A new project between College of the North Atlantic (CNA), the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) Health Services, will make it easier for those who have previously suffered a stroke to access information about rehabilitation facilities and community supports in this province.
Dubbed the “Acute Stroke, Rehab and Community Integration Project,” this initiative will see CNA develop an interactive map, accessible online, that will inform patients, healthcare providers and policy makers with information about where they can access such supports as physiotherapists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, dieticians, nursing facilities, home-based rehabilitation, social workers, financial aid, food subsidies, and more.
For patients, having this information housed on an interactive map helps them easily identify where services they need are located. For policy makers and healthcare providers, this tool can help streamline the connection between patients and services and identify gaps.
“Adjusting to life post-stroke can be very daunting, and finding the proper care and support after having a stroke shouldn’t be an additional burden patients have to carry,” says Jillian Pollard, Stroke Strategy Coordinator, Heart & Stroke. “Our goal is to reduce the barriers patients face by providing them with an easy-to-use tool to help identify the locations of services they need, while identifying current gaps in community and rehabilitation supports that should be addressed moving forward.”
CNA is the ideal technical partner to help the Heart and Stroke Foundation achieve this goal.
“Given its expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Geomatics applications, the Office of Applied Research and Innovation at CNA is well positioned to support this collaboration, and we are excited to see how college capacity can help advance health initiatives in the province,” says Mike Long, CNA’s Dean of Applied Research and Innovation. “It demonstrates how community-level challenges can create exceptional learning opportunities for students. Our technical and research staff are very keen to play a role in advancing health innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador.“
The timing to announce such a partnership couldn’t be better according to NL Health Services, who are holding their innovation summit in St. John’s this week.
“NL Health Services is pleased to partner with the College of the North Atlantic and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada to help patients who have had strokes access important community supports and rehabilitation services,” said Ron Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of the Eastern Urban Zone and vice president of Innovation and Research for NL Health Services “It is fitting that we announce this collaboration at this year’s innovation summit as the idea to connect CNA’s technology with the need to improve access for our patients started following last year’s summit. One of the main goals for our summits is to find innovative solutions to improve the health and well-being of our patients and this collaboration is an excellent example of how we can achieve that together.”
The project is expected to take approximately six months to complete and should be ready sometime during the winter of 2024.
College of the North Atlantic
Media Relations Manager
NL Health Services
Communications Advisor – Brand and Fundraising
Heart and Stroke