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Northeastern Ontario Stroke Network

NEO Stroke Network wishes to send a message of thanks to all the health care workers continuing to support the stroke system of care in the North East

Our Mission:

Collaborate with regional partners to achieve best practices across the continuum, including research in community reintegration.

Enable the development of stroke care competence and expertise.

Create a culture of excellence, continuous improvement and accountability.

The Network

Part of the Ontario Stroke System since 2003, the Network (NEOSN) is guided by the NEO Stroke Steering Committee which functions as the decision making body for the Ontario Stroke System in northeastern Ontario. The NEOSN team operationalizes an annual Regional Work Plan and a Regional Education Plan following approval by the NEO Stroke Steering Committee each April.

NEOSN includes the District Stroke Centres in North Bay, Timmins, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury.  We also have four Telestroke Referring Sites (24/7 thrombolysis treatment service) at Temiskaming Hospital in Temiskaming, at Hôspital Notre-Dame Hospital in Hearst, at Weeneebayko General Hospital in Moose Factory, and at Sensenbrenner Hospital in Kapuskasing.

These centres, along with their partners across the stroke care continuum, are tasked with implementing best practice stroke care across the region.

Sudbury & Area:

Including Elliot Lake, Espanola, Manitoulin, Sudbury and Parry Sound

Health Sciences North
41 Ramsey Lake Road
Sudbury ON P3E 5J1

Administrative Assistant:

Terri Welch

Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic

If you have an inquiry for an upcoming appointment or need to speak to someone at the clinic promptly, please call 705-675-4793.

For general inquiries or for other non-urgent needs, email us at email only monitored once daily)

Download our Referral Form.

Phone: 705-675-4793
Fax: 705-675-4796

North Bay & Area:

Including Mattawa, Sturgeon Falls, North Bay, Temiskaming Shores, Englehart

North Bay Regional Health Centre
50 College Drive
P.O Box 2500
North Bay ON P1B 5A4

District Stroke Coordinator:

Ashley Scott BScN, RN
Phone: 705-474-8600 ext 3283

Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic

Phone: 705-474-8600 ext 3280
Fax: 705-495-8137

Timmins & Area:

Including Kirkland Lake, Chapleau, Timmins, Matheson, Iroquois Falls, Cochrane, Smooth Rock Falls, Kapuskasing, Hearst, Moose Factory, Moosonee

Timmins and District Hospital
700 Ross Avenue East
Timmins ON P4N 8P2

District Stroke Coordinator:

Danielle Hamelin
Phone: 705-363-8532 (work cell)

Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic

Phone: 705-360-6098
Fax: 705-360-6097

Sault Ste Marie & Area

Including Blind River, Hornepayne, Wawa and Sault Ste Marie

Sault Area Hospital
750 Great Northern Road
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6B 0A8

District Stroke Coordinator:

Liisa Taivainen, RN
Phone: 705-759-3434 ext 5288

Secondary Stroke Prevention Clinic

Phone: 705-759-3434
Fax: 705-759-3681

Who We Are

Susan Bursey PT, BSc.P.T.

Regional Program Director
Working in collaboration with the Northeastern Ontario Regional Stroke Steering Committee and in consultation with regional and external stakeholders, Susan oversees and leads the development of the Ontario Stroke System in Northeastern Ontario.
Phone: 705-918-0014

Sue Verrilli, B.A., R.T., R/TRO.

Regional Education Coordinator
In this role, Sue is responsible for the coordinating, implementing and evaluating of the stroke education plans for the NEO Stroke Network.

Jenn Fearn MSc.P.T.

Regional Rehabilitation Coordinator
In this role, Jenn is responsible for identifying stroke rehabilitation needs, strengths and service gaps and building on opportunities for system change, partnerships and consultation to enhance access to stroke rehabilitation expertise and best practice

Terri Welch

Administrative Assistant

Ashley Scott, BSc, RN

District Stroke Coordinator
North Bay Regional Health Centre

Phone: 705-474-8600 ext. 3283

Liisa Taivainen, RN

District Stroke Coordinator
Sault Area Hospital

Phone: 705-759-3434 ext. 5288

Danielle Hamelin

District Stroke Coordinator
Timmins and District Hospital

Phone: 705-363-8532 (work cell)

Contact Us

The Northeastern Ontario Stroke Network is hosted by the Regional Stroke Centre, Health Sciences North in Sudbury Ontario.

The regional team members from Sudbury are currently working remotely during the pandemic.

