Welcome to SHN 365: The Anniversary Report, and congratulations on an astounding first year for Scarborough Health Network (SHN). Together – with our staff, professional staff, volunteers, patient family advisors, donors, and community health partners – we have achieved more in the last 365 days than we ever could have imagined. Without a doubt, it is a career highlight to reach this milestone alongside all of you!
When we launched SHN’s Mission, Vision, Values, and Strategic Plan, I knew we had the very best team of professionals in place to help us reach our goals. With that said, I am wildly impressed by their tenacity, resilience, and camaraderie; qualities that mirror those of our incredible Scarborough community.
Every day, I see our team living our mission and values, as we move closer to our vision of being Canada’s leading community teaching health network – transforming your health experience. Our entire senior leadership team is incredibly proud.
We’re also deeply inspired by people of Scarborough: from residents, to donors, to health advocates and partners, your passion for helping to build the very best health network imaginable knows no bounds. Thank you for lending us your talents, time, and support.
Finally, to our patients and your families: you are our motivation. You drive us to be better day in and day out. From making health care at SHN more equitable, to designing centres of excellence that provide the highest and safest quality of care, to investing in your specific health needs, you’re at the centre of everything we do.
As our first year comes to an end and you reflect on the year’s events summarized here, let us celebrate and remember this is only the beginning for SHN. There is so much more in store as we continue to shape the future of care in Scarborough. Happy anniversary!
Elizabeth Buller, President and CEO
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SHN 365 Highlights
Scarborough’s three hospitals – Birchmount, Centenary, and General – and eight satellite sites officially become Scarborough Health Network (SHN), and we unveil a Scarborough-inspired logo and new brand.
SHN introduces the Pride Community of Inclusion, a voluntary, staff-led group that promotes a sense of belonging among staff who identify as LGBTQ+. More Communities of Inclusion are in development.
SHN launches a new community e-newsletter, Network News. Here, you can find stories about our people, patients, hospitals, and how SHN is working to shape the future of care.
SHN Foundation launches It’s Our Time Family Campaign, a fundraising effort driven by the members of our SHN family – the thousands of physicians and staff who work day-in, day-out to improve our patients’ lives through exceptional care.
We share details about SHN2030, our long-term plan to ensure our services and facilities meet Scarborough’s evolving health care needs, with community members and health partners at a special Community Forum.
SHN’s Patient and Family Advisory council introduce a new Patient Declaration of Values to our staff and community. The new declaration puts SHN’s values of inclusion, compassion, innovation and courageousness, into a patient and family perspective.
The Quality and Safety teams send their inaugural S.A.F.E.T.Y. Matters monthly newsletter to help keep staff, professional staff, and volunteers up to date on patient and workplace safety issues and news.
Our Cardio-Oncology clinic kicks off an expanded partnership with the Ontario Telemedicine Network, called VirtualVisits. This partnership gives patients and families access to outpatient appointments from wherever is most convenient. The service is spreading across SHN.
MyNetwork, SHN’s new staff intranet, and MyNetwork News, an accompanying weekly internal newsletter hit our inboxes after much anticipation from the whole SHN team.
In May 2019, SHN partnered with more than 40 Scarborough health service providers to create an Ontario Health Team (OHT) for Scarborough. In July it was announced that the Scarborough OHT is “In Development”.
SHN Foundation kicks off MySHN, a new fundraising campaign that gives you the opportunity to donate directly to the hospital program they are passionate about. MySHN helps you help our outstanding teams with the tools needed to deliver exceptional care.
Our medical leaders and clinical teams start a planning process to improve health care service delivery in Scarborough. Called Transforming Care, this process will help us reinvent the role of our community hospitals and create a truly unified health network that will be a model throughout Canada.
The Medical Administration team launches a new quarterly newsletter for professional staff called Charting the Course, chronicling stories about our physicians, professional staff, patients, and hospitals.
We introduce Road to Equity, a unique health equity certificate program. Road to Equity teaches health care providers to promote health and develop strategies to reduce health disparities.
A new leadership capability framework – LEADS in a Caring Environment – was launched to present a common understanding of what good leadership looks like.
We announce plans for a new Stroke Centre of Excellence at Birchmount hospital, providing the Scarborough community an improved hospital experience with seamless stroke care, closer to home.
SHN launched our new S.A.F.E.T.Y. pillars, which will help ensure safety and continuous improvement to strengthen health care for our community. These pillars reinforce our commitment to building a culture of safety and becoming High Reliability Organization organization.
