Stroke survivors in western P.E.I. no longer have to travel as far to talk to a specialist, thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Canadian Stroke Network that provides patients with a teleconferencing service with Charlottetown doctors.

A new video-conferencing system allows patients in Summerside to talk with a doctor in Charlottetown without having to make the drive as often.

Bernice Grady, spends more time these days painting while at home and less time on the road.

Since her stroke 10 years ago, she has had family members often drive her to Charlottetown to see a rehabilitation specialist.

But her daughter Vicki MacLean said that was getting difficult. It meant taking a day off of work to spend on the road.  

“Really, it takes almost two family members now and it can be a little scary,” she said.

But now, thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Canadian Stroke Network, Grady needs to drive just a few minutes to Prince County Hospital to check in with her specialist in Charlottetown, Dr. Ed Harrison.

Harrison is the medical director of the Physical Medicine and Provincial Rehabilitation unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

“This is one way of addressing some of those gaps and ensuring that, across the province, that we can collaborate to make it as smooth a journey for people as possible,” he said.

A camera and big-screen TV allow patients in Summerside to connect with doctors in Charlottetown.

The service is also expected to be offered in West Prince and Kings County starting in June.