Stroke and Cerebrovascular

The Vancouver Stroke Program is based at Vancouver General Hospital, the quaternary care stroke centre of excellence for the province of BC. In addition to providing the highest standards of clinical care, the stroke program is involved in delivering excellence in cerebrovascular research and education.


Clinical Care

The Vancouver Stroke Program is dedicated to providing the highest standards of care in the management of acute stroke, inpatient post-stroke management, secondary prevention, and post-stroke issues. The VGH Stroke Service is staffed by neurologists with expertise in stroke who are available 24/7, 365 days a year via the VGH Stroke Pager to immediately evaluate patients suffering from a possible acute stroke and to answer advice calls from physicians around the province. Interventional therapy for eligible hyperacute stroke patients is available 24/7/365.

Stroke neurologists provide urgent consultations when they are on service and also manage the inpatient stroke unit.

Outpatients are assessed Monday-Friday in the VGH Stroke Prevention Clinic, which serves as a critical resource for emergency departments and physicians across the Lower Mainland needing rapid expert assessment for patients with stroke. TIA- or other cerebrovascular concerns. In addition to rapid urgent outpatient assessments, the Stroke Prevention Clinic has subspecialty interdisciplinary cerebrovascular clinics, including the only adult Moya-Moya disease clinic in Canada.



Education ensures that physicians are familiar with the rapidly-advancing improvements in stroke care. We have an intensive weekly educational program aimed at trainees, physicians, and allied health professionals, including didactic noon rounds on Tuesday, clinical noon rounds on Wednesdays, and a weekly academic seminar and journal club for stroke fellows.

Our clinical-research stroke fellowship trains future stroke specialists from Canada and around the world. Medical students, UBC and elective residents and fellows rotate on the VGH Stroke Service and attend the VGH Stroke Prevention Clinic.

Members of our group lead the neurology education committee for the UBC Faculty of Medicine undergraduate program and examine for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Our stroke neurologists are also actively involved in public education and national and international best practice initiatives including spokesperson roles for Heart and Stroke campaigns, and best practice guideline committee participation.

Recent best practice guidelines by our group members:



Research helps to drive improvements in clinical care. The Vancouver Stroke Program maintains an active profile in investigator-initiated research and has a long history as a recruiting site for clinical trials in acute stroke and secondary prevention. Our research is regularly published and presented at international conferences and our investigators hold peer-reviewed PI funding CIHR and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. From 2009 until 2013, the NIH-NINDS funded Secondary Prevention of Small Subcortical Strokes (SPS3), a multicenter international trial was coordinated from UBC. To date, over 50 peer-reviewed publications have been produced from the SPS3 database.

Recent high-impact studies including participation from the Vancouver Stroke Program:


Our physicians

Oscar Benavente MD FRCPC

Thalia Field MD FRCPC MHSc

Sharanpal Mann MD FRCPC MHSc

Colleen Murphy MD FRCPC

Philip Teal MD FRCPC

Stephen Van Gaal MD FRCPC

Laura Wilson MD FRCPC

Samuel Yip MD FRCPC PhD