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Sunnybrook celebrates stroke month with opening of stroke unit

Sunnybrook's Stroke Team

Doug Nicholson - Not to be printed, broadcast or transmitted without the permission of MediaSource or its representatives.

June is Stroke Month, and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has been involved in two new stroke-related initiatives to be unveiled this month.

Fitting with this year's theme, Sunnybrook's Stroke Unit: Leading Innovation and Interprofessional Care, the hospital's new 16-bed stroke unit officially opens on June 5.  This will mark a significant change in how stroke care is delivered at Sunnybrook.

"Hospitals with stroke units provide specialized care that improves patient outcomes. Patients will now have access seven days a week to an interprofessional team that includes nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and social workers, with a focus on earlier integration of rehabilitation into care," says Beth Linkewich, Regional Director, North&EastGTA Stroke Network at Sunnybrook.

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Having this enhanced access to care can shorten the length of a hospital stay for persons with stroke, and improves their chances of making a meaningful recovery upon discharge.

Coinciding with Sunnybrook's stroke unit opening, and to support system-wide changes in stroke care in Toronto, the launch of the Toronto Stroke Network's Virtual Community of Practice (VCoP) is geared toward bringing together professionals working with stroke patients across the GTA to share knowledge and resources.

"The VCoP is an interactive forum that brings together healthcare professionals, researchers, students - anyone working in stroke," says Joanne Fortin, Regional Education Coordinator, North&EastGTA Stroke Network at Sunnybrook.

The launch of these initiatives set the stage for system-wide changes in access and delivery of stroke care in Ontario, and has established Sunnybrook as a leader in implementing these best practices. "People from other hospitals across Ontario are interested in how we've accomplished seven days a week rehab on the stroke unit," says Linkewich.

The public can learn about the stroke unit and meet members of the team at a special event on June 12 at 7pm in the McLaughlin Auditorium. Check the special events calendar at www.sunnybrook.ca for more details. An information table will also be set up from June 13 to 15 near the M1 main entrance of the hospital.

A Special Information Feature brought to you by Sunnybrook

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