Ten great things that happened this week

(October 8, 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) St. Joseph’s satellite dialysis centre named after generous donors

This week, we renamed the St. Joseph’s satellite dialysis centre on Islington Avenue the Bachir / Yerex Community Renal Centre to recognize the impact of its incredible donors Salah Bachir and Jacob Yerex. Thanks to their generosity, the centre underwent multiple renovations and furniture upgrades, which included new waiting room furniture, patient treatment chairs and staff furniture. Check out photos of the newly modernized space here.

2) The ‘Green Team’ is reducing the environmental impact of Family Health Team clinics

A group of physicians and staff at the Sumac Creek Health Centre created a Green Team to make the St. Michael’s Family Health Team (FHT) clinics more environmentally friendly. In just a few months, their list of successes include recently eliminating exam table paper, adding recycling bins to their clinic, and organizing education initiatives for their colleagues on how to improve sustainability. Read about the Green Team here.

3) Dr. Janet Smylie pens powerful opinion piece in The Globe and Mail on anti-Indigenous racism in our healthcare system

In her op-ed, Dr. Smylie, Public Health Researcher at the MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions at St. Michael’s, said that while it’s important to identify individuals who behave in a racist way, we should be holding the larger healthcare institutions accountable in order to make critical and systemic changes. Read her op-ed here.

4) The Haematology-Oncology Unit moves into its new location in the Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower (PGT)

The Haemtology-Oncology moved into the eight floor of the PGT, making it the fourth unit to move into its permanent space in the tower. This unit cares for inpatients who have blood disorders or cancer, and the size of the individual patient rooms will be large enough to accommodate procedures like bone marrow biopsies and lumbar punctures in the privacy of their rooms. The rooms will also have a family zone with pull-out couches to accommodate loved ones staying with the patients. Read more about the unit and its impact on patients, families and staff here.

5) Dr. Muhammad Mamdani highlights how artificial intelligence can solve real-world problems in health care

In an interview with Evanta, Dr. Muhammad Mamdani, Vice-President of Data Science and Advanced Analytics at Unity Health explains the work he’s done with multiple groups across the network to prepare our data infrastructure for the use of artificial intelligence to improve our healthcare delivery. He highlighted three of his 20 ongoing projects in this article. Read about them here.

6) Dr. Neil Fam explains the impact of the new catheterization lab at St. Michael’s

In an interview with Canadian Healthcare Technology, Dr. Neil Fam, Director of Interventional Cardiology and Head of the Catheterization Labs at St. Michael’s, discusses how the technology of the recently completed catheterization lab will impact patient care. Describing it as a “hybrid room,” Dr. Fam explained that the catheterization lab is now designed to serve a dual purpose: it’s a location for both minimally invasive, catheter-based procedures and more open, surgical interventions. Read his interview here.

7) We celebrated St. Michael’s Our Shared Values Awards winners

St. Michael’s Feast Day is a big day for staff and physicians, and every year, we cap off the celebrations with the Our Shared Values Awards where we recognize staff who exemplify our missions and values. This year, the ceremony was held virtually. Check out our list of incredible winners along with excerpts from each of their nominations.

8) Congratulations to this year’s recipient of the Ella Ferris Culture of Leading Award

Every year, we present the Ella Ferris Culture of Leading Award to an individual at St. Michael’s who makes a positive impact on the organization and those around them. This year’s winner is Dana Whitham, Clinical Leader Manager (CLM) of Kidney Transplant, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Ophthalmology and – since the pandemic began – also the CLM for the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at St. Michael’s. In her nomination, Whitham’s colleagues outline her commitment to inclusivity and her patient-centric approach to leading and working. Her team also describes her tremendous transparency, approachability and support that made their efforts through COVID-19 more relaxing and enjoyable. Congratulations to Dana Whitham!

9) We spotlight Virginia MacDonald is a Spiritual Care Practitioner at St. Michael’s in this week’s #BehindTheMask

Virginia MacDonald described what it’s like to support patients in their darkest moments, and how difficult it has been for her to see disparity in who is being impacted most by the pandemic. However, she says recognizing the impact of her work on her patients and on generations to come is what keeps her going. “I find light in the ever-present knowledge that what I do matters. It’s the idea that how we live now impacts the generations to come. It makes my work, and my life, have a greater significance. It’s not just about me. It’s a very Indigenous perspective,” said MacDonald. Check out her #BehindTheMask post here.

10) St. Michael’s finds a safe way to obtain chest images of COVID-19 patients

When COVID-19 patients require chest scans, how can health care teams provide this service in a way that keeps them and the patients safe? A study led by Dr. Shobhit Mathur, physician at St. Michael’s, examined a new radiology process where chest images are obtained through glass doors of isolation rooms to prevent the spread of the virus. Check out this Hospital News article featuring a Q&A with Dr. Mathur on this process.