Northeastern Ontario Stroke Network
41 Ramsey Lake Road
Sudbury, ON P3E 5J1

YouTube: Our YouTube Channel


All information contained in resources are for informational purposes only and must not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care professionals and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Education Events & Course

Regional Stroke Rounds

Tuesdays 0700 – 0800

Please join us for these dynamic case-based discussions where participants will be able to:

  • Discuss diagnosis and management of TIA and different stroke types.
  • Explain the indication and interpretation of common imaging modalities used to diagnose stroke (i.e. CT/MRI).
  • Discuss difficult TIA/stroke cases from diagnosis, prognosis or treatment standpoint.

Microsoft Teams Link:
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Target Audience: Physicians interested in stroke care practicing at North East Designated Stroke Centres or Telestroke Sites including (but not limited to) Emergency, Radiology, Internal Medicine, Neurology, as well as as well as Nurse Practitioners, Primary Care Physicians and Stroke Nurse.

Moderator: Dr. Ravinder-Jeet Singh, MBBS DM PDF (Stroke) Stroke Neurologist, Health Sciences North

This educational opportunity is accredited through the Northern Ontario School of Medicine Continuing Education and Professional Development Office.

Aquatic Therapy Course: Evidence-based Practice in Neurology

Instructor: Alison Bonnyman, MSc, BScPT


  • This course has a focus on basic and advanced aquatic physical therapy to address therapeutic goals in the area of neurology. The course includes theory and practice of aquatic therapy techniques, the latest research, use of outcome measures and the development of effective, evidence-based, sustainable programming.

Date and Time: Friday, October 25, 2024; 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Location: Health Sciences North therapy pool, 1st floor

Target Audience: Health Care Providers working in Stroke Care across Northeastern Ontario with an interest in aquatic therapy

Cost: $50

Registration: Link to follow

Please email Sue Verrilli if interested in attending this course. Registration will be limited.

Upcoming Education

The following education events are being planned and information on the dates, cost and registration information will follow.

  • Stroke Symposium, Theme: Return to Community, January 30, 2025, virtual
  • Learn to Screen Driver Safety, online and interactive course for Health Care Providers, Winter 2024-25
  • Motivational Interviewing, virtual course over 3 lunch hours in February 2025, instructor is Dr. Marilyn Herie
  • NDT: Developing Support and Reach in the Upper Extremity, in-person course at Health Sciences North, Instructor Karen Guha, March 1, 2025

PPE Guidelines

Please follow your employer and local health unit PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Guidelines while participating in education events.


Northeastern Ontario Stroke Network has created a number of stroke resources to assist you in your practice.  For any of these resources below, email us to obtain more information or to request the documents.

GRASP – Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program

The Graded Repetitive Arm Supplementary Program (GRASP) was developed by Dr. Janice Eng and her team at the University of British Columbia and GF Strong Rehab Centre in Vancouver, Canada. It is an evidence-based program to improve upper extremity post-stroke, and has been successfully used for in-patient, as well as chronic populations. It is currently recommended as a method to improve hand and arm function in the Canadian Stroke Best Practice Recommendations.  It is used in thousands of sites in over 50 countries.

Modifications of GRASP have been developed and evaluated to deliver it 1:1, in-person, in groups, by phone and by Zoom videoconferencing. The archived webinar can be found on our youtube channel.

As well, we have put together a document to assist with finding materials for the grasp kit. Please email us at and ask for the GRASP Toolkit Items Needed document.

Webinar: Enhancing your Tool Box for Best Practice Stroke Care 

More information coming soon.

Video Series: Self-management tools and resources for people recovering from stroke

An 11-episode series of free videos, exploring issues such as physical, cognitive and psychological challenges people recovering from stroke may face and aims to provide tools and resources to help. 

The series delivers short sessions (most are about 10 minutes in length) on topics including memory, anxiety, fatigue, attention, stress, unilateral spatial neglect, upper extremity movement, organization and planning, resilience, leisure and functional communication.

Access the Video Series (link opens in a new widnow).

Stroke Core Competency Framework

There is Level A Evidence that Stroke Unit care reduces the likelihood of death and disability by as much as 30% for men and women of any age with mild, moderate, or severe stroke. One of the key components of Stroke Unit Care is that the core interprofessional team should consist of healthcare professional with stroke expertise. Furthermore, Quality Based Procedures for Stroke recommend that interprofessional stroke teams across the continuum receive education and training to promote stroke expertise.

The purpose of the Core Competencies Framework is to provide health care professionals working in stroke with a clear, comprehensive way to achieve the core competencies needed for evidence-based stroke care.

