Improving the Lives of Stroke Patients in Waterloo Wellington

February 19, 2014 Kitchener, ON – Residents in Waterloo Wellington now have a better chance at a fast and full recovery from a stroke because of $1.16M in funding from the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (WWLHIN) towards home-based care and speech language
support, and recent improvements to how stroke care is delivered in area hospitals.

“Stroke integration and the programs made possible through this new funding allow us to literally save lives and help people get better faster,” said Bruce Lauckner, CEO, Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network. “We’re closing gaps and ensuring best practice in stroke care, and creating better health and a better future for stroke survivors in our community.”

Through this funding and a recent Waterloo Wellington integrated stroke care program, more residents will survive an initial stroke than before, fewer residents will die or experience serious debilitation from a stroke, and as many as 100 more residents will return home after a stroke
rather than go to long-term care.

As a result of this funding, the Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre (WWCCAC) can provide almost 5,000 more visits per year for community and home-based stroke care services. Also resulting from this funding, St Joseph’s Health Center Guelph (SJHCG) is creating a new program that will deliver almost 5,550 visits for stroke survivors across Waterloo Wellington to help them regain language skills after a stroke. Combined with recent and upcoming improvements, this means stroke care in Waterloo Wellington is now easier to access and has better and more consistent quality care.

“Stroke patients and families told us how important it is for their care and support to be seamless as they continue their journey of recovery. Through the development of a regional stroke system, including these new enhancements to stroke support in the community, we are building a system that will support each stroke patient and their family in Waterloo Wellington to achieve their goals and maximize their recovery,” said Marianne Walker, chair of the Waterloo
Wellington Rehabilitative Care Council and stroke integration program sponsor.

As part of Ontario’s recent substantial funding increases in home and community care, these investments provide community-based care and supports for seniors and genuinely close a gap in our current system. Improving access to home care and community supports is a key priority of Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care (available at www.ontario.ca/healthychange) and helps to provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place. This is part of Ontario government’s
economic plan to invest in people, invest in infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

“These improvements and investments in stroke care and community-based care delivery make it easier for patients to recover more fully from a stroke and get the care they need, when and where they need it.                                                                                                                                                                         — Hon. Liz Sandals, Minister of Education and MPP for Guelph

“Ensuring patients have access to quality care close to home is a key part of our government’s
Action Plan for Health Care. Today’s announcement will go a long way in ensuring that patients
recovering from stroke have more options on where they can get the care they need locally.”
- Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

Learn More:

  •  Read more about the Waterloo Wellington LHIN at www.wwlhin.on.ca
  •  Learn more about Ontario’s Action Plan at www.ontario.ca/health
  •  Read about Improving Access to Quality Stroke Care in Waterloo Wellington                                                                                  (http://www.wwlhin.on.ca/Page.aspx?id=6404)