Ten great things that happened this week

February 4, 2021

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Residents Mary Riddell, Father Gerald Fitzgerald and Father Paul Lennon receive their second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (Photos by Katie Cooper, Medical Media)

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Residents Mary Riddell, Father Gerald Fitzgerald and Father Paul Lennon receive their second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (Photos by Katie Cooper, Medical Media)

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) Unity Health Toronto joins vaccination efforts for people living in remote Indigenous communities

Four Unity Health Toronto staff and physicians are among crews fanning out to provide COVID-19 vaccines to 31 First Nations communities in Northern Ontario. Dr. Alun Ackery, Dr. Laura Hans, Dr. Suzanne Shoush and Daniela Graziano will be administering Moderna vaccines as part of Operation Remote Immunity. The initiative, led by Ornge, aims to provide both doses of the vaccine to community members 18 years of age or older by the end of April. Read more.

2) St. Michael’s Hospital launches Ketamine Infusion Program for people with treatment-resistant depression  

People living with treatment-resistant depression will soon have a new therapy option available to them at St. Michael’s Hospital. The Ketamine Infusion Program is a pilot, which Drs. Karim Ladha, Venkat Bhat, Sidney Kennedy and Duminda Wijeysundera hope will become a successful model that can be replicated in other hospitals and health centres. This program is the first of its kind in the Greater Toronto Area, and one of the first in Ontario. Learn more.

3) Unity Health Toronto marks Black History Month

At Unity Health Toronto, our Black staff, physicians, patients, volunteers and partners have made significant contributions to help us create the best care experiences for those we serve. This month is also an opportunity to reflect on racial injustice and systemic racism that is prevalent in our society. It is also a reminder to continue to educate ourselves, check our implicit biases and strive to be allies. Our staff and physicians share what Black History Month mean means to them. Read what they had to say.

4) Residents at the Houses of Providence receive second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Residents at the Houses of Providence got their second dose on Wednesday, 28 days after first receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Mary Riddell, one of the residents who rolled up their sleeves, says she feels “fortunate and very appreciative” and applauded the way Providence arranged the rollout of the vaccine. See the highlights from the day.

5) Our photographer captures how St. Michael’s Hospital’s lab team works 24/7 to get your COVID-19 test results

At the St. Michael’s lab, hundreds of nasal samples arrive daily at the lab from points around the city, including the assessment centres at St. Michael’s, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, long-term care homes and Toronto Public Health. Photographer Katie Cooper shows what happens to your nasal swab after you are tested for COVID-19 in this photo essay.

6) We celebrate our commitment to our values on Providence Mission Day

Providence Mission Day recognizes the hospital’s mission and values, which have evolved from the legacy of compassionate, quality care instilled in us by our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto. On January 28, more than 100 staff and physicians gathered online for the Our Shared Values Awards to honour the Providence people and teams who exemplify our mission and values. Read more about their stories and excerpts from their nominations.

7) Two experts speak with CTV on Canada’s other health crisis – the opioid epidemic

The opioid crisis is worsening during the pandemic. Our Dr. Tara Gomes and Dr. Daniel Beriault speak to CTV W5 about how drug users are at a higher risk of overdose and how street drugs are more contaminated than ever. Watch the videos.

8) We spotlight Dr. Cilia Mejia-Lancheros’ #OneBurningQuestion

Every discovery starts with a question. For Dr. Cilia Mejia-Lancheros, Postdoctoral Fellow at the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, she has devoted her career to better understanding how socioeconomic determinants of health affect various population groups. Dr. Mejia-Lancheros’ #OneBurningQuestion is: How does stigma affect others, especially those from low-income backgrounds? Read more.

9) St. Michael’s Mobility Clinic implements standardized tracking of patient reported outcomes following hip and knee surgeries

Two years ago, St. Michael’s Mobility Clinic began collecting Patient Reported Outcome Measures following hip and knee replacement surgeries. Now, staff are seeing their efforts validated as patients return to the clinic with improved scores following surgery. Read more.

10) Dr. Prabhat Jha weighs in on the decision to reopen schools in Ontario

As thousands of kids in Ontario head back into the classrooms, our Dr. Prabhat Jha says that expanding rapid COVID-19 testing in schools will help keep them open. He spoke with the Toronto Star on the rising COVID-19 cases in northern Ontario schools. He was also on CTV Your Morning to weigh in on what this means as other regions reopen schools.