We’d like you to meet Mark. He is 51 years old and he survived a stroke in February 2021.

He knew the signs and symptoms of stroke and called 9-1-1. This important call allowed him arrive at our designated Stroke Centre, Stratford General Hospital, in time to receive tPA which is a clot busting medication that helps restore blood flow to the brain.



Stroke is a medical emergency. Acting quickly can improve your chances of survival and recovery.

If you experience any of these signs, call 9-1-1.  Do not drive to the hospital.  An ambulance will get you to the best hospital for stroke care.  

F - Face - is it drooping?

A - Arms - can you raise both?

S - Speech - is it slurred or jumbled?

T - Time to call 9-1-1 

FAST Mnuemonic 

Image: Heart & Stroke Foundation  

Treatments can reduce the severity of a stroke and reverse some of its affects, but only if they are given as quickly as possible.

For every minute in delaying stroke treatment, the average patient loses 1.9 million brain cells.  

when it comes to stroke, time lost is brain lost 

Image: American Heart Association / American Stroke Association 


Stroke Facts

  • 62,000 strokes occur in Canada each year- that is one stroke every nine minutes.
  • Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Canada and the leading cause of hospitalization.
  • Stroke can happen at any age with stroke among people under 65 years increasing
  • 9 in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke and 4 in 10 Canadians have 3 or more.
  • Prevention starts with knowing your risk.
  • Almost 80% of premature stroke and heart disease can be prevented through healthy behaviours. That means that habits like healthy eating, being active and living smoke free have a big impact on your health!
For more information:  
Accreditation Canada Stroke Distinction 

The 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.


Huron Perth District Stroke Centre

The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance-Stratford General Hospital site is the designated Huron Perth District Stroke Centre.   As a District Stroke Centre we provide services based on best practice across the continuum of stroke care. This includes the areas of prevention, recovery and reintegration. We are committed to continuing education, training and support programs and services for stroke both in the hospital and community settings. As part of the Ontario Stroke System our vision is Fewer Strokes. Better Outcomes.

Patients who are having signs of a stroke are brought to Stratford General Hospital by Emergency Medical Services (EMS). As a District Stroke Centre we offer patients an emergency stroke assessment, which includes a brain scan and if appropriate we can provide the clot busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). We can also assess for eligibility to have a clot removal surgery called Endovascular Thrombectomy (EVT). Those who are eligible for EVT are transferred to London for this procedure.

Once emergency treatments are complete you may be referred to one or more of the following services:

More information for stroke survivors and caregivers can be found by visiting the Southwestern Ontario Stroke Network website.

Contact Information:

Joanna Smorhay, Manager Huron Perth District Stroke Centre

Tel: 519-272-8210 ext. 2298 | Email:

Stroke Prevention Clinic

The Stroke Prevention clinic provides rapid access to experts, diagnostic tests, and treatments for patients who have had, or are at risk of having signs and symptoms of a recent stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA).

Services offered at the clinic include:

  • Rapid access to diagnostic tests and treatment
  • Risk factor screening and development of prevention strategies
  • Education about stroke and TIAs
  • Referrals to other services
  • Follow up consults, testing and education by internal medicine


Patients need a referral from their family doctor or the emergency department to access this service.

Location: Stratford General Hospital - West Building, Level 2

Parking, Entrance & Registration:

Patients who have an appointment at the Stroke Prevention Clinic should enter Stratford General Hospital through the West Building Entrance off West Gore St. 

    • Parking is available in Lot E off of West Gore St.

    • COVID-19 self-screening is in effect.

    • Please register at Patient Registration located just inside the West Building Entrance.

      Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

      Contact Information: 519-272-8210 ext. 2299 or Toll Free 1-888-275-1102 ext. 2299

      Integrated Stroke Unit

      The Integrated Stroke Unit manages the acute care and rehabilitation (rehab) needs of patients who have had a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA).

      Patients remain on the same unit for both their acute and rehab care. This allows for more timely assessment, management, seamless transitions and consistency of care throughout your hospitalization and transition to your home/community.

      • Acute Care – you are in the early stages of your recovery. Your care is based on your individual needs. Taking part in treatment is important to your recovery.
      • Rehab Care – rehab will help you become stronger and more independent. Your health care team will help you with your walking, daily tasks and communication.

      Our team of doctors, nurses and therapists will work with you and your family to meet your goals so that you can regain as much independence as possible.

      The Integrated Stroke Unit has 13 beds (five acute stroke beds and eight stroke rehab beds).


      Stratford General Hospital: East Building, Level 3 – Look for Stroke Unit Signage

      Contact Information:

      519-272-8210 ext. 2700 or Toll Free: 1-888-275-1102 ext. 2700

      Deanna Wright, Manager Intensive Care Unit, ISU/Telemetry, Cardiorespiratory

      Tel: 519-272-8210 ext. 2625 | Email:

      Community Stroke Rehabilitation Team

      Specialized expertise, coordinated teamwork and a personalized approach to supporting stroke survivors in their communities.

