Seeing Osler through a different lens

From the first moment I walked through Osler’s doors 10 years ago, I knew there was something very special about this organization. Something told me this is a place where I can grow and learn as a health care leader, where ideas to improve health care are encouraged and acted upon, where individuals value and respect the contributions of one another, and where people are truly committed to making a difference in the lives of patients and families.

My instincts were right. Osler is all these things . . . and so much more.

During the past 10 months, I had the privilege of seeing Osler through a very different lens in my role as interim President and CEO, and it was an incredibly rewarding journey. Here is what I saw:

  • A caring, compassionate and solutions-oriented team of staff, physicians and volunteers who stepped up to the plate every time our patient volumes exceeded expectations to make sure that every single patient who came through our doors received the care they needed. The seven leading practices we achieved through Accreditation, are largely due to the efforts of our dedicated frontline teams.
  • An exceptional team of volunteers who help in so many ways at Osler to support patients and families and contribute to the patient experience. So often they were the first faces I saw whenever I visited any of our sites, and they played an instrumental role in the successful staff and public tours of Peel Memorial prior to its opening.
  • An incredible response from our community, staff, physicians and volunteers in support of Brampton Civic, Etobicoke General, and Peel Memorial, marking a year of unprecedented giving. Having had the opportunity to meet and thank so many of our donors in person, I was touched by the many heartwarming stories people shared of their personal experiences with Osler and their reasons for giving.
  • A talented team of clinical and non-clinical leaders, who worked tirelessly to support their teams while addressing unprecedented patient volumes at Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General, preparing for Accreditation and the opening of Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness, and planning for the expansion and redevelopment of Etobicoke General.

Our accomplishments were many over the past year, as highlighted in the 2016-17 annual report, but it’s the people who were behind those achievements that really struck a chord with me this year. You are the ones who make this place tick. We may all contribute to fulfilling our Vision in different ways, but it is the coming together of our collective efforts that makes what we do possible.

I felt incredibly supported throughout my interim role as President and CEO and can’t thank you enough for everything you have done over the past ten months to help position Osler so strongly for the future. I look forward to continuing to support this great organization in my role as Senior Strategic Advisor, working closely with our new President and CEO, Dr. Brendan Carr, and all of you, as we start thinking about the longer-term strategic priorities that will set a course for our future. We’re in great hands. Let the next chapter begin!

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Osler recognized as a leader in organ and tissue donation

A few weeks ago, I watched a tear-jerking CBC News story about a bride who met the man who received her late son’s heart at her wedding. It was a beautiful story that really drove home the heart (pun intended) of organ and tissue donation and why we work so hard to raise awareness. Simply put: It saves lives.

I’m so proud of our team because our staff gets it. Earlier this summer, Osler was recognized with a Hospital Achievement – Provincial Conversion Rate Award from Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN).

This achievement is thanks to the effort and dedication of our staff and physicians, the compassion of patients and families, and a valued partnership with TGLN. In fact, our own Dr. Alexandra McMillan has been a strong advocate for organ donation and is one of only three physicians in Ontario to receive the TGLN’s Hospital Donation Champion Award.

But what has all of this hard work translated into?  Five years ago, we recorded a mere five donations. A record 22 organ donations from Osler patients in 2016 helped save no fewer than 61 lives.

Let that sink in for a minute.  That’s 61 mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, and grandparents who got a new lease on life. Let me give you a sense of how those lives were saved:

  • 4 heart recipients
  • 10 lung recipients
  • 12 liver recipients
  • 30 kidney recipients
  • 3 kidney/pancreas recipients
  • 2 pancreas islet cell recipients.

And let’s not forget the expansive network of people affected by these 61 lives, plus the families of the organ donor that fulfilled the donors’ last wishes. That’s powerful stuff.

The truth is, we all have the power to be champions for organ and tissue donation. Research suggests that as many as 15 per cent of Ontarians mistakenly believe they are already registered, when in fact, they are not.

Today there are more than 1,500 men, women and children in Ontario waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Osler is proud to be among Ontario’s leading hospitals working to reduce that wait. Please join me in our advocacy efforts by registering as a donor today. Who knows? You could end up saving someone’s life someday – or a registered donor could save yours.