Stroke Centre of Excellence

Stroke Centre of Excellence

We're creating a seamless stroke care experience for patients in Scarborough.

Scarborough Health Network (SHN) is transforming care for our community by looking at how best to deliver our services to provide the highest quality, specialized care — and we are excited to be moving forward with the creation of a new Stroke Centre of Excellence at our Birchmount hospital. For the first time, patients and families will have access to seamless stroke care service here in our Scarborough community.

Opening April 8, 2020

Work on SHN’s Stroke Centre of Excellence has been moving forward and is almost complete. Construction and renovations continue as we finalize the space, and we are excited to announce the new Stroke Centre will open on April 8, 2020. We are pleased to share details around what the new Centre will look like and how services will be delivered.

The Stroke Centre of Excellence will be located on the 4th floor at SHN's Birchmount hospital


The Stroke Centre will be built around a new Integrated Stroke Unit. This is best practice for treating stroke patients who have been hospitalized. Patients get specialized medical care and can be transitioned into rehabilitation all within the same space, without having to move from unit to unit. This means faster service, less time spent in the hospital, and better recovery and quality of life when patients return home.


22 beds for specialized, acute stroke care and rehabilitation services

A gym for occupational and physical therapy

An enhanced lounge to help patients to become more mobile and get back to daily activities, such as dining and recreation


The Stroke Centre at Birchmount will also include an outpatient Stroke Prevention Clinic that will help to support patients in managing their risk factors for stroke.


For patients who have had a “mini” or “warning” stroke known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA), or have symptoms of TIA

Open five days a week

Provides consultations, and partners with SHN’s emergency departments and family physicians in the community


Stroke care at the Centre will be delivered through a coordinated, interprofessional approach. The stroke care team will include:

Nurses, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Rehab Assistants, Speech Language Therapists, Nurse Practitioners, Social Workers, Pharmacists, Dietitians, and Spiritual Care

Physicians specialists in Internal Medicine, Neurology, and Physiatry

Accessing Stroke Care

If you think that you or someone you’re with is having a stroke, call 911 immediately for emergency services. The ambulance will get you to the hospital for care the fastest. Signs of stroke include drooping in your face, difficulty raising your arms, slurring of your speech.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will get you where you need to go:

  • Effective April 8, acute stroke patients will be taken to the Stroke Centre at Birchmount hospital (until then, patients are taken to the closest emergency department)
  • Hyperacute stroke patients will be taken to a regional stroke centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre or Unity Health – St. Michael’s Hospital

Stroke patients in the Emergency Departments at SHN’s Centenary and General hospitals will get rapid treatment and assessment.

  • Acute stroke patients who are a fit for the Integrated Stroke Unit, will be transferred and admitted to the Stroke Centre at Birchmount (effective April 8)
  • Minor stroke patients (who have experienced a transient ischemic attack or TIA) will be scheduled for a follow-up appointment with the Stroke Prevention Clinic


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