We began appointing new corporate medical chiefs. These physicians will lead the medical teams in our clinical programs across SHN, and ensure that you receive the highest quality care – no matter which SHN hospital or clinic you are at.
Spread the Joy, an exciting new initiative that’s all about the great people who work here rolled out across all SHN hospitals and satellite sites.
Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long Term Care, joins the SHN community, and MPPs from across Scarborough, at Birchmount hospital to announce a $500,000 investment supporting the first phase of planning to expand and redevelop Birchmount’s emergency department.
We took strong strides toward developing centres of excellence in Women’s and Children’s care by relocating these services at Centenary and General hospitals. These moves will help us provide more specialized care for families, right here in Scarborough.
SHN Foundation unveils its new magazine called Our Time – a twice yearly publication showcasing our generous donors, exceptional professional staff, and innovative health care teams.
Our President & CEO, Elizabeth Buller, is named one of Canada’s most powerful women by the Women’s Executive Network for her leadership at SHN and extraordinary career in Canadian health care.
We celebrate the first anniversary of being Scarborough Health Network – a full 365 days of providing compassionate, innovative, inclusive, and courageous health care for our community.
It was a calculation that would baffle mathematicians, and it may have been the only time when 1+1+1 equaled infinite outcomes. But when SHN’s three hospitals merged to become one health network, the positive impacts on health care in Scarborough were infinite.
Merging took courage and trust from our hospital teams and our community. Trust that becoming a bigger organization would lead to better care for our community, and courage to take action to make the transition a positive experience.
Almost three years since our three community hospitals and eight community satellite sites formally became one, connected health network, and after our first year of being Scarborough Health Network (SHN), we’ve learned a lot. But the biggest lesson is that we are stronger together.
Over these three years, we have made some changes. We looked at the parts of our network that are working well, and what we could improve. But we’ve kept the best of our community hospital roots – the personal focus on our patients and their families and providing life-changing care close to home – and incorporated them as we designed new features our larger organization can now support.
Features like having more specialized medical professionals on our team, which provides more people with access to specialist care in Scarborough. Upgrading our equipment so you and your care team get your test results sooner. And expanding our services and care programs so we can help you and your family prevent, treat, and recover from injury or illness. When we combine the best of being small with the best of being big, our care for you and your family gets better.
Every success starts with access. No one should have to leave Scarborough to get the care they need. You and your family deserve high-quality care right here at home, from regular check-ups and preventive care to specialized care like kidney dialysis, cardiac care, or birthing and kids’ care centres.
That is why we are developing centres of excellence at each of our hospitals: for example, in stroke care at Birchmount hospital, and in women’s and children’s care at Centenary and General hospitals. But being stronger together doesn’t just mean investing in specific programs at specific hospitals in our network. It also means raising our standards throughout our network so that you and your family receive consistently exceptional care.
What does this look like? It looks like our nurses using the same system to assess patients in all three of our Emergency Departments, so that your child with a broken wrist is seen with the same urgency by all our Emergency teams. It looks like our team members regularly meeting to share clinical skills and learning with each other, so your relative who has injuries from a car accident benefits from the experience and expertise of the network’s entire critical care team.
And it means that no matter which hospital or clinic you are in, you will receive world-class care that a large network can provide, with the personal, compassionate focus of your community hospital.
Bringing Scarborough the best health care is at the top of our to-do list. And that starts with gathering the sharpest medical minds and innovative thinkers to help us transform your community’s health services and provide you with world-leading, quality care.
Throughout SHN, our doctors, donors, and health care teams are collaborating to bring our patients and their families first-class care that respects the will of every patient and treats the whole person. For example, SHN has identified improving population health and health equity as a strategic priority. That’s why Dr. Mruna Shah is leading SHN Department of Family Medicine’s new Global Health, Diversity, and Health Equity Program.
Strong evidence suggests that one of the most effective ways to reduce health inequities is by addressing the 16 social determinants of health: the social factors (like income, education, and housing) – and the unequal distribution of these factors – that contribute to the overall health of Canadians.
“To truly help our patients achieve good health, we need to do more than just address their illness; we need to look upstream and address the conditions that actually made them sick in the first place,” remarked Dr. Shah. “By understanding and addressing our community’s’ needs, we can create a more accessible and equitable health care system.”
