2023 in review

Cadaver lab

This year our donors made it possible for our healthcare heroes to triumph over challenges, inspire the global healthcare community, and chart thrilling new directions in patient care, education and medical research. 

The future is limitless, and the stories we have collected reflect an unmatched determination and optimism for what we can do – united in our efforts to change the world.


Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Zywiel explains how a new device holds promise for better outcomes. (Photo: Tim Fraser)
Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Zywiel explains how a new device holds promise for better outcomes. (Photo: Tim Fraser)

1. A first-in-Canada knee surgery at UHN performed with a new robotic device has exciting implications for patients at the Sprott Department of Surgery and the Schroeder Arthritis Institute. Learn more.

Study lead author Dr. Marcelo Cypel, (L), and first author Dr. Aadil Ali demonstrated warmer storage temperature allows donor lungs to last longer prior to transplant. (Photos: UHN)

2. Marking a paradigm shift for lung transplant, researchers at UHN’s Ajmera Transplant Centre discovered that storing donor lungs at 10 degrees Celsius dramatically increases how long the organ can live outside the body. Learn more.

Brendan Cahill and his wife Joanne Kearney

3. Brendan Cahill donated a kidney through Canada’s Kidney Paired Donation Program so that his wife Joanne Kearney could receive a transplant at UHN’s Ajmera Transplant Centre – this year, the 1000th kidney transplant was performed through the program. Learn more.

Dr. Farshad Nassiri is a neurosurgery resident and a PhD candidate in the lab of Dr. Gelareh Zadeh. (Photo: UHN)

4. UHN neurosurgeons have discovered a first-of-its-kind therapy that can eradicate brain tumours, and a genetic signature that could predict who is most likely to respond to treatment. Learn more.  

Zaid Syeed, pictured with his mother, Zeenath Fathima, was amazed after the six-week biofeedback training to learn that his vision was 20/20 and he was reading much faster. (Photo: UHN)

5. Diagnosed with a disease robbing him of his eyesight, patient Zaid Syeed’s now has 20/20 vision thanks to a revolutionary procedure at UHN’s Donald K. Johnson Eye Institute. Learn more.

Farid Foroutan
Global variability in readmission rates for heart failure patients cannot be explained by health care spending, risk of mortality, or comorbidities, says study lead, Dr. Farid Foroutan, associate scientist at the Ted Rogers Computational Program​​ at UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre. (Photo: UHN)

6. A world-first study at the Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research at UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, UHN, has taken the first step towards reducing the global burden of heart failure – and carries significant implications for bettering cardiac care worldwide. Learn more.

Dr. Eric Horlick and team
Thanks to the pioneering efforts of Dr. Eric Horlick, (C), and his team at UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, adult congenital heart disease patients are living longer than ever before. (Photo: UHN)

7. After a groundbreaking procedure at Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, UHN is the first hospital in Canada offering an innovative new method to replace a diseased heart valve. Learn more.

8. For the fifth straight year, UHN’s Toronto General Hospital has been named one of the best hospitals in the world by Newsweek magazine. Learn more.

UHN Nurses

9. Empowering nurses to thrive and grow, an inspirational five-year strategy is setting the stage for the future of nursing at UHN. Learn more.

Julia MacIsaac, a medical laboratory technologist (MLT) at the UHN/Sinai Health Microbiology Lab, jumped at the opportunity to expand her skills in UHN’s Chemistry Lab as part of LMP’s new cross-training initiative for MLTs. (Photo: UHN)

10. A new cross-training initiative for laboratory technologists at UHN is building a brighter future for lab medicine across Ontario.  Learn more.

Support Services at UHN
Anthony Mandarino, (L), and Bradley Hawkins, work on FM-PRO’s Linen and Laundry Services team. (Photo: UHN)

11. Celebrating Support Services week, this fall UHN shone a spotlight on the teams behind-the-scenes – from housekeeping staff to building operators – who keep UHN running. Learn more. 

Victoria Manitowabi, (L), and Chantell Morais are the two new Indigenous patient navigators in the UHN Emergency Department. The goal of the initiative is to make the ED a safer space for the Indigenous community to access care. (Photo: UHN)

12. Two Indigenous patient navigators in the UHN Emergency Department are creating a safer space for the Indigenous community to access care. Learn more.

Participants and organizers at the Rally for Rehab
(L to R) Event co-founder, Lara Kaufman; KITE Research Institute Director, Dr. Milos Popovic; former Toronto Rehab patient, Kevin Rempel; Chloe Angus; UHN Foundation Board Member, Barbara Muir; UHN Foundation CEO, Julie Quenneville.

13. Thank you to all of those who supported our popular fundraising summer events, which together raised $1.5 million for life-saving efforts across UHN! Learn more.