      The Community Stroke Rehabilitation Team is a partnership of St. Joseph’s Health Care London, the Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance, Grey Bruce Health Services and the Southwestern Ontario Stroke Network.

      Who can apply?

      If you’ve had a stroke or are a family member or professional caring for a stroke survivor, you may ask for our services. Stroke survivors, family members, doctors, SWLHIN Home & Community Care case managers and other health care providers may make referrals.

      Where is the service located?

      We have teams based in Thames Valley, Huron Perth and Grey Bruce counties. Therapy, education and support services will be provided in your home, long-term care home, and/or the community where you live.

      How do you know which kind of therapy will help?

      We use specialized assessments for people who’ve had strokes, as well as information given to us by other health care professionals, you and your family members. We ask you what activities are most important to you. Then we create an action plan to help you be able to do these things or other activities that you enjoy.

      How much does it cost?

      There is no cost for our services. You may choose to rent or purchase equipment, that the team recommends, from your local medical equipment supplier.

      What kinds of therapy are available?

      Our team members work together and collaboratively with service providers in your community to make sure you have the therapy, education and support you need to reach your potential. They’ll also make recommendations about healthy living to help reduce your chance of having another stroke or other serious health problem. Each team consists of the following members:

      • Registered Nurse – Helps address questions about your health and how to prevent another stroke. Reviews your medications. Keeps your doctor updated.
      • Physiotherapist – Helps you to improve strength, flexibility and balance so you can move better.
      • Occupational Therapist – Finds ways to make it easier for you to do daily self care such as dressing, using the bathroom and cooking.
      • Speech Language Pathologist – Helps you speak better and helps with problems swallowing.
      • Social Worker – Provides you and your family with counselling to help everyone cope better and adjust to the changes experienced since your stroke.
      • Therapeutic Recreation Specialist – Helps you find leisure activities that you enjoy and you can do in your community.
      • Rehabilitation Therapist – Works closely with you to implement the programs recommended by the other health care professionals.

      How long does the therapy last?

      The amount of therapy you receive depends on your needs and the rehabilitation goals we set together. Our goal is to help you be more independent, return to activities that you enjoy and connect you with local services that will meet your ongoing needs.

      What if our family is having a hard time coping?

      We understand that families and caregivers often need support and information to help them during this difficult time. We provide education and supportive coaching to them as well. We can also help you find your way through the health care system when you’re unsure where to go for the right help.

      Contact Information

      Tel: 519-685-4292 ext. 45034 or Toll Free: 1-866-310-7577

      Fax: 519-685-4802

      Additional Resources:


      The Provincial Telestroke Program is a component of Ontario’s stroke strategy and provides stroke patients in remote areas of the province with access to life-saving emergency care that they might not receive without this real-time expert neurological assessment.

      Telestroke uses eHealth Ontario’s Emergency Neuro Image Transfer System (ENITS), a centralized web-based picture archiving and communication system for head scans that can be accessed and viewed by participating neurologists.

      The Provincial Telestroke Program:

      • provides 24/7 stroke coverage via OTN;
      • uses CritiCall Ontario to contact a neurologist; and
      • supports discussions between Emergency Department physicians and a neurologist regarding the treatment of stroke patients, including the administration of tPA, a special drug that can break up a blood clot and allow blood supply to return.

      HPHA Telestroke Location

      Stratford General Hospital Emergency Department

      Moving Forward With Stroke

      This is a drop-in group is for adult stroke survivors and caregivers.  Through education and peer support, members will be empowered to improve their health and well-being.  This group is offered in Clinton and Stratford at no cost to the participants.


      Clinton: The third Wednesday of every month (Break in July and August) - Please note September's session will happen on September 13, 2023 

      Stratford: The first Wednesday of every month (Break in July and August)  

      Meeting: 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. / Social: 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.


      Clinton: Royal Canadian Legion, 95 Kirk St., Clinton 

      Stratford: Avondale United Church - 194 Avondale Ave., Stratford (Parking at side and rear of building) 


      • Erin Bickell, Social Worker: 519-527-8404 ext. 4288
      • Kelly Elligson, Recreation Therapist: 519-527-8404 ext. 4282

      Please feel to contact any of the facilitators with any questions!

      Educational Resources

      Recovery From Stroke

      Source Sinai Health  

      After a stroke, patients and their caregivers are often left with many questions related to recovery. 

      This educational video series from Sinai Health was developed by health care experts, patients and caregivers and is designed to support you in the recovery journey and provide practical advice you can refer to again and again.



      Source: Aphasia Institute  

      Talking to Your Family Member/Friend with Aphasia: Conversation Basics 

      Have you been told that your family member or friend has aphasia? Like most people, you may never have heard about aphasia before now. Or you may be wondering if your family member has aphasia.

      This short video is a companion to an Aphasia Institute pamphlet called “Does Your Family Member Have Aphasia? What to Look for and What You Can Do.”