How to use the Stroke Core Competency Framework:

  1. Rate yourself on your level of expertise using Benner Stages of Clinical Competence
  2. Identify areas for improvement and develop professional learning plans.
  3. Seek professional development opportunities to fulfill professional learning plans. 
  4. Leadership may use learning plans to support professional development reviews. 
  5. Leadership may collate results to inform organizational priorities for stroke care that can be integrated into strategic planning. 

**Steps 4 and 5 require organizational support and collaboration

Please visit the Stroke Core Competency Framework page (link opens in new window) on the CorHelath Ontario website.

Range of Motion Exercise Packages

Range of motion exercise packages have been created by the Northeastern Ontario Stroke Network which were designed to be used by a client's family/caregiver/support worker to assist in properly carrying out passive, or self-ranging, range of motion exercises with a client.

It is the intent of the authors that a regulated health professional will select the most appropriate exercises from these packages and provide them to their client. You will notice that there are separate packages for both the right and left side.

We feel it is imperative that the second page of the package entitled 'Before Getting Started...' be provided with every package handed out, whether only one or multiple exercises are being prescribed, therefore please ensure you do so.  

Each package provides key points about the importance of exercise, general proper positioning tips and then specifics of each individual exercise. One exercise is provided per page, text provides the details of the positioning of the person with stroke, the hand positioning of the helper, the movement, the length of time to hold the position and the number of repetitions.  Photos are also provided of the starting position and the movement involved.

Passive Range of Motion Exercises (to be performed by a care provider):

Self-Ranging Exercises (to be performed by the client themselves):

Self-Learning Program: Stroke Unit Orientation

Acute Stroke Unit Orientation: Created and maintained by the Southwestern Ontario Stroke Network, this is a free, online program for stroke care professionals working in acute care. It is a self-directed learning program with 11 modules, plus supplementary content and quizzes, covering a variety of topics, including NIHSS. Pages can be printed to create a hard copy binder if desired.  

Acute Stroke Unit Orientation - Self Learning Program (link opens in a new window)

Stroke Rehabilitation Unit Orientation: Created and maintained by the Southwestern Ontario Stroke Network, this is a free, online program for stroke care professionals working in rehabilitation. The orientation consists of 12 modules that can be completed in any order and are arranged as separate modules, each with its own quiz. Each module should take 20-45 minutes to complete depending on the module and the clinician’s background/experience.

Stroke Rehabilitation Unit Orientation - Self Learning Program (link opens in a new window)

Posters: Stroke Care Topics 

We have printable posters for these topics:

  • Hemiplegic Arm and Hand - this poster outlines, in words and pictures, how to protect the hemiplegic arm and hand. It also has a picture on how to properly apply a sling.
  • Neglect  - this poster defines neglect and lists ways that you can help.
  • Aphasia - this poster illustrates strategies to utilize when communicating with someone who has aphasia.

Please email us for copies of these posters

Handout: Visual Field Deficit 

We have a one-page handout that can be used to educate persons with stroke and their families to better understand visual problems after stroke.  The handout includes a description of visual field deficits and possible treatment options.

  • Please email us for a copy of this handout.

Self-Learning Program: Mobility and Positioning to Assist a Person with Stroke

The goal of assisting a person with stroke is to maximize functional recovery and promote independence of movement in a safe manner.

How you position, mobilize and transfer is KEY in:

  • preventing pain or injury
  • encouraging safe active participation
  • contributing to normal  movement
  • increasing independence

This self-learning program includes pictures, written content and a quiz.

The learning objectives are to understand:

  • Unique considerations regarding persons with stroke
  • General principles to follow when assisting a person with stroke
  • Key principles of body mechanics for positioning, mobilizing and transferring patients
  • The hemiplegic shoulder and how to prevent injury
  • Positioning, bed mobility, transfer and ambulation assistance techniques

Please email us to obtain a copy of the Mobility and Positioning Self-learning Program

Posters/Handouts: Your Road to Stroke Recovery Roadmap

Displaying the continuum of stroke care in a visual form as a large, colourful "roadmap" will diminish fear of the unknown for a person with stroke before leaving the hospital. See how the team at your district stroke centre depicts the journey after stroke, currently posted on the Acute and Rehabilitation Units.

As well, handouts are available to be printed and given to your stroke patients and family members. These handouts have a picture of the Roadmap, as well as a description of some of the resources patients are referred to in that district.

Both the roadmap and the handouts are meant to be a way to start the conversation on discharge and possible referrals for your patient.

  • Health Sciences North
  • North Bay Regional Health Centre
  • Sault Area Hospital
  • Timmins and District Hospital

Please email us for copies of these posters/handouts and specify which hospital

NEO Stroke Network cares about Accessibility

If you would like any information from our website provided to you in a format more appropriate to your needs, please email us at

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