Ten great things that happened this week

December 23, 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) We launch our COVID-19 vaccination clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital launched the appointment-based COVID-19 vaccination clinic as part of the first phase of Ontario’s vaccine roll out. This is a huge milestone in our fight against COVID-19. The Globe and Mail spoke with Dr. Tim Rutledge, President and CEO at Unity Health Toronto, and Seeta Green, a Registered Practical Nurse at the Houses of Providence and the second person to get the COVID-19 vaccine at St. Michael’s, about the historic event. Watch the segment.

2) Dr. Fahad Razak receives the 2021 PSI Graham Farquharson Knowledge Translation Fellowship

PSI Foundation has awarded Dr. Fahad Razak with the 2021 PSI Graham Farquharson Knowledge Translation Fellowship for his ability to successfully complete high impact knowledge translation research. Read more.

3) Unity Health Toronto physician leads GTA Hospital incident management system

Dr. Andrew Baker, Chief of the Departments of Critical Care and Anesthesia, and the Medical Director of the Surgery and Critical Care Program at St. Michael’s Hospital, was appointed Incident Command Leader of a new time-limited incident management system (IMS) for the Greater Toronto Area. The GTA Hospital IMS monitors resources and redirects them where pressures are being felt the most. Read more.

4) St. Michael’s Family Health Team Home Visiting Program doubles its capacity to care for frail seniors during the pandemic

This holiday season, the St. James Town Health Centre’s doctors and nurses will fan out to conduct home visits armed with prescription pads, their stethoscope and a box of cookies. Because of the pandemic, the number of patients the team will visit this month has doubled compared to previous years. Read more about the home visiting program and hear from two patients about why it is so important.

5) MPP Kinga Surma stops by St. Joseph’s Health Centre and shares her support

Kinga Surma, MPP for Etobicoke Centre, stopped by St. Joseph’s Health Centre to drop off Christmas gifts for our Paedatric Unit – all purchased by Surma from local Etobicoke small businesses. Alison Drabble and Tina Allain-Rooney from our Paedatric program say that these gifts will help kids who need care over the holidays to take their mind off being in the hospital.

6) CBC Toronto highlights how a physician at St. Joseph’s Health Centre cares for the wellbeing of frontline health care workers

At the start of the pandemic, Dr. Sarah Kim created a mindfulness and guided meditation series to help staff and physicians address their wellbeing. She spoke with CBC Toronto about why she started the series and how mindfulness can help improve patient care. Watch the segment (starting at 45:38).  

7) Our Dr. Irfan Dhalla speaks with The Globe and Mail about COVID-19 immunization in Canada

Will Canadians be able to return to their old lives once health care workers and the elderly have been immunized against COVID-19? Alternatively, will they have to wait for herd immunity or even outright elimination of the virus? Our Dr. Irfan Dhalla, Vice-President of Physician Quality at Unity Health Toronto, weighs in. Read more.

8) Volunteers across Unity Health Toronto celebrate the holiday season

The Volunteer Services team at Unity Health Toronto hosted a virtual holiday party to celebrate the season. Over 90 volunteers participated in trivia, an ugly sweater fashion show, a virtual tour of the pop-up Gift Shop at Providence Healthcare and a viewing of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’. Our President and CEO Dr. Tim Rutledge also greeted volunteers and hosted a Q&A. Although we have not been able to welcome back our amazing volunteers into our hallways, we are glad everyone still keeps in touch through newsletters, calls and emails. In the spirit of the season, volunteers were also sent personalized, handwritten Christmas cards from the staff in Volunteer Services. Thank you to all our volunteers for your continued support!

9) Our Dr. Gustavo Saposnik’s research finds that a traffic light system helps reduce clinical uncertainty and improve doctors’ treatment decisions

A new study published in JAMA Network Open, has found one in four clinical decisions made by physicians falls short of best practices, but when physicians reviewed a simple traffic light system prior to making a clinical decision, uncertainty was reduced by 70 per cent and treatment decisions improved. Dr. Gustavo Saposnik, a Neurologist at St. Michael’s Hospital, a Scientist at the hospital’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute and lead author of the study, spoke to Healio about his findings. Read about the study.

10) Our Dr. Tali Bogler spoke with Today’s Parent about the pandemic’s impact on expecting parents

As a family medicine and obstetrics provider at St. Michael’s Hospital, Dr. Tali Bogler knows that many of her pregnant patients are nervous about COVID-19. “It’s a vulnerable time to begin with, and then with the added stress of the pandemic and all the uncertainties that have come with it, it’s understandable that expecting parents are feeling even more anxiety right now.” She spoke with Today’s Parent about the Pandemic Pregnancy Guide and resources available for expecting parents. Read more.