, Edgar Akuffo-Addo and Jaycie Dalson
A study led by fourth-year undergraduate medical students at the University of Toronto (U of T) is shedding light on the experiences of Black medical students in applying for a surgical residency in Canada.

March 21

Wildfire smoke made Fort McMurray air the worst in Canada, U.S. in 2023
Fort McMurray Today
Comments by Dr. Samantha Green
The 2023 wildfire season made Fort McMurray’s air quality worse than any other city in Canada or the United States, according to a report from the Swiss firm IQAir.

March 20

Toronto team wins $17.5M to create new diagnostics
Canadian Healthcare Technology
Comments by Dr. Claudia dos Santos
A team of researchers from the University of Toronto, Unity Health Toronto, University Health Network and the National Research Council of Canada have been awarded a $17.5M grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and partners to build the Diagnostic Horizons Lab in Toronto.

March 19

Surge in fatal suspected overdoses as potent synthetic opioids found in unregulated drug supply: TPH
CBC News
Comments by Karen McDonald

Health officials are warning of a surge in suspected overdose deaths in Toronto as two powerful synthetic opioids were recently found in the unregulated drug supply.

Driven by wildfire smoke, Canada’s air quality worse than U.S.: report
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Samantha Green
Canada’s air pollution levels last year were worse than those in the United States for the first time since an air-quality firm started publishing its assessments in 2018.

Toronto Public Health issues alert after spike in overdose-related deaths
Global News
Comments by Karen McDonald
Toronto health officials issued a warning after paramedics responded to six suspected opioid overdose-related deaths, which is triple the current average seen for a 4-day period in the past 12 weeks. Kayla McLean has the story.

What is causing a sudden spike in overdose deaths
CTV News
Comments by Karen McDonald
Toronto’s drug checking service identified two new synthetics in the street drug supply said to be up to 20 times stronger than fentanyl.

March 18

Federal funding for free HIV self-testing to end
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Sean Rourke
HIV advocates are concerned people newly infected with HIV will not get the care they need because federal funding for self-testing kits runs out at the end of March.

6 suspected overdose deaths reported in Toronto over 4 days as new potent drugs found in unregulated supply
CTV News
Toronto’s Drug Checking Service is mentioned
Toronto Public Health (TPH) is alerting the public after paramedics recently responded to six suspected opioid overdose-related deaths.

Antibiotics may soon become useless
The Walrus
Comments by Dr. Greg German
Infectious diseases physician Stephen Vaughan stands at a sink in Calgary’s South Health Campus wearing a surgeon’s scrubs, cap, and mask, washing up with orthopaedic surgeon Stephen Hunt. Inside the operating room, the two men receive sterile towels and gowns and take their place next to seventy-four-year-old Boyd English, already asleep on the table. English has a hip infection and he needs to have the joint washed out. Again.

Five researchers — including two from the Faculty of Arts & Science — recognized with 2024 President’s Impact Awards
U of T News
Dr. Yvonne Bombard and Dr. David Jenkins are among the award winners
Five University of Toronto researchers — including two from the Faculty of Arts & Science — have received President’s Impact Awards for their important work in AI governance, environmental justice, genomics policy, nutritional sciences and quantum computing.

March 15

Teen pregnancy may raise risk of early death
Health Day
Comments by Dr. Joel Ray
Teen pregnancy can change the trajectory of one’s life, but now a new study suggests it could also shorten that life.

March 14

Teen pregnancy linked to risk of earlier death in adulthood, study finds
New York Times
Comments by Dr. Joel Ray
A large analysis in Canada finds that teenagers who had babies were twice as likely to die before age 31.

More measles cases in Ont. than all of 2023
CP24
Interview with Dr. Fahad Razak
Hamilton Public Health is warning travelers may have been exposed to the measles virus in Terminal 3 of Pearson International Airport on March 5.

