Over the last month, I have been lucky to attend two great lighting events organized by the Canadian Urban Institute LightSavers program. The first was the Canada 2015 National LED Lighting Summit in November and the second was a workshop regarding LED Lighting for Parking Facilities in early December. The Summit included various facility owners, LED lighting suppliers, speakers extolling the virtues of LED lighting technology, and discussions of current and future applications. The workshop for parking facilities was a more detailed discussion about the applications in parking facilities, barriers to implementation, and case studies. In fact, UHN’s own Elizabeth Street Parkade retrofit was Continue reading
Last Thursday, 150+ healthcare professionals and students gathered at Mt Sinai Hospital for the Screening of Resistance, an award-winning documentary on antibiotic resistance as part of the International Antibiotic Awareness Week. ICYMI, here are some highlights of the movie and a panel discussion starring some major players in the field:
- Dr Andrew Morris, General Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases Physician and Medical Director of the MSH/UHN Antimicrobial Stewardship Program,
- Elizabeth Leung, Antimicrobial Stewardship Pharmacist at St. Michael’s Hospital and
- Harry Stoddart, Ontario livestock farmer and author of Real Dirt, An Ex-Industrial Farmer’s Guide to Sustainable Eating.
Let me start with some local food hot news:
Did you know? Up until now, Ontario chicken farmers had only two options: either buy an average $1.75 million quota (i.e. some sort of license) for the right to produce a minimum of 90,000 birds a year… or buy no quota and produce a maximum of 300 birds a year that they could only sell at their farm gate. No wonder Ontario alternatives to conventionally raised chicken are not available to our hospitals. It’s hardly available to anyone!
Here is the good news: Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) just announced a portfolio of new “flocking options” (600 to 3,000 birds) that will support expanded business opportunities for Ontario small and medium chicken farmers. Next stumbling block…. getting small abattoirs to process the chicken, since Ontario ones have all been closed down.
Yes – as you now know – it takes a lot to serve Ontario food to our patients, unless…
Seems like these days, every enviro-minded, hippie-dippie, socially-conscious-consumer has an opinion about organic farming, farm animal welfare and GMOs. But how much do we really know about this big field that is agricultural science?
Turns out, even the most knowledgeable food scientists might not know it all. I was amazed to find out that many researchers forget to consider Darwin’s theory of evolution in their practice. Wait a minute … genetics is the basis of crop science. How can this be ignored?
That’s the question we investigated for the past year with the input of nearly 700 members of the UHN community. You shared your expertise in interviews, sent your ideas online, shared your soothing foods on post-it notes, dug into complexity at conversations cafés, responded to surveys, and even gave your feedback on a fantastic Ontario soup made by Chef Geremy Capone at the ELLICSR kitchen. We couldn’t hope for better participation. Thank you!
What we found is that our food system at UHN is complex and well, … serving more local food to our patients is not as simple as tree to tray. So we created a 3-minute animation video to explain how things work:
As all of our devoted followers know, UHN’s Energy and Environment team is constantly looking for opportunities to upgrade old inefficient lighting to highly efficient LEDs. Over at the Toronto Rehab Bickle Centre, facilities has had ongoing problems with light levels in the parking areas, largely due to existing HID metal halide lamps burning out. The existing lighting consisted of a mix of 400W and 250W metal halide lamps, which have an average operating life of 8,000-15,000 hours (i.e. 1-2 years). With several lamps burning out, we had an opportunity to go with a better LED option.
How do you change a system? Collective Impact teaches us about the power of community conversation to tackle complex social issues. Indeed, “how much we can accomplish in this world depends on how much we can see”, said John Kania, Collective Impact expert.
What would happen if we helped staff at UHN to get out of their comfortable bubble of expertise and take a closer look at our whole hospital food system? With that goal in mind, I teamed up with a group of UHN staff who are also students at the OISE Food Sovereignty program. We embarked last week on the horizon-broadening project of Conversation Cafés.