Waterloo Wellington LHIN NEWS 

June 29, 2016   

Waterloo Wellington LHIN Recognized as a Provincial Leader in Stroke Care by Ontario Stroke Network  

Residents in Waterloo Wellington are receiving exceptional stroke care and rehabilitation according to annual report cards released earlier this month by the Ontario Stroke Network (OSN) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Services (ICES).  

The Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) was highlighted as the top provincial performer in six areas, helping more residents return home sooner and healthier after a stroke while reducing transfers to long-term care. The report compared the effectiveness of prevention programs, access to, and the effectiveness of acute care and rehabilitation services for Ontarians who suffered a stroke in 2014-2015.  

In addition to the areas where Waterloo Wellington was a top performer, the report acknowledges significant improvements in eight other areas of stroke care and improvements in an additional five;  

Public Awareness and Education (provincial leader):  

  • More residents are aware of stroke signs and symptoms and are arriving by ambulance to be connected quickly with the life-saving care they need.  

Access to Care (provincial leader):

  • Access to specialized acute care for stroke patients continues to grow, ensuring better patient outcomes - up to 80% from 62.8%.
  • Waterloo Wellington stroke patients are waiting less time for rehabilitation care, contributing to better outcomes, increased functional ability and an increasing number of patients who are able to return home instead of to long-term care - down to 8 days from 10. 

Quality of Care (provincial leader):

  • More patients are going home within the optimal length of stay, as a result of receiving best-practice rehab care - up to 78% from 46.7% with more patients gaining increased independent functional ability.
  • Waterloo Wellington’s integrated stroke system allows all residents to receive timely and consistent high-quality care based on best practice which has created improved patient outcomes.  

Waterloo Wellington also made great progress in the areas of providing the best and most appropriate diagnostic tests and medical interventions, ensuring that patients receive the care services that will best suit their needs at each transition in their health journey and ensuring that community services are available to provide patients with support when they go home.  

Stroke care in Waterloo Wellington continues to improve as a result of a 2013 Waterloo Wellington Board of Directors’ decision to integrate stroke services in the region and the great work of physicians, nurses, therapists and staff involved in the stroke program.  

The report also identified a few areas for improvement, including the number of residents having strokes, hospitalization rates for stroke, and stroke mortality rates. The Waterloo Wellington LHIN will continue to work with its health service providers, including primary care, to develop strategies to prevent incidents of stroke and improve care where needed.  


"Residents can expect to receive the same high-quality, best practice care from our health system no matter where in Waterloo Wellington they suffer a stroke. From timely interventions to the best care and rehabilitation, more residents are gaining improved health, increased functional independence and a better quality of life to support their transition home. Thank you to the physicians, nurses, therapists and all the staff involved in the stroke program whose dedication and hard work is helping to deliver improved patient outcomes.” 
- Toni Lemon, Acting CEO, Waterloo Wellington LHIN

"Fast access to care and rehab based on best-practice provides the best chance for recovery and quality of life for stroke patients and that’s what we’re seeing in Waterloo Wellington. This success is a result of hard work across all organizations who are coming together as a collaborative team to work constantly to reassess patient cases and care practices to ensure that we’re getting the right patients in the right programs for the best outcomes."
- Andrea Guth, Director, Waterloo Wellington Stroke Program


The Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network is a team of local health care and business professionals who help to plan, integrate (connect and improves), and fund health services to improve the health and well-being of approximately 800,000 residents in Waterloo Region, Wellington County, the City of Guelph, and the southern part of Grey County. 
The Ontario Stroke Network is a non-profit organization funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and provides provincial leadership and coordination for the Ontario Stroke System by recommending, implementing and evaluating province-wide goals and standards for the continuum of stroke care, including health promotion and stroke prevention, acute care, recovery and reintegration.  



Connie MacDonald 
Director, Communications and Community Engagement  Waterloo Wellington LHIN 
E-mail: connie.macdonald@lhins.on.ca 
Telephone: 519 650 4472, Extension 235