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Southwestern Ontario Stroke Network accredited with Stroke Distinction (TM)

Image of Stroke DistinctionTM designation

January 27, 2023

Accreditation Canada, the accreditation body that evaluates Canadian hospitals to ensure national standards are met, has accredited the Southwestern Ontario Stroke Network (SWOSN) with its Stroke DistinctionTM designation.  

Stroke DistinctionTM means that the Stroke Network and its participating organizations demonstrate national leadership in the delivery of high-quality stroke care and have met the criteria of the Canadian Stroke Best Practices. The Southwestern Stroke Network supports patient care from Tobermory to Windsor, roughly 29,000 square kilometres and a population of close to two million.

“Stroke patients across Southwestern Ontario benefit from an integrated system of care that provides them the best opportunity for recovery”, says Craig Cunningham, Manager of the Southwestern Ontario Stroke Network. “Stroke DistinctionTM validates the commitment of our team approach to providing safe, high-quality, and timely stroke care to our patients. This is a tremendous achievement for our stroke system in Southwestern Ontario”. 

The Southwestern Ontario Stroke Network includes these participating hospitals:  

  • Bluewater Health  
  • Chatham Kent Health Alliance  
  • Grey Bruce Health Services, Owen Sound Hospital  
  • Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance, Stratford General Hospital
  • London Health Sciences Centre, University Campus  
  • St. Joseph’s Health Care, Parkwood Institute  
  • St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital  
  • Windsor Regional Hospital, Ouellette Campus  
  • Woodstock Hospital  

Overall, Accreditation Canada surveyed 10 organizations – SWOSN as an integrated system (a first in Ontario!) and each of the nine hospital sites that provide specialized stroke care. Each hospital achieved Stroke DistinctionTM

During the accreditation process, a team of surveyors visited the sites to review processes and observe care. Many staff, nurses and doctors were involved in preparing for the review, and their dedication contributed to this achievement. 

The Network and its members were evaluated in five key areas: Standards; Protocols; Key Quality Indicators; Excellence and Innovation; and Client and Family Education. The Stroke DistinctionTM team highlighted the following key successes: 

  • Making the Network a truly integrated system of care
  • Successfully forging partnerships with patients and families
  • Raising public awareness about stroke care throughout the region
  • Nurturing “passionate and caring” stroke teams and 
  • Providing discipline-specific networks to support best practices

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Image of Stroke DistinctionTM designation award