Ten great things that happened this week

(December 10, 2020) –  Each week, we’re sharing 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 Hospital introduces virtual Emergency Department visits

St. Michael’s Hospital is testing a new virtual Emergency Department service to provide patients with easy access to care when their family doctor is not available. The service connects patients with emergency doctors for virtual consultations. Similar initiatives are also running at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (launched Dec. 1) and University Health Network (launching Dec. 14). Learn more.

2) St. Joseph’s Health Centre celebrates with ‘Breakfast from Around the World’

Since travel is not an option for most people during the pandemic, the Lakeside Café brought Mexico, the Philippines and Jamaica to St. Joseph’s Health Centre. Staff, physicians, patients and families had a chance to sample popular breakfast dishes from around the world. The menu included huevos rancheros from Mexico, tapsilog from the Philippines and ackee or callaloo with saltfish from Jamaica. Click here to see the delicious meals.

3) Our researchers launch new intimate partner violence app to support women during the pandemic

When the pandemic was declared, Dr. Patricia O’Campo and her co-principal investigator, Dr. Nicholas Metheny, a post-doctoral research fellow at St. Michael’s, began exploring how to redesign their Pathways app – an earlier project which provides women in abusive partnerships with a personalized safety plan. They recently launched a new app called PROMISE (Promoting Safety During Emergencies). The intimate partner violence app includes content about safety planning during a public health emergency. Learn more.

4) Drs. Jeffrey Mosko, Marisa Louridas and Tyler Chesney push surgical limits with a new surgical approach

Doctors in St. Michael’s gastroenterology and general surgery divisions have teamed up to adopt an innovative surgical approach developed in Japan. The laparoscopic endoscopic cooperative surgery method helps doctors overcome the technical challenges of treating some complex cancer cases. The collaboration between Drs. Jeffrey Mosko, Marisa Louridas and Tyler Chesney means that they are now able to remove tumors in a minimally invasive way while leaving patients’ stomachs intact. Read more.

5) Dr. Sean B. Rourke’s research breaks down barriers for Canadians who need to HIV testing

Our Dr. Sean B. Rourke, scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital, worked on research that led to the approval of the first HIV self-tests in Canada in November. Now, he is leading a program that will offer 50,000 free tests to Canadians nationwide in early 2021. Read more.

6) MPPs Kinga Surma and Christine Hogarth show their support of St. Joseph’s Health Centre

St. Joseph’s Health Centre will receive almost $12 million from the Ontario government for 42 new beds and 7 critical care beds. This significant investment will enable us to continue to provide innovative, excellent and compassionate care. A big thank you to MPPs Kinga Surma and Christine Hogarth for their support. Learn more.

7) We spotlight Dr. Michelle Klaiman as part of our #BehindtheMask series

As an emergency physician and addictions specialist at St. Michael’s Hospital, Dr. Michelle Klaiman’s biggest fear is that her patients are going to die. “The pandemic has been difficult on us all, but imagine someone with opiate-use disorder who has lost all their community addictions or mental health support, who has lost their sense of community because everyone is trying to self-isolate, and no longer has access to the same resources.” Read her story #BehindtheMask.

8) CTV News highlights a new device designed to keep healthcare workers safe during the pandemic

Our Dr. Joao Rezende-Neto and Dr. Ori Rotstein created the CANOPPE Airway Dome to minimize the spread of aerosols during intubation and provide an additional level of security for healthcare workers while they care for COVID-19 patients. Dr. Rezende-Neto spoke with CTV News about the device. Watch the segment.

9) What is the key to better health in underhoused populations? Dr. Stephen Hwang weighs in

Conditions such as skin infections, respiratory illnesses and poorly controlled diabetes and high blood pressure are common among underhoused populations says our Dr. Stephen Hwang, Director at the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s Hospital. He spoke with the Canadian Press on why it is important to invest in affordable housing, especially as more families and seniors are becoming homeless. Read more.

Members of the Stroke and Neurology Clinic team stand in a hospital hallway.

Members of the Stroke and Neurology Clinic team at St. Michael’s Hospital

10) St. Michael’s Stroke and Neurology Clinic team receives the first annual Toronto Stroke Network Standards of Care Quality Improvement Award

The Stroke and Neurology Clinic team at St. Michael’s Hospital was recently awarded the first annual Standards of Care Quality Improvement Award by the Toronto Stroke Network. This award recognizes the team’s advocacy and work in helping to setup a dedicated physical space at St. Michael’s that fosters safety and efficiency of stroke service provision and provides a home base for our stroke neurologists. A big thank you to the staff and physicians who helped make this achievement possible.