Bluewater Health Recognized Nationally for Excellence in Stroke Care Delivery

Thursday, January 26, 2023 - 12:51pm

Awarded Accreditation Canada’s Stroke DistinctionTM

SARNIA & PETROLIA – January 26, 2023 – Accreditation Canada’s Stroke DistinctionTM program has accredited Bluewater Health with ‘Distinction in Stroke Services’ for 2022 to 2026.

Stroke DistinctionTM is an award of Accreditation Canada. It recognizes health organizations that demonstrate clinical excellence and an outstanding commitment to leadership in stroke care. Bluewater Health was one of nine stroke centres in the Southwestern Ontario Stroke Network that had applied for the distinction award.

“When my mother was admitted for stroke back in November, she was in bad shape and our family feared the worst,” says son, Dan Byelis. “What I have seen during my mother’s stroke recovery process at Bluewater Health – the very personal approach to care – has been nothing short of remarkable. We cannot believe how much progress she has made during her stay – something we could have never imagined was possible when she was first admitted.”

During a three-day visit in November, an accreditation survey team reviewed and evaluated Bluewater Health’s programs and services through dialogue with staff, physicians, patient experience 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 Bluewater Health plans, monitors, manages and resources stroke services, as well as how the organization collaborates with other community services partners to support patients and families.

“Achieving this award showcases Bluewater Health’s demonstrated clinical excellence and an outstanding commitment to leadership in best-in-practice stroke care,” says Vice-President of Clinical Services, Laurie Zimmer. “We are so proud of all of the interdisciplinary teams involved in this work, including our strong relationships with community partners. All of our collective hard work and dedication is improving overall outcomes for patients and families dealing with stroke.”

The Accreditation Canada survey team spent time touring the departments and units that support stroke services at Bluewater Health – including our Regional Stroke Centre at London Health Sciences Centre. During their time here, the survey team noted that Bluewater Health was unanimously praised by care providers, community and patient experience partners for their team-based approach to care, overall quality of stroke services provided, including rapid access to treatment options and specialized stroke unit care.

Bluewater Health’s Stroke Program was recognized for:

  • Achievement of performance indicator thresholds
  • Implementation of stroke protocols for clinical practices
  • Commitment to excellence and innovation
  • Commitment to client and family education
  • Degree of compliance with Accreditation Canada Standards

Developed in partnership with the Heart & Stroke Foundation Canada, Stroke DistinctionTM 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, Bluewater Health had 1,039 patient visits to the Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic, admitted 171 patients with stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) to the acute stroke unit – and 95 of those patients required inpatient rehabilitation.

Bluewater Health, with locations in Sarnia and Petrolia, cares for the approximately 131,000 residents of Sarnia-Lambton. With close to 2500 staff, Professional Staff and volunteers, Bluewater Health provides an array of specialized acute, complex continuing care, allied health and ambulatory care services. For more information about Bluewater Health, visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

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