Ten great things that happened this week

January 21, 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) We celebrate a historic effort – all long-term care homes in Toronto have been vaccinated against COVID-19 

All long-term care homes in Toronto received their first vaccine dose almost a week ahead of schedule. This massive undertaking was made possible thanks to the incredible leadership and collaboration between Unity Health Toronto, other Toronto health networks and staff working in long-term care settings. Read more.

2) The Canadian Press and CBC The National highlights our pilot to vaccinate shelters clients and staff

Clients of a number of Toronto-area shelters received the COVID-19 vaccine as part of a new pilot project by Unity Health Toronto, Inner City Health Associates, Ontario Health, Toronto Public Health and SSHA. Our Dr. Stephen Hwang says the project launch was “a resounding success” as 55 residents and 30 staff at Scarborough Village Residence got their first dose on Friday. When the teams are able to resume this important work when vaccine supply allows, they will produce a playbook to help guide the eventual province-wide effort the protect people experiencing homelessness. Learn more about the initiative in the Canadian Press and CBC’s The National.

3) Unity Health’s President and CEO Dr. Tim Rutledge speaks to the Toronto Star on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

Education is key to combating COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy says our Dr. Tim Rutledge, President and CEO of Unity Health Toronto. “We need to do all that we can to address any misconceptions and myths. We need to provide a ton of education to health-care providers to get them up to speed on why we are recommending it,” he told the Toronto Star. Read more.

4) Loading Dock and Receiving move into the Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower

As part of the St. Michael’s 3.0 project, the Loading Dock, Receiving and Third Party Logistics have moved into the B1 (ground) and B2 floors of the Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower. The new Loading Dock offers a larger freight elevator and additional docking bays which means deliveries across the hospital will become faster and more efficient.

5) We spotlight Dr. Yuni Yucel’s #OneBurningQuestion

Every discovery starts with a question. For Dr. Yeni Yucel, a Neuropathologist and Scientist at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science, the eye – and in particular, the retina – is the root of his curiosity. Dr. Yucel’s #OneBurningQuestion is: Are the eyes a window into what’s happening in ALS? Read more.

6) Three Unity Health experts contribute to an updated COVID-19 school operation guidance document led by SickKids

A group of pediatric health experts including, Dr. Sloane Freeman, Dr. Justine Cohen-Silver and Dr. Kevin Schwartz of Unity Health Toronto, reviewed the latest literature on children and COVID-19 and developed an updated guidance document for consideration by policymakers. Read more.

7) Why should special education classrooms be the last to close and the first to open during the pandemic? Dr. Ripudaman Singh Minhas weighs in

Earlier pandemic closures halted tailored supports and therapies for students with developmental disabilities or exceptional learning needs. “The research shows us that these therapies are most effective early on and need very specific windows of development when the brain is solidifying its architecture. And so for children that have difficulties in certain areas, being able to deliver these therapies in their classroom setting is so vital,” says our Dr. Ripudaman Singh Minhas, director of pediatric research at St. Michael’s Hospital. Read more.

8) We spotlight Manny Atance as part of our Behind the Mask series

For Manny Atance, Clinical Resource Coordinator in the Adult Day Program at Providence Healthcare, Providence is his happy place. “I met my wife here, we got married here in the chapel, both of our kids have been baptized here, my mother is a resident in the Houses of Providence. Providence has been so instrumental in shaping my life and who I’ve become.” Read his story #BehindtheMask.

9) Dr. Farah Mawani shares how the government can strengthen their COVID-19 communications

The government could adopt a community-based and trauma-informed approach to strengthen their COVID-19 communications suggests our Dr. Farah Mawani, Epidemiologist at Unity Health Toronto. Doing more consultations with community leaders will keep the message more in line with the reality on the ground. “If you’re communicating as if you’re all in this together and you’re actually working together, that has a different tone than if you’re communicating an order to people to do things.” Read more.

10) How do we stop the spread of COVID-19? Dr. Peter Jüni breaks it down in the Toronto Star

There are three things that need to curb the spread of the virus says our Dr. Peter Jüni, who sits on the provincial government’s scientific advisory table. He says we need to: implore the one-quarter to one-third of Ontarians who are not following the rules to do so, reduce the number of people going out to shop and lower the percentage of people who are leaving home for work. Read more.