Stroke and Cerebrovascular

The Stroke and Cerebrovascular Program offers a range of services including referral with the Stroke Hot Line, intensive care through the VGH Stroke Team and VGH Stroke Unit, and diagnostic services through the Stroke Prevention Clinic. This program is also dedicated to educational activities.

Clinical Activities

Referral Services

The VGH serves as the tertiary referral centre for stroke and cerebrovascular diseases in B.C. To support this clinical role the VGH Stroke Program maintains a dedicated on-call system with the commitment of 6 neurologists. A “Stroke Hot Line” pager system is available 24/7 to triage patients from around the lower mainland and southern British Columbia .

Stroke / Cerebrovascular Intensive Care

The VGH Stroke Team consists of stroke neurologists, diagnostic and interventional neuroradiologists, neurointerventional/neurovascular neurosurgeons, and vascular surgeons. The program provides state-of-the-art care to cerebrovascular patients. Neuroradiology provides superb diagnostic and interventional services. In cooperation with the BC Bedline the program has successfully developed an acute stroke referral system for the provision of thrombolytic and interventional stroke care.

The VGH Stroke Unit provides intensive care nursing for the treatment of acute stroke patients who are critically ill or who have received interventional therapies. Organized delivery of stroke care at the VGH and the development of a regional stroke care strategy will permit patients to flow from the Acute Stroke Unit to the Subacute Stroke Unit to Rehab and reintegration into the community. Efforts are now underway to develop a British Columbia Stroke Strategy in collaboration with the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Diagnostic Services

The Stroke Prevention Clinic is busy two days a week and provides same day clinical and diagnostic services to patients. This clinic provides a critical resource for patients at risk of stroke and to emergency departments and physicians. Prompt and expert care reduces the need for hospitalization through the rapid evaluation of patients.

Teaching Activities

The VGH Stroke Program has had an extremely busy year in educational activities. Vancouver served as the host city for the 5 th World Stroke Congress which attracted 2500 international delegates. The 8th International Thrombolysis and Acute Stroke Meeting was held at Whistler as a satellite meeting to the World Stroke Congress. Both meetings were widely acknowledged the most successful held to date. The Annual Western Canada Stroke Conference was again highly successful in its mission to provide stroke education to neurologists from B.C. and western Canada. Weekly stroke rounds are held to provide education to residents and medical students. Residents and students spend time in the Stroke Prevention Clinic evaluating and making decisions on urgent cases. The Stroke neurologists continue to give Grand Rounds, medical rounds and talks at CME events to educate physicians around the province. Public forums have been held by the Heart and Stroke Foundation with the participation of stroke neurologists and others. On an international level, members of the Stroke Program delivered posters and platform presentations at the American Stroke Association meeting, the Canadian Congress of Neurological Sciences, the American Academy of Neurology, and the European Stroke Conference.


  • Dr. Asdaghi
  • Dr. Benavente
  • Dr. Johnston
  • Dr. Murphy
  • Dr. Teal
  • Dr. Woolfenden
  • Dr. Yip