Teen pregnancy tied to increased premature mortality risk in early adulthood
Healio
Comments by Dr. Joel Ray
Teen pregnancy may be an indicator for future premature mortality risk in early adulthood up to age 25 years, according to cohort study results published in JAMA Network Open.

March 13

Free harm reduction, sex health supplies just a touch away at Winnipeg clinic’s vending machine
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Sean Rourke
People who need clean needles, HIV self-tests and even socks can now get them discreetly at a free vending machine in Winnipeg.

Free harm reduction vending machine now in Winnipeg’s north end
Global News
Comments by Dr. Sean Rourke
Select, dispense, grab and go. That’s how easy it now is to access harm reduction supplies in Winnipeg’s north end with the launch of a special vending machine.

Using AI to determine the right dose of warfarin for heart surgery patients
Medical Xpress
Comments by Lindsay Dryden and Jacquelin Song
A group of St. Michael’s Hospital researchers has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to help clinicians prescribe warfarin to heart surgery patients. The tool is currently in use at St. Michael’s, where clinicians say it’s been helpful in guiding their use of the blood thinner medication.

March 12

Few Black medical students are pursuing a career in surgery. A new study explains why
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Jory Simpson and Edgar Akuffo-Addo
Few Black medical students are pursuing careers as surgeons in Canada due to lack of mentorship, problematic admission criteria and racist microaggressions during training, among other factors, a study published Tuesday says.

Clinic vending machine ‘stepping stone’ to harm reduction
Winnipeg Free Press
Initiative led by St. Michael’s Hospital
Naloxone kits, condoms and even sage are now a touchscreen away at Access NorWest.

March 9

Adrenalin can save a heart but hurt the brain. Canadian research aims to find best dose for a potent drug
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Steve Lin
When Dan Shire’s heart stopped beating in 2016, it led to a race against time to save his life. Shire’s wife heard him struggling to breathe in the middle of the night. Then she ran to the phone to call 911, started CPR, and waited minute-by-painful-minute for first responders to show up.

March 8

What is brain fog — and how can we fight it? Experts share simple ways to regain focus
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Atif Zatar
If you’re finding it harder to concentrate, recall memories or grasp new information of late, you may be experiencing “brain fog” — a common and sometimes debilitating condition that has leapt into the spotlight following the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 7

Ontario’s family doctor shortage is so bad that nearly 1 million Torontonians could be without one by 2026: report
Now Toronto
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
Nearly one million people in Toronto could be without a family doctor in the next two years if no “urgent action” is taken, according to The Ontario College of Family Physicians.

A sacrament to recognize God’s healing love
Catholic Register
OpEd by Fr. Yaw Acheampong
The Church and the Bible teach that the sacrament was instituted by Jesus and was further made known in the early Church by the Apostle James. It takes a unique place in the Church’s pastoral care of the sick.

March 6

Is Ontario’s health system serving substance users?
TVO – The Agenda
Interview with Dr. Tara Gomes
A new report led by the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network (ODPRN) at St. Michael’s Hospital and Public Health Ontario has found that people who died from a substance-related overdose faced significant gaps in treatment.

Oldest ever kidney transplant patient defies doctors to get ‘second chance’ aged 87
Guinness World Records
Comments by Jennifer Jayoma-Austria
An Indian-born Canadian man has been officially verified as the world’s oldest kidney transplant recipient.

She had 80 per cent of her stomach removed because of cancer. Here’s what she wants you to know
Yahoo! News
Comments by Dr. Christine Brezden-Masley
By the time she was 44, Teresa Tiano was already intimately familiar with cancer. Not only was she treated for stage 0 bladder cancer eight years earlier, but she had also lost both parents to cancer.

People who died from a substance-related overdose faced significant gaps in treatment, report finds
Public Health Ontario
Comments by Dr. Tara Gomes
In the months and years before their death, many people had received substance use diagnoses and used healthcare services, but few engaged with evidence-based substance use treatment—signaling the need for a multi-factorial approach, researchers urge.

