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June is Stroke Awareness Month

Building Capacity in Psychosocial and Hopeful Care initiative is an education and knowledge translation program geared towards addressing the psychosocial care needs of persons with stroke, in response to a gap identified by healthcare providers, persons with stroke and families/ caregivers.  The program was in the early stages of implementation with 3 acute care and 3 rehabilitation stroke teams but was put on hold due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.   In the meantime, two University of Toronto Occupational Therapy Masters’ students conducted a study to understand healthcare providers’ perspectives on pandemic-related changes to patient experiences that impact the need for this program.  Several themes emerged from the eight focus groups conducted, as well as recommendations for implementation once restrictions from the pandemic ease on the healthcare system.  We look forward to working with organizations who began the implementation process pre-pandemic and welcome other organizations within the Toronto Stroke Networks who want to learn how they can implement the program within their setting to contact us.


June is Stroke Awareness Month

Engaging the Patient and Enhancing their Experience

The Toronto Stroke Networks (TSNs) continue to work towards supporting a system that enhances the patient experience and integrates the patient’s voice throughout their recovery journey.

The TSNs are working together with acute care and rehabilitation organizations to integrate the interprofessional use of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM©). This tool captures the patient’s voice as they identify goals that are important to them and would like to focus on during their recovery. It also allows the patient to report on their improvement and rate their satisfaction with their performance.

In addition to capturing the patient’s voice, the TSNs are also facilitating education initiatives to support healthcare teams in empowering the patient to be an active member of their care team. Interprofessional stroke teams will have the opportunity to be trained in the Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP) ApproachTM. This approach supports the active participation of the patient to identify strategies to address their goals.  Problem solving skills that the patient develops with healthcare team members can continue to be utilized in their daily life even after they have left rehabilitation.

The patient is a key player in their recovery journey. The TSNs will continue to work with patient partners and interprofessional stroke teams throughout the regions to build a system that will support the best care and experiences for the patient. As we celebrate June is Stroke Awareness Month, we recognize that this has been an extraordinary year and we want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our patients, their families and caregivers and all our stakeholders for sharing your stories and experiences as we join you in your journey.



June is Stroke Awareness Month. Learn the signs of stroke.

“You are never too young or too old to ignore the warning signs of stroke.  My hand was goofy, it wouldn’t work for me and my speech was a little off.  I saw those F.A.S.T. advertisements but thought I couldn’t be having a stroke as I was too young. Now I know – if you have even one of those signs – you need to get it looked after, IMMEDIATELY.” 

 Toronto Stroke Networks Patient Advisor


Anyone with stroke symptoms should call 9-1-1 right away. Stroke is a medical emergency. Do not drive to the hospital. An ambulance will get you to the best hospital for stroke care.

For more information about the warning signs of stroke, please go to the Heart & Stroke website.

To download a copy of the Heart & Stroke FAST poster, click HERE.







To download this Aphasia Institute poster and others, please click HERE.







Orientation to Stroke Care in Toronto

The Orientation to Stroke Care in Toronto resource has been created for all new staff working in stroke care.

Objectives of this resource are to:

  • Enhance knowledge of the stroke system of care in Toronto.
  • Increase understanding of the Toronto Stroke Networks’ (TSNs’) function and initiatives in supporting best practice stroke care.
  • Raise awareness of educational opportunities and resources to support clinical practice.

The orientation resource is located within the Toronto Stroke Networks’ Virtual Community of Practice (TSNs VCoP).  If you are a TSNs VCoP member, click here to access this resource.  If you are not yet a member, please go to


Celebrating Stroke Awareness Month at St. Michael’s Hospital

For stroke awareness month, the Stroke Assessment and Treatment Team at St. Michael’s Hospital created a series of educational newsletters on a variety of stroke topics for healthcare professionals who may not be as familiar with stroke. The topics include: inpatient code stroke, hyperacute stroke care, post-stroke communication, and rehabilitation.  We are delighted to share these with you and hope they will be of some use!

Please share the below newsletters with your teams as appropriate:

Issue 1: The Inpatient Code Stroke

Issue 2:  The Acute Code Stroke

Issue 3: Post-Stroke Communication

Issue 4: Rehabilitation


Resources to Support the Delivery of Stroke Care for Healthcare Providers during COVID-19

The North & East GTA and Toronto West Stroke Networks have developed a series of resources to support the delivery of stroke care for healthcare providers during COVID-19.

Resources include:

  • Acute care profession-specific stroke quick reference guides and assessment checklists
  • Virtual care resources to support healthcare providers in the areas of stroke rehabilitation and secondary prevention
  • A COVID-19 discussion group to address any questions or concerns

To access these resources, login to the Toronto Stroke Networks’ Virtual Community of Practice (VCoP), then click the ‘Resources‘ tab.  If you are not a VCoP member, please go to to join the VCoP.


Other Resources:

A list of modified services and supports available during COVID-19 has been complied by Matthew Dewar, MSW, RSW, Community Development Officer, Community Crisis Response Program at City Hall.  Please be aware that services/supports are subject to change.  To access this resource, please click here.[….]

Resources have also been collected to support persons with stroke and their caregivers during COVID-19.  Please share the following information with your patients and their caregivers:  COVID-19: Patient and Caregiver Resources.


Resources to Support Persons with Stroke and their Caregivers during COVID-19

Information has been collected by the Ontario Regional Stroke Networks’ Community & Long-Term Group to support persons with stroke and their caregivers during COVID-19.  To access these resources, click the links below:


Other Helpful Links:

If you have any questions about these resources, email us at moc.ekortsotnull@ofni.


A New Stroke Education Series for Patients and Caregivers

Through generous funding from the Change Foundation, Sinai Heath has developed a 6 module animated stroke education series for both patients and caregivers.

Sinai Health – Stroke Education Series: 

The above educational series was reproduced with permission from Sinai Health, 2020.

Signs of a Stroke

If you experience any of the following signs dial 911 immediately.Read More