Ten great things that happened this week

MRI machine at St. Joseph's with large window and skylight

St. Joseph’s is now using a brand new MR scanner thanks to our generous donors Myron and Berna Garron. Click/tap image to enlarge

(May 21, 2020) We know that 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 over the previous week. Have a story you’d like to share? Send it to communications@unityhealth.to.

1) A special kind of parade happened this week to bring smiles and joy to the Houses of Providence

Staff at the Houses of Providence organized a parade to lift the spirits of residents. They made signs with kind words of encouragement, dressed up, played music, and walked and danced throughout the hallways. To all those who participated – thank you! Check out the photos here.

2) Denise Galszechy and Dr. Alex Caudarella were named CBC’s ‘Front-line Heroes.’ 

Two people from St. Michael’s were recognized in CBC’s Front-line Heroes series this week: Denise Galszechy, a registered nurse in the Cardiac ICU and Dr. Alex Caudarella, a physician with the addictions medicine team.

3) St. Joseph’s begins using brand new MRI machine

Thanks to the generous donations of Myron and Berna Garron, St. Joseph’s now has a brand new MR scanner and suite, which will increase the Centre’s diagnostic imaging capacity. Read about it here, and check out the time lapse of how the massive scanner was delivered into the Centre earlier this year.

4) Patients receive regional anesthetics in brand new procedural room this week

Another St. Michael’s 3.0 milestone was reached this week! The Regional Anesthesia procedural area, commonly known as the ‘Regional Room’ opened in its newly renovated space in 5 Donnelly on May 19. Patients come into this procedure room to receive regional anesthetics either prior to surgery and/or for general pain management. The new space includes three additional bays for patient care, updated equipment and technology, and a new nurse call system. Read about it here.

5) St. Joseph’s teams start their day this week with some yummy breakfast thanks to generous donors

Staff and physicians at St. Joseph’s are enjoying complimentary breakfast, catered by our Lakeside Café, every two weeks thanks to individual donors to the St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation. These generous supporters wanted to do something to make staff feel appreciated during this time for all of their work caring for our communities. Thank you to these incredible donors for this thoughtful gift! Read more about this here.

6) Dr. Janet Smylie tapped for her expertise to help analyze Indigenous COVID-19 cases

Dr. Janet Smylie, a family physician and leader in Indigenous health research at St. Michael’s, will be working with Indigenous Services Canada to analyze short-term and long-term data on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Indigenous communities. Dr. Smylie is lending her expertise to this initiative to address data gaps that exist between Indigenous populations that reside on and off reserve. Read more about this here.

7) Meet some of our staff who are volunteering for their second week inside our local long-term care homes 

When the government reached out to hospitals for staff support in long-term care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, over 70 Unity Health volunteered to be redeployed. The first teams started their support last week. Thank you to this amazing group for stepping in to support where the need is highest during this time. Check out a few of their photos here.

8) Dr. Larissa Matukas hits the front page of the Toronto Star, sharing her expertise on COVID-19 testing

“It is an unbelievable leap, to have gotten to where we are and to be as successful as it is in a very short time,” said Dr. Larissa Matukas Head of Microbiology at St. Michael’s in an interview with the Toronto Star.

9) Multiple research projects at Unity Health are tackling COVID-19

Just over two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and more than 110 teams have come together across Unity Health to launch innovative research examining the biology, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19. Read about them here.

10) The New York Times talks to Dr. Peter Jüni about what’s safe to do outside now that weather is warming up

With the arrival of warmer weather, many people may wonder whether certain outdoor activities are considered safe. St. Michael’s Epidemiologist Dr. Peter Jüni shares advice with the New York Times.