March 5

Ontario overdose deaths reveal gap between health care system and addiction treatment, report finds
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. Tara Gomes
Nearly two-thirds of Ontario residents who died from accidental drug and alcohol overdoses in recent years had interactions with the health care system for substance-use disorders before their deaths, according to a new report published Monday. Yet, despite the high rate of exposure to the health care system, only a small number of people were able to access addiction-treatment services, researchers found.

New survey conveys Canadians’ impressions of the health-care system
CBC Radio – Ontario Morning
Interview with Dr. Tara Kiran
A new survey from the “Our Care” project at St Michael’s Hospital asked approximately 10 thousand Canadians for their impressions about the state of our health-care system. It found frustration and dissatisfaction with primary care, particularly when it comes to access to family doctors.

‘We’re losing people every day’: Dr. Tara Gomes on Ontario’s drug-toxicity crisis
TVO
Comments by Dr. Tara Gomes
A new report finds that nearly two-thirds of people who died from substance-related toxicities between 2018 and 2022 had previous encounters with the health-care system for substance-use disorders — but were not able to access treatment in time to save their lives.

Primary care, not for everyone
Public Policy Forum
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
A comprehensive investigation on the state of Canadian health care has revealed deep dissatisfaction with the system. The OurCare initiative, run out of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, conducted a national survey and convened panels and community roundtables across the country over the past 16 months.

March 1

What do Canadians want for their health care?
Toronto Star – This Matters podcast
Interview with Dr. Tara Kiran
A nationwide health-care crisis has led a group of medical researchers to criss-cross the country to hear how Canadians would fix primary care, the front door of the health system.

U of T Entrepreneurship Week 2024: 10 startups to watch
U of T News
BlueDot and Dr. Kamran Khan are featured
Preventing nerve damage caused by chemotherapy. Using artificial intelligence to help people who are Deaf communicate with machines through sign language. Accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles in urban communities. These are some of the innovations being advanced by members of the University of Toronto’s thriving entrepreneurship community.

February 29

Heart health and menopause: what you need to know
Chatelaine
Comments by Dr. Beth Abramson
A Canadian woman is diagnosed with cardiovascular disease every seven minutes. The risk of developing it increases during the menopause transition, when changes in the levels of hormones such as estrogen affect blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol.

These Ontario hospitals considered the best in Canada: Report
InSauga
St. Michael’s Hospital is mentioned
If you or a loved one are sick or injured, you want the best care possible and despite ongoing challenges to Canada’s health care system, a newly-released ranking shows that some of the best hospitals in the country are in Ontario.

February 28

CRAFT 2.0: Academic hospital network joins centre for research on microfluidic devices for human health
National Research Council Canada
Comments by Dr. Claudia Dos Santos
The Centre for Research and Applications in Fluidic Technologies (CRAFT) is a unique collaboration between the University of Toronto and the National Research Council of Canada and now Unity Health Toronto.

February 27

More Canadians than ever don’t have access to a family doctor
CJAD 800
Interview with Dr. Tara Kiran

Massive new survey finds widespread frustration with access to primary health care
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
A Toronto-based research team met with and surveyed some 10,000 Canadians about the state of the health-care system — and what they found is deep dissatisfaction and frustration with primary care as the country grapples with a severe shortage of family doctors.

St. Michael’s Hospital to double NICU space with provincial funding
Ontario Construction News
Comments by Dr. Tim Rutledge
Unity Health Toronto has received provincial funding to plan, design and build the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at St. Michael’s Hospital.

Access to primary care is a priority concern for Canadians
The Niagara Independent
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
The federal government must step up to provide its fair share of money to resuscitate Canada’s public health care system.

February 26

10,000 Canadians were asked how to improve health care. Here’s what they said
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
Amid a nationwide health-care crisis, a group of Toronto-led researchers has criss-crossed the country to hear how Canadians would fix primary care, the front door of the health system.

