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Stroke & Neurological Rehabilitation

Our program offers interprofessional care to patients recovering from stroke, multiple sclerosis, Guillain Barré syndrome and other neuro-degenerative diseases.

Referrals & Admissions

Inpatient Admission Criteria

  • Medically stable with no significant fluctuations in medical status within 72 hours
  • Motivated to participate in rehab, has active rehab goals
  • Able to participate in 3 sessions of active rehab therapy 5 to 7 days a week
  • Able to sit unsupported for a minimum of 30 minutes
  • Patient's cognitive abilities and state of mental health support participation in active rehab
  • AlphaFIM score is greater than 55
  • Completed or scheduled necessary diagnostic work-up

Special needs accommodated include the following:

  • Intermittent oxygen therapy/home oxygen
  • Tracheotomy (must by corked)
  • Intermittent tube feeds (PEG tube only)

Transfer Checklist and Key Notes

To help ensure accurate assessment, please provide the following information about the patient, prior to, or upon admission:

Patient Profile

  • Allergies
  • Anti-coagulation profile (recent blood work; Coumadin/Fragmin doses: up to 4 days)
  • Diet information with orders including formula, rate, # hours of feed, water flushes
  • Medication Administration Record (MAR)
  • Prescribed Activity levels for upper and/or lower (weight bearing; restrictions), (order to be signed by physician)
  • Special needs (egs. infusion therapy, oxygen, Ostomy)
  • Wound management orders
  • Follow up specialist appointments


  • Behavioral assessment/management (if applicable)
  • Consult reports
  • Discharge summary
  • ECG/Echocardiogram (if applicable)
  • Infection control screen results (MRSA, VRE, and others)
  • Lab results (most recent copy)
  • Names and contact information for all physicians, surgeons specialists
  • Other tests results (including video fluoroscopy)
  • Physician acute care admission report
  • Surgical procedures and dates of surgery
  • X-ray, CT/MRI (if applicable)
  • Social Work summary
  1. For seamless continuum of care, please ensure patients have had the following arranged before, or upon transfer:
    • Clinical follow-up appointments
    • Diagnostic (acute) appointments
    • Transportation for off-site tests/treatments
  1. St. John’s Rehab is a rehabilitation facility and does not have the following services:
    • emergency services
    • mechanical ventilation, total parenteral nutrition, and nasogastric feeding
    • dialysis service
    • isolation or secured units

Outpatient Referral Forms

Download our Outpatient Referral Form on our referral information page.

Please include all relevant medical/therapy reports with your application

Outpatient Admission Criteria

  • Has active rehab goals and is able to participate and tolerate increasing amount of rehab therapy.
  • Has adequate cognitive communication abilities for rehab.
  • Has a reliable means of transportation.

woman lacing up her shoesProgram Details

Individually customized rehabilitation programs are developed for each patient with a focus on addressing complex health, social and emotional issues. The program is Aphasia-friendly.

The inpatient and outpatient teams represent a full range of rehabilitation professionals and medical specialists who work with patients and their families to help them achieve a high quality of life and independence, expedite their recovery and return to the community and the workplace.

Comprehensive education and support programs help patients manage speech and cognitive impairments, maintain promote optimal health and wellness and decrease risk of further stroke or brain injury.

Patients can also access fee-for-service care such as massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic and chiropody services to complement their rehabilitation.

Referrals to the hospital's outpatient program are available, which provides a seamless continuum of rehabilitation services. Outpatient referrals are welcome from family physicians throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Please note: St. John’s Rehab is not a Ministry of Transportation approved Driving Assessment Centre  but if you’re thinking about returning to driving, your rehab team can help. Learn more.

 Thinking about Returning to Driving? (1.4Mb pdf file

Your rehab team can examine and help you improve your skills related to driving.
This may include assessing your ability to:

  • move your arms and legs
  • stay focused
  • see objects
  • solve problems
  • remember things
  • pay attention to many things at once
  • process information and react quickly.

Your rehab team will write a report that you can share with your physician (family doctor or specialist) or nurse practitioner.

Important information from the Ministry of Transportation

Q1. How would you know if your licence has been suspended by the Ministry of Transportation?

A1. You would receive a Notice of Suspension letter from the Ministry of Transportation that lets you know that your licence has been suspended.

Q2. What are next steps for the Ministry of Transportation to consider returning your licence?

A2. With the Notice of Suspension letter, you will also receive a Medical Review Form. This Form is to be completed by a physician or nurse practitioner, in order for the Ministry to determine whether to return your licence.

The report written by your rehab team can be given to a physician who may use it to help complete the Ministry of Transportation Medical Review Form. A physician may also choose to do additional tests or recommend a functional driving assessment before sending the Form to the Ministry.

The Ministry of Transportation Medical Review Board will assess your Medical Review Form and decide if it is safe for you to return to driving. About one month after the Ministry has received the Medical Review Form, they will send a letter to inform you if you can return to driving, or if you need to take a functional driving assessment, or if more assessment is needed.

Q3. What is a Functional Driving Assessment? Where is it done?

A3. Functional Driving Assessment is a test to check your driving skills. It includes in-clinic testing (pen and paper testing) and an on-road test. The on-road test is considered the best test to show if it is safe for you to return to driving. This Assessment is done at a Ministry-approved Functional Assessment Centre. There is a fee for this Assessment, which is not covered by provincial health plans (OHIP).

For more information on Functional Driving Assessments, please talk with your Occupational Therapist, or visit the Ministry of Transportation or call 1-800-268-1481.

Program backgrounder

St. John's Rehab at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is dedicated to specialized rehabilitation. Our stroke and neurological rehabilitation program is for patients who are recovering from strokes, Multiple Sclerosis and other neuro-degenerative diseases, recent neurosurgery and neuro-oncology.

  • Program partners include the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Community Care Access Centre, Acquired Brain Injury Network, Alzheimer Association, The Aphasia Institute, Guillain-Barré Society, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Ontario March of Dimes and Stroke Recovery Association.
  • Our multidisciplinary team of rehabilitation professionals develops realistic goals and timelines with each patient and keeps in close contact with the patient and his or her family. This helps achieve maximum recovery, independence and quality of life.
  • The individually customized program consists of assessment, treatment and support focused on the whole person - body, mind and spirit. Patients receive customized rehabilitation programs that address their individual health, social and emotional issues.
  • Our program is Aphasia-friendly.
  • We offer comprehensive education and support programs to help patients manage speech and cognitive impairments, maintain promote optimal health and wellness, and decrease risk of further stroke or brain injury.
  • Once discharged, patients can benefit from a seamless continuum of care by being referred to our outpatient rehabilitation program.
  • Our highly skilled and committed multidisciplinary rehab team includes physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, speech-language pathologists, pharmacists, physicians, dietitians, social workers, psychologists and spiritual care.
  • As a teaching hospital for the University of Toronto, we excel in teaching and researching rehabilitation care. We have established a Neuroscience Alliance with the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care to advance research and ensure patients get the best neurological care when and where they need it.

Location and contact

Stroke & Neurological Rehabilition Program

St. John's Rehab
285 Cummer Avenue,
Toronto, ON M2M 2G1

Phone: 416-226-6780
Fax: 416-226-5406

Refer a patient

Referral question? Contact:

Central Booking (Inpatient Programs)
416-226-6780 ext. 57300

Research opportunity

The FLOW Trial is looking for people who have had a stroke in the last 2-12 months and still have leg weakness.

Learn more »