Ten great things that happened this week

February 18, 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) Meet an ophthalmologist and researcher who has broken down barriers for women

On the Day of Women and Girls in Science, we introduce you to Dr. Neeru Gupta, an Ophthalmologist and a Scientist at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science. This year she became the first female Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Glaucoma and the first female President of the International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO). Dr. Gupta shares her path and the lessons she’s learned along the way. Read more.

2) Two patients share what it’s like to visit the St. Michael’s Hospital’s virtual Emergency Department

In December 2020, the St. Michael’s Hospital Emergency Department (ED) began testing a new virtual ED service. The service allows patients to connect with an emergency physician to speak about their non-life threatening health issues online or over the phone. We touched base with Dave and Ronit to learn more about their positive care experiences. Our Dr. Shaun Mehta, the program’s co-lead, also spoke to the Toronto Star about how the team is helping marginalized populations who do not own phones or tablets access the service.

3) Dr. Sharon Straus answers common questions on the use of vaccines in older adults

As COVID-19 vaccination ramps up, many Canadians have questions about the vaccines, their impact and safety. This is also true for long-term care residents and their caregivers, who have been disproportionally impacted by the virus and are among the first priority groups to receive the vaccines. Read our Q&A with Dr. Sharon Straus, Physician-in-Chief of St. Michael’s Hospital and Director of the Knowledge Translation Program of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, to learn more.

4) We celebrate our Therapeutic Recreationists for Recreation Therapy Month

February marks Recreation Therapy Month and to celebrate, we are recognizing Therapeutic Recreationists (TRs) for their work in supporting patients’ goals in improving their health and quality of life across Unity Health Toronto. Our small, but mighty team of TRs told us what they love most about their role. Read more.

5) Our Jenna Lee speaks to the Toronto Star about why you should follow public health guidelines after getting vaccinated against COVID-19

Even though Jenna Lee, Social Worker at Providence Healthcare, got vaccinated against COVID-19, she has not changed her routine. She still continues to physically distance, wear masks, practice hand hygiene and has not seen her family members or friends. “There’s so many unknowns, but I would rather know I’m protecting myself and the people around me, especially working in a high-risk area of the hospital.” Read more.

6) Nurses and a volunteer spread love inside St. Michael’s NICU for Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, volunteer Liz Fontana and nurses in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St. Michael’s Hospital created Valentine’s Day themed hats to bring joy to patients and families.

7) Staff and physicians show support for women and families affected by heart disease

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of hospitalization and premature death for women in Canada. To raise awareness for women and families affected by heart disease, over 70 staff and physicians wore red on February 13 for Wear Red Canada Day. Take a look at the photos.

8) Why does gender inequity in medicine persist? Three researchers look at possible solutions

Our Knowledge Translation Program’s Dr. Andrew Tricco, Dr. Nazia Peer and Dr. Sharon Straus provide an analysis of gender inequity in medicine and the multi-pronged interventions needed to address it. Read more in their CMAJ paper.

9) Our Dr. Anju Anand speaks to CBC Radio about prioritizing racialized communities in the vaccine rollout

Dr. Anju Anand, Respirologist at St. Michael’s Hospital, explains why it’s important to prioritize racialized people in vulnerable communities for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, and how to efficiently target the COVID-10 hotspots. Listen to her interview here.

10) Our Dr. Gary Bloch speaks to the Toronto Star as delays at the Social Benefits Tribunal triple

Our Dr. Gary Bloch is concerned as he sees wait times for hearings at the Social Benefits Tribunal increase. He has seen first-hand how receiving ODSP can be “life-changing” for those living in poor health and experiencing poverty. He discusses the issue with the Toronto Star. Read more.