Strategic Plan 2019-24

Welcome to Unity Health Toronto’s first strategic plan

This plan is the culmination of months of research and engagement. We reviewed emerging local, provincial, national and global trends in health care. We took a deep dive into our own work to examine our service areas and patient mix across our three sites. We looked carefully at the communities we serve and how they are growing and changing.

We invited our partners, our patients, families and our communities to join us in our planning journey. Through interviews, focus groups, surveys and pop-up booths, we asked people to tell us what they want from Unity Health Toronto, where they feel we should and must contribute, and we asked people to tell us about their aspirations for Unity Health. We asked people to dream big. This plan is the result. This document outlines our vision for the future of Unity Health Toronto and the commitments we are making – together.

Read the full Strategic Plan document

Our Vision

This vision reflects the aspirations of the hearts and minds of the people of Unity Health Toronto and the people in our care. This is a shared vision of the best possible experiences for those we serve. It is our commitment to care for the whole person – body, mind and spirit. And, it emphasizes that the best care experiences will need to be created together.


What’s unique at Unity Health Toronto is our vision — The best care experiences. Created together. — which crosses all of our clinical and residential settings.

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The best care experiences.
Created together.


Our Mission

Unity Health Toronto is a Catholic health care organization providing compassionate physical, emotional and spiritual care to all in need. We advance excellence in health care through world-class education, research and innovation.

Our Values


Integrated care for our urban communities

Unity Health is proud to deliver a comprehensive spectrum of health care across the full breadth of Toronto. With St. Joseph’s in the west, St. Michael’s in the downtown core and Providence in the east, Unity Health’s sites have been an integral part of our city’s communities for generations.


Good health and an education are two building blocks every child needs to succeed. Unity Health Toronto has partnered with the Toronto District School Board to provide a Paediatric School Outreach clinic inside Parkdale Public School.

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Excelling in care
for those experiencing disadvantage

Health starts where people live, work and play. Social and economic factors can have lasting impacts and create stigma for those who need care. For more than 160 years, we have been here for people when they need us most, no matter their circumstances. Over the next five years, we will work with our teams and our partners to make sure everyone can access the care they need with respect and compassion. 


The Navigator Program supports patients experiencing homelessness in General Internal Medicine at St. Michael’s by helping them follow their care plans and partnering with community service providers.

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Leading in world-class specialty care

Being diagnosed with a disease or chronic condition can be frightening; it can suddenly change a person’s life. At these times, people trust Unity Health to provide the best medical treatments and care available for themselves and for the people they love. As an academic health sciences leader with world-class specialty care programs and teams, Unity Health is at the forefront of treatment for some of the world’s most complex diseases and conditions.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is often called Canada’s disease because of its high prevalence across the country. More than one in every 300 Canadians is affected by MS, which is the highest rate in the world.

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Joy in work for our people

People choose to work in health care to make a positive difference in their communities and in the lives of others. Joy in work is about helping make a connection to the meaning and purpose in our work. It is about creating a culture that recognizes each person’s contributions. It exists when we are all ambassadors for what we do. Joy becomes contagious. People who experience joy at work are more resilient and better equipped to support those we serve.


Our staff share how they find meaning and purpose in their work.

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Impactful research and innovation

Great innovations start with curiosity and a question. Research is essential to improving lives and communities. Unity Health Toronto’s research teams relentlessly pursue some of the world’s toughest health care challenges. Their findings regularly improve the lives of people in Toronto and around the globe. 


Basic science fuels fundamental knowledge about the world. Dr. Cynthia Luk is a scientist at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science and an endocrinologist at St. Michael’s Hospital. 

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Reimagining teaching and learning

As an academic health sciences organization, education is woven into every aspect of how we work and learn together. Unity Health knows that rigorous, ongoing professional development is an essential part of providing the best care to patients. We value collaborative learning and instill this by teaching our current and future health care teams together.


The Simulation Centre provides education and research opportunities to more than 6,000 participants each year, welcoming a wide range of students, health care professionals and administrators to improve the safety and effectiveness of our services.

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Achieving quality together

Delivering an exceptional care experience is the promise we make to our patients and those that care for them every day. We believe that everyone has the right to safe, high quality care. To get there, we need a relentless focus on all the dimensions of quality, which include care that is: effective, safe, timely, patient and family partnered, efficient, equitable, integrated and supportive of provider wellness.


As a Patient and Family Advisor, Leah Xing is an integral part of Unity Health Toronto’s care teams.

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Revolutionizing care
through digital transformation

Imagine the convenience of connecting with your doctor from your own home and sharing health information from your smart device as part of that conversation. Now imagine your doctor having real-time access to evidence on how to best care for you – that is the power of artificial intelligence (AI). 


Gwen Merrick, speech language pathologist in St. Michael’s Voice Clinic, is seeing Amber Risk, a speech language patient in North Bay, for a Voice Clinic appointment via telemedicine.

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Investing in our future

Being good stewards of public resources is a hallmark left to us by our founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto. Coming together as Unity Health allows us to be more efficient in our work and to create opportunities for collaboration across our sites. Over the next five years, we will continue to make thoughtful and prudent choices that maximize existing funding, support excellent patient care and drive our strategic plan. 


Adrian William, interim manager of supply chain at Providence Healthcare, says his team takes pride in finding opportunities to save.

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Measuring our progress

Together, we have set a bold vision for the future of Unity Health Toronto. As we shift from strategy formulation to strategy execution, we will set specific indicators and targets annually to drive and track our progress. There are a number of overarching strategic goals, for which we have assigned indicators to track our success in achieving our vision, The best care experiences. Created together. The indicators will be “SMART” — that is, they will be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. They will be meaningful and understandable by our people and our patients, and actionable in the next five years.

We will measure our progress on these indicators through a balanced scorecard. In fact, some measures may apply to multiple strategic components with overlapping indicators all pushing us towards achieving our vision. We also have work ahead to engage our people, align the actions of each of our departments and services and build a high performance culture.

This plan is the promise we are making to our whole community – our patients, families, health care partners and people. We are setting out to transform health care and the health care experience.

Throughout our planning process, we listened carefully to the input of our people and our stakeholders. Our communities, our health care environment and health care priorities are changing. We heard clearly the need for effective, safe, world-class health care that is easy to navigate and empowers patients and families. We also heard the need to embrace the power of digital technology and artificial intelligence and to value learning and discovery – all while making wise financial choices. This plan is our roadmap to better care and better care experiences.

Our shared vision will serve as our beacon, urging us forward. Everyone who serves at Unity Health Toronto shares one thing in common – our desire to make a positive difference: to help make people’s life better, more dignified and fulfilled. Our plan will help us achieve this.

Over the next five years, we will imagine new possibilities, new partnerships and new ways of delivering care. We began this journey by dreaming big. Now we will embark on a journey to bring this plan to life.

The result will be The best care experiences. Created together.