Photo: Stroke Centre team welcomes their first patient to the unit.

On April 8, Scarborough Health Network (SHN) proudly opened the doors to the new Stroke Centre of Excellence at our Birchmount hospital, fulfilling a promise we made to our community almost seven months ago.

While SHN has been focused on responding to COVID-19, it has been important for us to continue certain key corporate priorities already underway, such as the launch of our Stroke Centre of Excellence.

Here in Canada, stroke is the third leading cause of death, and we see over 500 acute stroke patients every year at SHN. It has been imperative for us to take the momentum and the opportunity in front of us ” which we may not have again until much later ” and meet this longstanding community need by delivering the best possible stroke care for our patients now.

With the launch of SHN’s new Stroke Centre of Excellence at Birchmount, for the first time, Scarborough has access to seamless stroke care services, improved outcomes, and a better health care experience.

Our Centre features:

  • A 22-bed Integrated Stroke Unit for providing acute stroke care and inpatient rehabilitation within the same space, and which includes a gym, dining room, enhanced lounge, and quiet room;
  • An outpatient Stroke Prevention Clinic for follow-up care and supporting the management of risk factors; and
  • A dedicated stroke care team that will deliver care through a coordinated, interprofessional approach.

We would like recognize and thank the many staff, physicians and patient family advisors who were consulted, sat on committees and tasks forces, and contributed their time, ideas, and expertise. It is because of their tireless efforts that after more than half a year of planning, reconstruction on the unit, transitioning and training of staff, resourcing physician coverage, and building care models and partnerships, our Stroke Centre of Excellence is open and serving patients.

This is an extraordinary achievement for our health network and for our patients and families, and reflects the bold steps SHN will continue to take to shape the future of care for Scarborough.

Learn more about the Stroke Centre of Excellence and accessing stroke services.