Ten great things that happened this week

March 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) Surgeons at St. Michael’s perform first minimally invasive maze procedure for atrial fibrillation in Ontario

The Cardiac Surgery team at St. Michael’s is the first in Ontario to complete a minimally invasive maze procedure to treat atrial fibrillation – the most common type of irregular heart rhythm. Led by Cardiac Surgeon Dr. Gianluigi Bisleri, this minimally invasive technique aims to improve care for patients with atrial fibrillation in Ontario who require surgical intervention. Read more.

2) Face to face: How Providence is helping residents connect with their loved ones

When the pandemic began, safety guidelines limited visitors to long-term care homes, including the Cardinal Ambrozic Houses of Providence. During the summer when case numbers were low, staff implemented physically distanced outdoor visits. As the colder months began, the windows at the entrance became a regular meeting space. Read more in this photo essay.⠀

3) We mark one year since the COVID-19 Assessment Centres at St. Michael’s and St. Joseph’s opened

On March 16, 2020, our COVID-19 Assessment Centres at St. Joseph’s and at St. Michael’s opened its doors. Since then the teams have seen more than 177,000 visits. Santina LeBrun, Operations Leader at the St. Joseph’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre, and Tina Richard, a Clerical Assistant at the St. Michael’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre, share their perspectives on the year that has passed and what they’ve learned. Read more.

4) Patient Vince Santaguida shares his positive experience with a same-day hip surgery at St. Michael’s on CTV News

In pre-pandemic times, hip and knee replacement patients would stay at the hospital for a day or two before heading home. Now, teams at St. Michael’s Hospital have shifted to offering same-day hip and knee surgery. This helps patients like Vince Santaguida heal faster and increases bed capacity. Our Dr. Amit Atrey shares how the hospital made it possible with CTV News.

5) A Dose of Joy: Residents 80 and over roll up their sleeves at Unity Health

Unity Health Toronto began booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments for seniors 80 years and older and other priority groups. Here’s a look inside our clinics as the patients received their dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more.

6) Our Dr. Janet Smylie discusses COVID-19 vaccination efforts for Indigenous people living in cities

Indigenous people living in cities have experienced poor outcomes during the pandemic despite living closer to health services. Our Dr. Janet Smylie says planning efforts to vaccinate people in remote First Nations communities haven not been matched for Indigenous people in cities. She spoke with The Globe and Mail, CBC, Canadian Press and Global News on what needs to be done.

7) More and easier COVID testing is needed writes our Dr. Irfan Dhalla in the Ottawa Citizen

We need to remove barriers and make it easier for parents to get themselves and their children tested quickly, writes our Dr. Irfan Dhalla in the Ottawa Citizen. This will help preserve in-person learning while reducing COVID-19 spread. Read the op-ed.

8) Unity Health Toronto celebrates Dietitians Day

Dietitians at Unity Health are at the forefront of managing conditions, optimizing nutrition and helping patients return home. This Dietitians Day, Emily Campbell, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator at St. Joseph’s Health Centre, discusses her role and shares some tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the pandemic. Read more.

9) Our Linda Jackson speaks to the Toronto Star on vaccinating homeless populations in Toronto

Vaccination of the homeless population in Toronto is well underway with about 1,000 individuals getting their vaccine. Our Dr. Linda Jackson, Senior Clinical Program Director for Community and Primary Care at Unity Health says, “I feel very optimistic, it’s so rewarding and sometimes you leave in tears because people are so grateful.” Read more in the Toronto Star.

10) Our Dr. Kate Strasburg weighs in on the pandemic’s effect on youth mental health in the Toronto Star

The pandemic has placed traditional school-based mental health services beyond the reach of many youth says our Dr. Kate Strasburg, Psychiatrist at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. In a normal year, schools, guidance counsellors or community agencies will identify and refer youth, but she has not received any calls this year. She spoke with the Toronto Star on youth mental health.