High School Outreach Initiative (HSOI)

Dear Colleagues:

Happy New Year!  Hope everyone had some quality time with loved ones during the holiday break.  As we embark on a new year, I thought it would be opportune to provide a brief update about an important outreach initiative on behalf of the Toronto Transplant Institute, the High School Outreach Initiative (HSOI).

Many of you may already know that the High School Outreach Initiative (HSOI) started 5 years ago as a unique partnership with Trillium-Gift-of-Life Network (TGLN) and  Health Care Professionals (HCP’s) from the Toronto Transplant Institute (Sick Kids, UHN, St. Mike’s) towards an overall objective of  providing education and awareness of transplantation and organ donation to youth in Toronto high schools. The overarching goal is to increase donor registration in the Greater Toronto Area.  Since the initiative began, 265 presentations have been provided to more than 17,000 GTA high school students.

I am writing now to ensure that you all knew that the HSOI is still going strong – and to let you know how you can support this initiative!

First off –  this year we welcome a new coordinator from the Toronto Transplant Institute – Anna Cocco – who will be working with us to quarterback all invitations and speaking opportunities at High Schools in the GTA.  We know that with Anna’s energy and proximity to us all within the Transplant programs, the opportunities to capitalize on all your expertise will be enhanced.

1) How you can support this initiative – Volunteer to be a HSOI Speaker in 2016!

HCP’s participate as Guest Speakers in classroom presentations and assemblies at secondary schools in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) or Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB). In previous years TGLN attended the presentations, starting this year they will not be attending presentations, the HCP presenters will now provide information on donation in a newly designed presentation. An organ recipient or donor family will also attend to take part in the presentation, sharing their story, which is an integral aspect of the presentation.

Anyone interested in participating as an HCP presenter will receive training on the 25 minute presentation. Your commitment may be 1-2 presentations over a year, which may require ½ day of your time.

If you are interested in participating, please advise Anna Cocco for tracking – anna.cocco@uhn.ca

2) Promote the Initiative to Teachers you know:

We continue to target all Toronto public and Catholic high schools and in doing so we hope to utilize as many Health Care Professional (HCP) volunteers as possible.   Everyone’s help is appreciated in trying to bring the program to new schools in the GTA.  Please find attached a healthcare professional letter that we encourage you to share with any teacher and school contacts you have.

Please contact me if you have any questions related to this important initiative.

Thank you,

Vicky Ng

Chair, HSOI Steering Committee


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