UHN Foundation CEO, Julie Quenneville

14. Meet our new CEO Julie Quenneville, who speaks about what attracted her to UHN, the important role philanthropy plays in health care, her life outside of work and moving to Toronto from Montreal. Learn more.

Dancers from Bollywood Dance School Canada performing in front of guests
Dancers from Bollywood Dance School Canada performing in front of guests. (Photo: George Pimentel)

15. In October, UHN Foundation hosted the 11th annual Diwali – a Night to Shine, in support of world-leading rehabilitation care and research at Toronto Rehab. Learn more.

Grand Cru lights and bar
(Photo: George Pimentel Photography)

16. UHN Foundation’s 19th annual Grand Cru Culinary Wine Festival this fall raised more than $5 million towards world-leading medical research across UHN. Learn more.

Dr. Bo Wang
“With this new position, we will spearhead the integration of AI technologies into clinical practice, ultimately leading to more personalized and effective health care for Canadians,” says Dr. Bo Wang, UHN’s first Chief Artificial Intelligence Scientist. (Photo: UHN)

17. Canada’s first Chief Artificial Intelligence (AI) Scientist has been appointed at UHN. In this role, Dr. Bo Wang will spearhead the integration of AI technologies into clinical practice, leading to more personalized and effective health care. Learn more.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh

18. In November, UHN and UHN Foundation hosted our Patron, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh (HRH), for three days. The Duchess spent time interacting with frontline healthcare workers, researchers, clinicians and support staff, thanking them for their extraordinary work. Learn more.

Pictured are just a few of the members of the research team, including, (L to R), Dr. Sara Vasconcelos; Dr. Stephanie Protze; Ryan Yee, graduate student in Dr. Vasconcelos’ lab; Dr. Gordon Keller; and lead investigator Dr. Michael Laflamme. (Image: UHN StRIDe Team)

19. Dr. Michael Laflamme at UHN’s McEwen Stem Cell Institute will lead a team of researchers across four countries to develop cutting-edge therapies for heart disease. Learn more.

Artist rendering of the northwest view of the drop off area at the new patient tower at Toronto Western Hospital. (Image: Courtesy DIALOG Design)
Artist rendering of the northwest view of the drop off area at the new patient tower at Toronto Western Hospital. (Image: Courtesy DIALOG Design)

20. Planning is officially underway for a new state-of-the-art 15-storey patient tower that will redefine the Toronto Western Hospital campus – a project made possible by donor generosity and one of the largest planning grants in Ontario’s history. Learn more.

Dr. Tony Finelli, pictured here at the controls of a robot during surgery, has been a passionate advocate for the advancement of robotic technology at UHN, paving the way for a new era of innovation and optimizing care for our patients. (Photo: UHN)
Dr. Tony Finelli, pictured here at the controls of a robot during surgery, has been a passionate advocate for the advancement of robotic technology at UHN, paving the way for a new era of innovation and optimizing care for our patients. (Photo: UHN)

21. The next generation of surgical robots have arrived at UHN’s Sprott Department of Surgery, heralding an age of innovation with the most modern and up-to-date platforms in the world. Learn more. 

As part of their orthopedic ankle surgery course, Smith + Nephew (S&N) required X-ray imaging be taken throughout the procedure to check on the placement of the implant. (L to R), Mark Hynes, S&N, Giselle Magtoto, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Larry Stawinski, S&N, Dwaine Jones, S&N, Dr. Harold Braden, St Joseph’​s Health Centre, Dr. Joyce Fu, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Michener Institute radiological technology student Adam Magliozzi. (Photo: UHN)
As part of their orthopedic ankle surgery course, Smith + Nephew (S&N) required X-ray imaging be taken throughout the procedure to check on the placement of the implant. (L to R), Mark Hynes, S&N, Giselle Magtoto, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Larry Stawinski, S&N, Dwaine Jones, S&N, Dr. Harold Braden, St Joseph’​s Health Centre, Dr. Joyce Fu, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and Michener Institute radiological technology student Adam Magliozzi. (Photo: UHN)

22. Students at The Michener Institute of Education at UHN had the unique opportunity to take X-ray images during a cadaver lab in the Temerty Advanced Surgical Education & Simulation Centre. Learn more.

Dr. Andrea Furlan
Dr. Andrea Furlan, a leader in chronic pain treatment and a physician at Toronto Rehab, at the computer where she hosts virtual sessions of ECHO Ontario Chronic Pain and Opioid Stewardship program. (Photo: UHN)

23. A chronic pain program at Toronto Rehab has been awarded for its sustainable solutions to effective pain management – by linking groups of healthcare providers across Canada. Learn more.


Your incredible support made 2023 a year of amazing discoveries and accomplishments, and we have never been more passionate about the possibilities that lie ahead.

Thank you!

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