To empower health care providers to promote health and develop strategies to reduce health disparities in Scarborough (one of Canada’s most diverse communities), Dr. Shah, Kristy Macdonell, Manager of Patient and Community Engagement and Michele James, the Executive Sponsor, founded the ROAD to Equity, SHN’s new Health Equity Certificate Program (ROAD stands for (Reflection, Observation, Advocacy and Designing Change). 90 participants from SHN, other health care partners and 34 Family Medicine residents from the University of Toronto study how the social determinants of health affect patients and impact health outcomes, and learn how to advocate for system-level change. This innovative two-year program is likely the only one of its kind in the province. Because our community is global, and our care is transforming to reflect that.
Meanwhile, SHN is making a difference all over the world thanks in part to Dr. Ying Lu, Chief of Ophthalmology. Dr. Lu’s excellence and expertise attract patients from as far away as China, and as close as Scarborough’s Carefirst Seniors and Community Services Association – just down the road from SHN’s regional Centre of Excellence in eye care at Birchmount hospital.
“I believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to make this world a better place,” explained Dr. Lu, whose commitment to accessible, high quality, eye care includes international trips to teach ophthalmologists and operate on patients in remote areas to restore their sight.
Back home in Scarborough, Dr. Lu helped secure a $500,000 private donation for two top-of-the-line ophthalmic surgical microscopes for SHN’s Eye Centre. This equipment is helping our eye surgeons perform more complex and life-changing operations to help people in our community – and beyond – see clearly.
As SHN continues to make its clinical services the very best they can be, we are consulting with our health network teams, patients and families, health industry experts, and local community partners. In these conversations, we’re hearing a lot about the prevalence of chronic disease – or illness a person may have for many years – in this community. Diabetes is a prime example. Fortunately for Type 2 diabetes patients in Scarborough and around the world, Dr. Jason Fung’s exceptional and pioneering care improves lives.
Dr. Fung, a nephrologist with SHN since 2001, noticed that medicine-based treatment was not always the right choice for his patients. Their diabetes symptoms were usually caused by weight gain or obesity.
“If we don’t fix the underlying cause,” Dr. Fung thought, “how can we treat the other problems?” A therapeutic fasting for weight loss approach makes perfect clinical sense, he pointed out. “Our bodies carry fat as a store of energy and fasting allows our bodies to use the fat for that specific purpose. If you reduce the amount you are eating, you will lose weight. If you lose weight, your Type 2 diabetes will improve.”
And, as SHN hosts the largest community health chronic kidney disease program in Ontario, Dr. Fung’s internationally recognized program is helping people in our community and around the world.
From leading the way in designing health care that considers patients’ unique needs, to internationally recognized eye and diabetes care, at SHN care isn’t just our job – it’s our privilege.
Scarborough is a vibrant and unique community, where the possibilities and potential are endless. Our health network team is proud to care for people in our community like you and your family – because we are part of this community, too.
Like the patients, families, and visitors that come through our doors every day, we live, work, and thrive in Scarborough. We understand where you are coming from. And we are here to support you though challenges, celebrate your successes, and care for you when you need it most.
We believe strongly that, in Scarborough, the incredible is possible. From health care to arts, sports, culture, food, business, and design, we celebrate excellence here whenever we can.
When we became Scarborough Health Network (SHN), we brought this spirit of celebration to our health network’s new brand – the look, feel, and emotion that informs how we act, what we focus on, and how we treat each other at SHN. Our logo clearly shows our community’s map because we are proud of where we are. And we focus on people, not projects or processes, because our community is at the heart of everything we do.
If you are proud of Scarborough, join our celebration – there’s always an amazing and inspiring story to share.
Behind our SHN name, look and feel
Credit for our name really belongs to the people of Scarborough. When we were out talking to our community, staff, and physicians, we heard loudly and clearly – and almost unanimously – that Scarborough must be a part of our new name and look.
The words health network mirrored who we are and the work we’re doing to better connect our three hospitals and eight satellite sites, alongside our health and community partners.
Some have wondered about and many have recognized the shape you see in our SHN logo as the shape of Scarborough on a map. The connection to the Scarborough community goes even further with our vibrant, happy colours that exude positivity. Navy and teal are strong and bold, and also allude to colours from SHN’s legacy organizations that many people connect with hospitals and care in Scarborough.
We’re committed to shaping the future of care at SHN, because we truly believe our network has an opportunity like no other. Scarborough is a community of communities – diverse and inclusive — and by understanding how to meet your unique health needs, we can be a model for health providers across Canada. We will lead the way in making world-class treatment and services more accessible, and explore new opportunities to deliver exceptional care.