Ten great things that happened this week

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A student registers at St. Michael’s Hospital.
(Photo: Yuri Marakov, Medical Media Centre)

(July 9, 2020) – Living and working through COVID-19 is tough, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the wonderful things that are happening at our sites – and for our people – along the way.

Each week, we’re sharing a list of 10 great things that happened this week. Do you have a story you’d like to share? Send it to communications@unityhealth.to.

1) COVID-19 By the Numbers highlights how we came together to fight the pandemic 

53,984 virtual appointments, 9,926 COVID-19 tests conducted and 766 staff redeployed – these are a few stats that show how we cared for our patients and communities during the pandemic so far. Our teams have worked tirelessly and COVID-19 By the Numbers highlights some our amazing work between March 15 and May 9, 2020.

2) The next generation of doctors, nurses and other health specialties return to Unity Health

This week, we welcomed some of our students back to our hospitals for on-the-job training. During this initial recovery phase, we will maintain a limited on-site capacity and we will continue offering students virtual and simulated learning opportunities. See twitter post.

3) Dr. Yvonne Bombard looks at how digital tools can advance quality and equity in genomic medicine

Basic genetic services are now more accessible than ever thanks to technology. In a paper published this week in Nature Reviews Genetics, Dr. Yvonne Bombard, genomics health services researcher and scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, says genetic specialists have a responsibility to ensure access to this kind of care is high quality and equitable for all patients. Read more.

4) Dr. Irfan Dhalla shares his thoughts on how Canada should tackle the pandemic

The country’s focus on eliminating COVID-19 may pose risks to the overall population, say some of Canada’s top public-health experts. Dr. Irfan Dhalla, vice president of physician quality at Unity Health and director of the Care Experience Institute, points out that countries that have been able to get children back to school and people back to work are also aiming to eradicate the virus. Read full article.

5) Our 2019-20 Annual Report highlights our accomplishments during the past year 

We began this foundational year with the launch of our first-ever strategic plan and completed it amid a global pandemic, where we came together to support our community and each other with strength and courage. Read our 2019-20 Annual Report to learn more about the work our people have done to advance our strategic objectives and create the best care experiences.

6) iBEST research team receives NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

A study led by Ryerson University’s Drs. Emre Karatas, Scott Tsai, Michael Kolios and Vladislav Toronov and St. Michael’s Dr. Steve Lin has received funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). This work will be facilitated through the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science & Technology (iBEST) – a partnership between the two organizations. The study aims to develop a system for measuring aerosol and droplets within a clinical setting to reduce the risk of COVID-19 for health care providers.

7) Should we be testing for COVID-19 after death? Dr. Prabhat Jha shares his thoughts

Getting a COVID-19 swab is accessible to many, yet post-mortem COVID-19 tests are still rare. St. Michael’s Dr. Prabhat Jha says it’s important to code things that were suspect COVID-19 deaths as COVID-19 deaths and that hospitals should be conducting post-mortem tests in specific circumstances. Read full article.

8) Dr. Stephen Hwang discusses how Toronto’s COVID-19 divide stretches beyond regional boundaries

Toronto’s northwest corner, a neighbourhood with high concentrations of residents who are low-income and racialized while working in higher-risk sectors, has been hardest hit by COVID-19. Dr. Stephen Hwang, director of the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, thinks the area could be part of a larger hot spot. Read more.

9) Dr. Peter Jüni discusses whether COVID-19 infection rates will be affected by changing seasons

A recent study led by Dr. Peter Jüni, director of the Applied Health Research Centre at St. Michael’s, found that COVID-19 activity does not depend on temperature. Dr. Jüni discusses whether COVID-19 will become like the annual flu. Read full article.

10) Cynthia Stacey has been nominated for a 2020 Nursing Hero Award

Hospital News recently recognized Cynthia Stacey, advanced practice clinical educator at St. Joseph’s, as a nominee for the 2020 Nursing Hero Award. Read more about the award in Hospital News. See July issue of Hospital News.