Chatham Hosts Second Ontario Stroke Survivor Congress

CHATHAM-KENT: October 28, 2016 -- Today, attendees of Ontario’s second Stroke Survivor Congress, received the gifts of inspiration, insight and information to improve the journey for current and future stroke survivors.  Powerful topics for stroke survivors, accentuated by an incredible caliber of talented international, provincial and local speakers who were willing to share their expertise, were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of over 130 people. By all accounts the day was a resounding success.

Dan Zimmerman (left), shares his inspiring journey of recovery from stroke during Ontario's second Stroke Survivor Congress on October 28, 2016 at the St. Clair College HealthPlex in Chatham, Ontario.

“At CKHA, we seek to create new and enhanced opportunities to share knowledge with our patients, partners and larger health system. Today’s event exemplifies this in practice. I’m so proud of our committee’s use of another fun and engaging theme to provide meaningful information to improve the experiences of stroke survivors, families and their caregivers,” said Nancy Snobelen, Director of Partnerships and System Integration, CKHA.

Building on the legacy of the Stroke Garden Party, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) refreshed its approach to celebrating life after stroke. By inviting other organizations to become partners, this first of its kind congress for stroke survivors was realized. The event, hosted by CKHA in partnership with New Beginnings, Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) and Stroke Recovery Association, recognizes that surviving a stroke is a significant life changing event. It requires super powers that provide enormous hope, bravery, strength, determination, help from others and celebration.  

“New Beginnings is very pleased to be teaming up with Chatham-Kent Health Alliance to present a quality program in the 2nd Stroke Survivor Congress,” reflected Bob Rawlinson, Executive Director, New Beginnings, ABI and Stroke Recovery Association. “There are always new and developing strategies to help people recover from stroke and our speakers for the day are pleased to present them in Chatham-Kent.  Stroke prevention is our future.

The superheroes theme, was shaped by stroke survivors, their families and caregivers, for stroke survivors, families and caregivers to help them find their way on their post-stroke road of recovery.  The focus on ‘Creating a Super You’ was highlighted as participants heard inspiring stories of how exercise, fitness, nutrition, information and socialization improves survival rates. Those present described the experience as informative, intriguing and uplifting.  

The day also featured entertaining commentary by Guest Emcee, Peter “Superman” Martin, from Cogeco, and Denise “Lois Lane” Carpenter, Senior Coordinator, Community Services, March of Dimes Canada, a video on recognizing the signs and symptoms of stroke “F.A.S.T.” (Face, Arm, Speech, TIME), the community resources website, door prizes and vendor displays.

The event was made possible through the organizations, the planning committee, Cogeco, local vendors and all the student volunteers. Through their generous support, the event was no charge and survivors literally came by the bus load. 

“To truly celebrate and support the number of stroke survivors, it takes partnerships to live the message of celebration, hope and caring on an ongoing basis.  We are fortunate to have exceptional services for stroke survivors in Chatham-Kent. We are truly a stroke-friendly community,” concluded Snobelen. 

Local stroke survivor services, all of which are achieving excellent results, include: the District Stroke Centre, daily Secondary Prevention Clinics, acute stroke management including thrombolysis “clot-busting” treatment, an Integrated Stroke Unit, Inpatient Rehabilitation, Outpatient Transitional Stroke Program, Friends of Stroke Recovery, and Stroke Social Programs.  More evidence for new protocols are on the horizon for rapid access to tertiary services such as endovascular treatment; and longer term cardiac monitoring for diagnosis of atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. 

To arrange an interview on Monday, October 31, please contact:
Emily Field, Communications Specialist
Chatham-Kent Health Alliance
efield [at] ckha [dot] on [dot] ca  
519.352.6401 ext. 5326



Dr. Macaluso shared how exercise can transform a stroke survivor into their super self. 
Steven is a consulting physiatrist (specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) on the Stroke and Musculoskeletal rehabilitation units at Parkwood Hospital. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. Dr. Macaluso is a certified  electromyography consultant with a special interest in Sports Medicine having provided medical coverage at regional and national levels.
Very happy with his life and accomplishments, Mike shared his story of never giving up on the goal to one day walk again and how that evolved into opening the Moving Forward Rehabilitation and Wellness Center. 
Mike sustained a spinal cord injury in June 1996. He has accomplished everything an able bodied person would do from the ages of 16 to 36.  He finished high school, achieved a university degree, landed a great job, bought a house, modified a vehicle for independent driving, and travelled through the United States and Australia.  Mike joins us from London, Ontario.
Dan will share his stories about pedaling around the USA and launching his foundation, Spokes For Strokes. On these and future journeys, he wants to use his super powers for good vs evil,  bringing hope, freedom and recovery to stroke survivors and HHT sufferers. 
Dan Zimmerman was born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona.  In 2005, at age 41, he suffered a stroke that paralyzed his right arm and leg and damaged the left side of his brain.  Angry, Dan knew he had to give up or fight. In 2008, Dan started recumbent ­triking which has improved his health and more importantly, given him a purpose in life. He raises ­awareness of Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT), the disease that led to his stroke.  He also wants to raise awareness of stroke prevention and inspire other stroke ­survivors to fight back against the disease.
Coraine teaches attendees how to energize their inner superhero by sharing the best fuels available for survivors of stroke.  
Coraine has been a registered dietitian for over fifteen years having worked in a variety of community settings. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Studies from Ryerson Polytechnic University, a coordinated dietetic internship from Wayne State University and is currently pursing a graduate degree in Master of Nutrition and Dietetics from Central Michigan University. She is with the Thamesview Family Health Team.
To see the full program and speaker biographies, click here.

Search form

Your opinions and feedback matter, send us your comments, questions and concerns.

Chatham Campus

Chatham Site

80 Grand Avenue West
P.O. Box 2030
Chatham, ON N7M 5L9

Sydenham Campus

Wallaceburg Site

325 Margaret Ave
Wallaceburg, ON N8A 2A7