System redesign, not incremental improvement, needed to erase family doctor shortage, report author says
Ottawa Citizen
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
Provincial governments are taking steps in the right direction, but they are not coming close to the magnitude of investments needed to fix worsening family doctor shortages, says the lead author of a new Canadian report.

Patients and family doctors highlight patient-led solutions for the primary care crisis
U of T News
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
A new national report led by researchers at Unity Health Toronto and the University of Toronto, with input from close to 10,000 people in Canada, highlights patient-led solutions to the worsening family doctor shortage — and provides feedback from those directly affected on how to improve access to primary care across the country.

Primary-care teams, access to health records key fixes for family doc crisis: report
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
A new report says patients across Canada see more primary health-care teams, access to their own electronic records and faster licensing of foreign-trained physicians as key ways to solve the country’s family doctorshortagecrisis.

Does menopause negatively impact your sexual health? We asked a doctor the questions you might be too afraid to ask
Yahoo! News
Comments by Dr. Sheila Wijayasinghe
Women’s sexual health is a topic that’s often shrouded in secrecy —especially when it comes to menopause.

February 25

My journey to cardiac surgery as a Black medical student
The Varsity
Op-Ed written by Ekene Nwajei
My journey has been characterized by significant milestones, both academically and professionally. In 2022, I graduated from Health Sciences at Wilfrid Laurier University with high distinction, which solidified the foundation for my pursuit of medicine.

February 23

Canadians will soon have a national pharmacare plan
CBC Radio – Here and Now
Interview with Dr. Danyaal Raza
According to NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, draft legislation has been reached with the federal Liberals on a plan that will cover diabetes treatment and contraception.

February 22

Ontario to fund new neonatal unit at St. Michael’s Hospital
QP Briefing
Comments by Dr. Tim Rutledge
Minister of Health Sylvia Jones announced Thursday that the government will support a new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at St. Michael’s Hospital.

February 21

Drug overdose deaths lower in Toronto neighbourhoods with supervised consumption sites: study
CP24
Comments by Indhu Rammohan
Toronto neighbourhoods that are home to a supervised consumption services (SCS) are seeing significantly fewer fatal drug overdoses than they were before the service opened, a new study has found.

Supervised injection sites reduce overdose deaths as far as five kilometres away, according to a study
CBC Radio – Metro Morning
Interview with Dr. Dan Werb
Werb is director of the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation, and co-author of a study on supervised injection sites in Toronto, published in The Lancet.

February 20

Fewer regenerative blood vessel cells may explain higher cardiovascular risks among South Asians: Study
U of T News
Comments by Drs. Subodh Verma and David Hess
A new study led by researchers at Unity Health Toronto and the University of Toronto has found that South Asians with either heart disease or diabetes had fewer vascular regenerative and reparative cells compared to white, European patients.

February 19

‘No backup plan’: Funding for HIV self-testing kits ending in March
Canadian Press
Comments by Dr. Sean Rourke
Prossy Luzige often gets calls from people looking for HIV tests that they can do in the privacy of their own homes. The program co-ordinator at CAYR Community Connections in Ontario says the take-home tests are crucial to connecting with people as Canada’s HIV infections climb.

February 18

Here’s what happened to overdose deaths in Toronto neighbourhoods with safe consumption sites
Toronto Star
Comments by Indhu Rammohan and Dr. Dan Werb
As opioid overdoses continue to ravage Ontario, Toronto neighbourhoods with supervised consumption sites have seen dramatic decreases in drug fatalities, a new study shows.

February 16

Could you be a surgeon? A Toronto program wants racialized students to consider the career
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Bobby Yanagawa
A program that gives under-served Toronto high school students the chance to experience life as a surgeon continues to grow. “The Next Surgeon” launched last year with the goal of diversifying the health-care system.

