Ten great things that happened this week

February 11, 2021

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) Six Unity Health Toronto physicians named on Medical Post’s 2021 Power List

Congratulations to our Drs. Danyaal Raza, Tara Kiran, Irfan Dhalla, Samantha Hill, Kamran Khan and Andreas Laupacis who are on this year’s Medical Post’s Power List. Your hard work and dedication help create the best care experience for those we serve. Read more.

2) We celebrate the successes from Operation Remote Immunity

Dr. Alun Ackery is one of four Unity Health Toronto staff and physicians taking part in Ornge’s #OpRemoteImmunity, an initiative that aims to provide both doses of the vaccine to community members living in 31 First Nations communities by the end of April. “We vaccinated over 88 per cent of eligible community members in the Neskantaga Indigenous community,” says Dr. Ackery. Read more about his key takeaways.

3) What does Black History Month mean to you? Chantal Sorhaindo shares her thoughts

In recognition of #BlackHistoryMonth, our staff and physicians shared what Black History Month means to them. Chantal Sorhaindo says, “During this year’s Black History Month celebrations, it is imperative that Black people are given the space to not only grieve but to start the process of healing.’ Read her thoughts here.

4) Drs. Rick Glazier and Tara Kiran speak to the Toronto Star on how the pandemic changed the way Ontarians get appointments with their family doctors

To get a sense of the pandemic’s impact on primary care, Dr. Rick Glaizer and Dr. Tara Kiran looked at billing data from 2020 to 2019. They found that office visits dropped by almost 80 per cent and virtual-care visits jumped by 5,600 per cent. They weigh in on what this means for the future of Canadian health care in the Toronto Star. Read more.

5) We spotlight Shay Johnson as part of our Behind the Mask series

As a Social Worker at St. Michael’s Hospital, Shay Johnson has seen the impact COVID-19 has had on families. “You hold it together to get the job done, but everything you’ve seen, everyone you’ve spoken to, the people who tell you they’re struggling – that goes home with you.” Read her story #BehindtheMask.

6) Two Unity Health Toronto researchers receive honours, awards and achievements

Our Dr. Ryan Brydges, Scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, has been awarded a Compassion and AI Grant from AMS Healthcare for his work in designing learning technologies to support the development of compassionate and skilled physicians. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health (CIHR-ICRH) awarded Dr. Heyu Ni, Scientist at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, with the 2021 CIHR-ICRH Distinguished Lecturer/CSATVB Scientific Excellence Award in Blood and Blood Vessel Sciences. This award recognizes an individual’s outstanding contribution to the advancement of blood and/or blood vessel sciences both in Canada and internationally.

7) Dr. Stephen Hwang speaks to the Toronto Star as Toronto’s largest shelter faces a COVID-19 outbreak

Seaton House, Toronto’s largest shelter, is grappling with an outbreak. Our Dr. Stephen Hwang, a physician with St. Michael’s Hospital who holds a weekly clinic at Seaton House with Toronto’s Inner City Health Associate, is concerned. He says the site houses a “significant number” of older men and residents who deal with medical conditions that increase their risk for severe COVID-19 issues. Read more.

8) How are health care workers navigating the COVID-19 pandemic? Our Dr. Rania Lingas weighs in

Early in the pandemic, Dr. Rania Lingas, Oncologist at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, was concerned about an influx of seriously ill cancer patients not seeking treatment due to fears about contracting COVID-19 in hospital. Staff were also worried about their safety. “As time went on and we were using proper PPE, the more we knew, I think the less fearful we became. I’m not fearful right now compared to what I was in March,” says Dr. Lingas. She shares her key takeaways during the pandemic with the Catholic Register. Read more.

9) Dr. Fahad Razak weighs in on Ontario’s plans to let more businesses reopen

The province is gradually lifting its stay-at-home orders and allowing more businesses to reopen. Our Dr. Fahad Razak, Physician at St. Michael’s Hospital and member of the Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table discusses the plans and how the virus variants might impact reopening. Learn more on CBC The Morning Edition.

10) Do supplements help prevent cardiovascular disease? Dr. David Jenkins shares his findings 

Research by our Dr. David Jenkins shows that while more than 50 per cent of the population takes supplements, there’s a lack of evidence to support their use in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. The research shows that more health benefits can be achieved by moving towards a plant-based diet, as recently emphasized in Health Canada’s Food Guide. Read more.