News & Media

HPHA Recognized Nationally for Excellence in Stroke Care Delivery

February 03, 2023

The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance (HPHA) is proud to announce that its Huron Perth District Stroke Centre - Stratford General Hospital has been accredited with ‘Distinction in Stroke Services’ for 2022 to 2026 by Accreditation Canada’s Stroke Distinction™ program.

Stroke Distinction™ recognizes health organizations that demonstrate clinical excellence and an outstanding commitment to leadership in stroke care. The Huron Perth District Stroke Program was one of nine stroke centres in the Southwestern Ontario Stroke Network that collectively applied for the distinction award.

During a two-day visit in November, an accreditation surveyor reviewed and evaluated the Huron Perth District Stroke Centre’s programs and services through conversations with staff, physicians, patient and caregiver partners, patients and families, as well as with focus groups representing leadership, frontline staff, patients and families, and community partners. Information was gathered on topics such as how the program plans, monitors, manages and resources stroke services, as well as how the organization collaborates with other community services partners to support patients and families.

“Preparing for and navigating through our on-site survey has been a very rewarding experience,” says Joanna Smorhay, Manager District Stroke & Dialysis Programs. “Preparation for Stroke Distinction™ assessment has been a driving force for quality improvement initiatives and has emphasized the dedication of a diverse group of individuals who all contribute to the common goal of providing exceptional stroke care for the residents of Huron and Perth counties.”

HPHA’s Huron Perth District Stroke Centre was recognized for:

  • Being an excellent example of a learning health system that is data driven and participates in continuous quality improvement initiatives.
  • Engaging a collaborative team across the organization including senior leadership, physicians, stroke leadership and clinical teams.
  • Promoting a culture of partnerships integrated across teams and evident in care.
  • Having a strong partnership with Southwestern Ontario Stroke Network and London Health Sciences Centre Stroke Team.
  • Partnering with patients and families with lived experience, patients and families reported trusting the team, receiving strong support and excellence in care.
  • Strong emphasis on continuing education for interdisciplinary teams and outreach across districts to support best practice stroke care

“This recognition is a testament to the incredible team we are privileged to have working and volunteering as part of our District Stroke Centre,” says Andrew Williams, President & CEO. “As the first award of this type in Ontario, where multiple Centres committed to standardizing practices for the benefit of those we serve, our District Stoke Centre is setting the bar for how integrated stroke care should be provided.”

Developed in partnership with the Heart & Stroke Foundation Canada, Stroke Distinction™ was created to help organizations improve care and outcomes for patients and families. It mitigates risk and reduces the high cost of errors, it recognizes exceptional care delivery, and supports patients and families in their stroke journey knowing they’re receiving high quality stroke care.

In 2021-22, the emergency departments across Huron and Perth provided care for 360 individuals diagnosed with a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke. HPHA’s Huron Perth District Stroke Centre had 448 patient visits to its Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic, admitted 281 patients with stroke or TIA to the acute stroke unit with 89 of those patients requiring inpatient rehabilitation.

If you witness someone experiencing the signs of a stroke, call 9-1-1. Time is brain! Partnerships exist between the designated stroke centres and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Providers to efficiently access care at a stroke centre. EMS providers bypass non-stroke centres and communicate with the Emergency Department while on route to ensure that hyper-acute stroke assessment and intervention occurs as quickly as possible upon arrival.

HPHA Team Members celebrating being awarded Accreditation Canada’s Stroke Distinction™

HPHA Team Members celebrating being awarded Accreditation Canada’s Stroke Distinction™