SHN’s Stroke Centre of Excellence celebrated its first anniversary on April 8, 2021, and looks back fondly on the obstacles and triumphs throughout their first year. The centre allows our incredible health care teams to offer access to seamless stroke care services, improved outcomes, and provide a better health care experience to all of Scarborough.

“This Stroke Centre of Excellence is committed to following evidence-based practice guidelines and leads to the best possible outcomes for our patients,” says Jemini Abraham, manager of the stroke program. “The timely access to care, intervention and management means our patients are quickly put on a road to recovery, and will hopefully regain as close to their previous functional status, so they can reintegrate into their normal lives.”

SHN’s Stroke Centre of Excellence has excelled through its transition and is performing very close to provincial benchmarks and targets in its quality indicators. The next step for this dedicated team is to apply for the Stroke Distinction Program by Accreditation Canada, a highly specialized quality improvement program developed in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. With this designation, they will stand out as a leader in stroke care across the country.

“Stroke is a devastating diagnosis, with a sudden change from being fully independent to totally dependent on others,” Jemini continues. “Because of the makeup of our diverse and vibrant Scarborough community, we have high rates of hypertension and diabetes – and hypertension is the number one risk factor for stroke.”

Due to the high prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and chronic disease in our community, many patients leave these illnesses untreated; this can be due to lack of awareness, lack of education and resources, or barriers to care because of socio-economic status. And when ignored, the risk of experiencing a stroke is increased.

“I was a stroke nurse practitioner a number of years at downtown hospitals,” Jemini tells us. “When I came to SHN, my goal was to give back to my community through the knowledge and expertise I had gained from one of the top stroke centres in the city. Now, we can provide the best possible care to our Scarborough community and give them the most optimal outcomes and recovery.”

Despite the pandemic, the team has continued to provide high quality care to every patient that has come through the unit. As they prepare for their Stroke Distinction Program with Accreditation Canada, it’s clear that SHN is poised to be a leader in stroke care not only in the GTA but across the country.

To learn more about the incredible work of the program leadership and the entire integrated stroke care team, read the inspirational story of Frank Wu, the Stroke Centre of Excellence’s very first patient.

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