February 15

Why do South Asians have higher rates of heart disease? Researchers identify potential ‘missing link’
U of T News
Comments by Drs. Subodh Verma and David Hess
A new study led by researchers at Unity Health Toronto and the University of Toronto has found that South Asians with either heart disease or diabetes had fewer vascular regenerative and reparative cells compared to White European patients.

February 14

Dissecting Ontario’s escalating overdose crisis
TVO – The Agenda
Interview with Dr. Carolyn Snider
Last week officials in Belleville declared a state of emergency after paramedics responded to 23 drug overdoses in two days. What’s behind the crisis?

City budget (so far): Police demand big bucks, but where’s the debate?
London Free Press
Comments by Melanie Seabrook
More than half of the proposed property tax increase – five percentage points of the projected 8.6 per cent hike – is attributable to a proposed massive increase in police spending.

Scientists reveal what happens to your life expectancy when you quit smoking
Science Alert
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
It’s never too late to reap the benefits of a smoke-free life. No matter at what age a person quits smoking cigarettes, they are likely to add years to their life expectancy, according to a large new analysis from researchers in Canada and Norway.

February 13

Heart disease hits South Asians earlier and harder. Blood vessel repairs offer clue as to why: study
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Subodh Verma
The timeline for heart disease is sped up in people of South Asian ethnicity, and part of the answer for why may lie with faulty repairs to blood vessel damage, a new Canadian study suggests.

Insights from the Engage Study: HPV vaccine effectiveness and uptake among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men
CATIE blog
OpEd co-written by Dr. Ann Burchell
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common virus that is most easily passed during sexual contact. The body clears most HPV infections on its own, however some become persistent.

Quitting smoking yields quick boost to life expectancy
Medical Economics
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
Quitting smoking can significantly increase an individual’s life expectancy after only a few years, according to results of a new study.

February 12

Stem cell study offers clue to South Asians’ increased risk of cardiovascular disease
STAT News
Comments by Dr. Subodh Verma
A growing body of data show that South Asians are at greater risk of developing heart disease than white people, and they tend to get complications at younger ages, but it’s not been fully clear what explains this disparity.

CRAFT 2.0: Academic hospital network joins centre for research on microfluidic devices for human health
U of T Engineering News
Comments by Dr. Claudia Dos Santos
The Centre for Research and Applications in Fluidic Technologies (CRAFT) has been extended to 2028 and has expanded to formally include Unity Health Toronto, an academic hospital network and leading Canadian health research institute.

Tackling HIV stigma: Why it’s important and what needs to be done
Healthy Debate
OpEd co-written by Jason Tian and James Watson
Experiences of HIV-related stigma are still incredibly high in Canada – about 75 per cent of people living with HIV are careful telling others because of the associated stigma, according to a recent survey. However, given the continued lack of understanding about how stigma makes people feel unwell, it is a challenge to design solutions to reduce its impact.

February 11

‘We have a very large problem’: Why Ontario is dealing with syphilis rates it hasn’t seen in decades
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Malika Sharma
For much of his medical career, Dr. Ari Bitnun rarely had to consider the symptoms that indicated a baby was sick with syphilis. Rashes, often on the palms and soles of the feet. Poor weight gain and growth. Persistent nasal discharge, sometimes bloody. Swollen liver and spleen.

February 10

Quitting smoking at any age brings big health benefits, fast: Study
Medical Xpress
Comments by Dr. Prabhat Jha
People who quit smoking see major gains in life expectancy after just a few years, according to a new study by University of Toronto researchers at Unity Health Toronto.

February 9

Ontario receives $3.1-billion from federal government in health accord deal
CHCH News
Comments by Dr. Fahad Razak
Ontario Premier Doug Ford signed a deal with the federal government on Friday worth $3.1 billion in an effort to improve access to primary health care in the province and reduce wait times.

An alarming number of my friends have COVID-19. Are we in another wave?
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. Fahad Razak
An alarming number of people I know have recently caught COVID-19 – including three close friends, two neighbours and my sister-in-law. Are we in another wave?

