The Review Newspaper

The stroke rehabilitation unit in Alexandria may be on the chopping block

Blake Gareau, PTA/OTA (Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy Assistant), Dr. Nadia Kucherepa, Rehabilitation Unit Physician Lead and Chief of Staff Claudia Latulippe, PTA/OTA Heeba Abdullah, Occupational Therapist Carmen Paquette, Rehabilitation Unit Charge Nurse Sitting on green ball, Valerie Bougie, Physiotherapist Missing: SLP, Dietician, Activities Coordinator, Optometrist, Physiatrist, Neurologist, etc.

Despite a delay to the proposed relocation of sub-acute services away from Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH), those against the move are encouraged to write to the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). About six beds at HGMH are for patients recovering from stroke, in rehabilitation. These beds would be relocated to other hospitals, according to the LHIN proposal.

On Wednesday, August 29, a press conference was held in light of the Champlain LHIN’s call for public input on a proposed integration decision that would change how sub-acute services (including the hospital’s post-stroke rehabilitation beds) are distributed in our region.  Essentially this proposal would put the six Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital (HGMH) rehabilitative beds at risk of being moved.

Steve Archer of the Stroke Support Group led a heartfelt and emotionally-charged discussion, highlighting the patient’s perspective and the extra benefits that HGMH offers to stroke victims.

“We are treated first and foremost as people and not patients”, said Steve Archer.

“I left here knowing everything possible was being done for me.  The people I met in the two months I spent here had more influence in my life than anyone else, including my parents.  And that’s because they gave me back everything that I had lost.  So we need to make our voices heard,” shared Archer.

“We come in on a stretcher and we walk out,” said Rankin MacLaughlin.

“We have a bunch of angels taking care of us.  The care we receive here is beyond belief” said Rob MacDuff, while moving his body in ways he never dreamed possible again.  I was a big loser for having a stroke but man, I won the lottery coming to this facility.  The only thing I suggest the LHIN does with this place is turn this facility into a training center and teach others how to do this,” said MacDuff.

Over half a dozen patients and their families shared their concerns about the possible move.  A few of them were sent to Glengarry from Ottawa and Montreal hospitals because of the reputation HGMH has for providing the best stroke rehab care and program in the area.

“It is so important that we all be here today,” said HGMH Physician Lead and Chief of Staff Dr. Nadia Kucherepa.  “There was a motion to postpone moving the beds.  I don’t want to give anyone a false sense of security, to think that we are in the clear because we are not.  We can’t let them forget that we are still passionate here!  Let your voices be heard.  Share your experiences and your ideas about this proposition with the LHIN because it is not off the table yet,” said Kucherepa.

The LHIN welcomes your written feedback by contacting Champlain LHIN Board Chair Jean-Pierre Boisclair (in care of Amber Kayed at before 5 pm, Thursday, September 27, 2018.

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Rob MacDuff demonstrated his mobility at a recent press conference, saying his recovery from a stroke was thanks to the HGMH team.