Animal tranquilizer sylazine increasingly found in Canada’s illegal drug supply
Medscape
Comments by Hayley Thompson
Xylazine, a tranquilizer for animals including horses and cattle, has increasingly been found in the illegal drug supply chain in Canada. The drug is most often found mixed with fentanyl, and often, users don’t know they’re ingesting it.

February 8

Family doctors’ burnout is about more than their workload
The Walrus
Comments by Dr. Tara Kiran
In 2019, Lorraine Sharp began noticing that something was off. She dreaded going to work in the morning. She continually felt she wasn’t doing enough for her patients. For nearly a decade, she’d worked part time in a group practice in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; while the team set-up meant she had administrative support, she was solely responsible for her roster of 800 patients. She also worked on call at the regional hospital. If she ever considered taking a break to go on vacation, she imagined the paperwork and backlog of appointments piling up in her absence.

February 7

Lingering cough? Here’s what you need to know
CBC Radio – The Current
Interview with Dr. Nicholas Vozoris
Are you dealing with a nagging cough that just won’t go away? Respirologist Dr. Nicholas Vozoris says if you’ve been sick recently, it could just be a post-infectious cough. He explains what you can do to ease the annoyance — and when to check if it’s something more serious.

This Toronto woman is battling both an eviction and terminal cancer. Soon, she’ll plead her case to the LTB
CTV News
Comments by Dr. Stephen Hwang
For a Toronto bar owner with terminal cancer, navigating a lingering eviction has been like floating with no steady ground to land on for over a year – but next month, her fate will be decided as she pleads her case to Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board.

February 6

Ford government issues order that could sideline many huge Toronto developments
Blog TO
St. Michael’s is mentioned
The provincial government just issued an order that could throw a wrench into several plans for high-rise developments in Toronto — and it all has to do with airspace for helicopters.

February 4

Are people with non-urgent problems clogging up Ontario ERs? Here’s what the data shows
Toronto Star
St. Joseph’s and St. Michael’s included in study
Amid long wait times and overcrowding at emergency departments across Canada, hospitals in the GTA have recently been urging patients to consider other options if their medical issue is “non-emergent.”

February 2

COVID-19 reinfection rates high among people who are homeless, Toronto study says
Canadian Press
Comments by Lucie Richard
People who are homeless have high rates of COVID-19 reinfection, putting the health of an already vulnerable population at further risk, a study published Friday in the BMC Infectious Diseases journal says.

January 31

Potent animal tranquilizer found in Toronto’s street drug supply for first time
CBC News
Comments by Hayley Thompson
A drug testing service in Toronto says it has detected a new, highly potent animal tranquilizer circulating in the city’s unregulated drug supply.

Government of Canada announces appointments to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Governing Council
Health Canada
Dr. Christine Fahim is an appointee
Today, the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health, announced three new appointments as members to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Governing Council.

How effective is Indigenous cultural safety and anti-bias training at improving patient experience?
Medical Xpress
Comments by Dr. Janet Smylie
Researchers from Unity Health Toronto led a first-of-its kind trial in which Indigenous actors were trained to perform as patients and evaluate health care providers who completed intensive and brief Indigenous cultural safety trainings.

Inside Unity Health’s efforts to better understand the care experience
Hospital News
Comments by Jamar Stanton, Caroline Monteiro and Patrick Soo
It was around lunchtime and the Geriatric and Medical Rehabilitation unit at Providence was bustling. Jamar Stanton, a patient experience coordinator, had stepped into a patient room to ask a patient about his experience at the hospital when the patient let Stanton know that they were hungry.

A Canadian first: New device helps to tackle challenging deep vein thrombosis cases
Hospital News
Comments by Dr. Andrew Brown
When Crystal Ellis arrived at the hospital in July, her left leg had swollen to nearly twice its size. “The pain was from my foot to my stomach,” she describes. “My stomach was swollen and I could barely walk.”

January 30

New animal tranquilizer detected in Toronto’s unregulated drug supply
CP24
St. Michael’s Toronto’s Drug Checking Service is mentioned
A new, highly potent veterinary tranquilizer is circulating in Toronto’s unregulated drug supply.

January 27

Spending more money on police shows no clear link to lower crime levels
New York Times
Comments by Mélanie Seabrook
One effect we’re now seeing from the inflation that is largely a product of the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are municipal tax increases on a scale that was politically unimaginable not long ago.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield attends St. Joseph’s Health Centre gala
Toronto Star
It was “An Extraordinary Evening” indeed as friends and supporters of St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation converged on the Symes on Dec. 4. Hosts Pat and Jennifer DiCapo, Joe and Laurissa Canavan, and George and Rayla Myhal welcomed guests including Col. Chris Hadfield to celebrate the power of community to impact health care.

What’s behind that lingering, hacking cough — and why it shouldn’t mean you’re shunned
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Samir Gupta
It’s one of those awkward situations we’ve all been in. Sitting in a meeting, or on crowded city transit, or at the dinner table, you desperately try to stifle it, but you can’t. You turn red. Your eyes start to water. The veins on your forehead may even bulge a little as you try to prevent the unleashing of some otherworldly beast from the depths of your throat, chest and lungs.

January 24

How AI will – and won’t – change health care in 2024
U of T News
Q&A with Dr. Muhammad Mamdani
Muhammad Mamdani understands why people are wary of artificial intelligence having a say in their health care – but he’s even more concerned about the patients who are waiting to benefit from the potentially life-saving benefits of AI-assisted medicine.

When research becomes the reason: How one GH alum discovered how to remain on the frontlines while working behind the scenes
University of Guelph-Humber News
Interview with Anna Kiriakidis
Anna Kiriakidis felt like a celebrity as a swarm of people waved flags and excitedly called out to her and four other research assistants (RAs) who had arrived in Japan as part of the University of Guelph-Humber’s involvement with SERC-GC (Soka Education Research Centre on Global Citizenship).

Lower drug costs may improve adherence in patients With PAD
MedScape
Comments by Dr. Mohammad Qadura
Adopting simple strategies to lower out-of-pocket medication costs for Canadians with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) may help improve adherence and ultimately health outcomes, according to a new study.

January 23

Study finds no correlation between amount spent on policing and crime rates
CBC Radio – Ottawa Morning
Interview with Melanie Seabrook
Seabrook and her colleagues at Upstream Lab at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto analyzed the data from 20 Canadian cities in a study released in December. Ottawa is middle-of-the-road in terms of spending, and our crime rates – both the level of reported crime and the crime severity index – are on the rise.

January 22

From awareness to action: Supporting equitable preventative care with a few yes/no questions
U of T News
Comments by Dr. Nav Persaud
A team of family doctors, researchers, and patients from across Canada have developed a screening tool to help easily identify a patient’s preventative care needs.

January 18

Higher police spending doesn’t equal lower crime rates: Researcher
London Free Press
Comments by Melanie Seabrook
Boosting police spending isn’t associated with lower crime rates in London and more than a dozen other Canadian cities, according to new research.

Two pharmacy volunteers honoured with U of T Arbor Awards
U of T News
Comments by Alina Lalani
Two volunteers with the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy are being honoured with U of T’s 2023 Arbor Awards. Christine Donaldson and Alina Lalani have both volunteered with the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy for many years in a variety of leadership and mentorship roles that have supported the Faculty and its students.

January 17

ER wait times, private clinic expansion
CP24
Interview with Dr. Fahad Razak
Dr. Razak, an internist at St. Michael’s Hospital, on ER wait times and expansion of private clinics in Ontario.

January 16

Toronto’s drug checking pilot to expand
Drug and Alcohol Testing Association of Canada
Comments by Karen McDonald and Dr. Tara Gomes
In November of 2023, the Toronto Drug Checking Service announced its plans to expand its service, after receiving a new federal grant from Health Canada for the recipients of the Substance Use and Addictions Program (SUAP). The grant will provide $21 million in funds to 52 organizations across Canada to address harms related to substance abuse.

January 15

The campaign bringing HIV self-testing kits to Western University’s campus
CBC Radio – London Morning
Interview with Dr. Sean Rourke
Self-testing HIV kits are now available on Western University’s campus. It’s all part of a national research project called the I’m Ready to Know campaign, launched with the goal of increasing access to HIV testing.

January 12

Self-testing HIV kits available at Western University to help remove screening barriers
CBC News
Comments by Dr. Sean Rourke
Self-testing HIV kits are now available at Western University as a part of a nation-wide project to break stigma and to get more people diagnosed through low-barrier testing.

January 11

Here’s why you might want to stop making your bed in the morning
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Karen Binkley
Even if you live by yourself, you’re never sleeping alone. Every night, millions of microscopic, sightless arachnids called dust mites emerge from our mattresses and bed sheets, crawling over our unconscious forms in search of tasty flakes of shed skin.

Health Canada ignored warning signs before Ottawa spent billions on BTNX rapid tests
Global News
Comments by Dr. Larissa Matukas
Health Canada ignored critical warnings about a rapid-test supplier before approving its COVID-19 kits for distribution nationwide, Global News has found.

January 9

OB-GYN answers questions about advanced maternal age, fertility and pregnancy
Medical XPress
Q&A with Dr. Howard Berger
The average maternal age in Canada increased over the last few decades, according to data from Statistics Canada. In 2021, 25% of all mothers at childbirth were 35 years of age and older, an increase from 16% in 2001.

‘Additional capacity’ promised with second Sault Area Hospital cardiac catheterization lab
North Bay Nugget
St. Michael’s is mentioned
Sault Area Hospital’s second cardiac catheterization lab is slated to begin operations at month’s end.

January 7

Was your family sick and miserable this holiday season? You weren’t alone
Toronto Star
Comments by Dr. Fahad Razak
If you talk to parents, they’ll tell you it was a holiday season filled with coughs. Nasty coughs. Weird coughs. Unrelenting coughs. Coughs paired with fever and exhaustion. Coughs from COVID, flu and pneumonia. Coughs of unknown origin. Coughs that cancelled plans. Coughs that outlasted vacation.

January 5

An early-morning dash to ER and a helicopter to Toronto show health care link’s live-saving value
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. Bobby Yanagawa
Pam Devitt doesn’t remember much about Sept. 15. Her husband, John Devitt, remembers all too well: the sound of his wife crying out in pain in the early morning hours, rushing to her side and then realizing something was horribly wrong.

January 3

More than 260 Ontario long-term care residents died after getting COVID-19 in last four months
CTV News
Comments by Dr. Fahad Razak
Respiratory virus outbreaks in Ontario’s long-term care homes remains dominated by COVID-19, with nearly 16,000 cases of the virus reported in the last four months.

January 2

Emergency rooms struggle with illness surge
CBC News The National
Comments by Dr. Fahad Razak
Emergency rooms across Canada are still struggling tonight from a surge of illness and a shortage of staff.

January 1

2023 Order of Ontario Appointees
Ontario Government Newsroom
Dr. Lee Errett is an appointee
The Honourable Edith Dumont, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and Chancellor of the Order of Ontario, announced 25 new appointments to the Order of Ontario for 2023.

Canadian health care workers turn to AI for help amid a staffing crisis
The Globe and Mail
Comments by Dr. Tim Rutledge, Dr. Amol Verma and Dr. Yuna Lee
During one of her shifts on the internal medicine unit at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Yuna Lee received an alert on her phone from CHARTWatch, an AI-powered early-warning system, indicating a patient in the ward was at high risk of dying or needing intensive care.

Archives: 2023, 2022, 2021

Last updated May 17, 2024