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Guiding Stroke Recovery; Jannick Thériault, Stroke Navigator

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

Jannick Thériault is a Stroke Navigator with the Heart & Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick
Jannick Thériault, Stroke Navigator

Meet Jannick Thériault, a Stroke Navigator with Heart & Stroke NB. As we recognize Stroke Month, we're thrilled to shine a spotlight on Jannick and the invaluable role she plays in helping those who have experienced stroke return to everyday life. Hear from Jannick about her impactful work as a Stroke Navigator, and the incredible difference she makes in her clients’ road to recovery.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became a Stroke Navigator?

I am a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and have worked primarily with seniors both in community and in long term care. I’ve always been someone who enjoys helping others in any way I can, so when I came across the posting for the Stroke Navigator position, I knew I had to apply. I’ve had the pleasure of working as a Stroke Navigator now for the past 3 years!

Q: What does a typical day as a Stroke Navigator look like for you?

A typical day for me involves meeting with my clients – either by phone, virtually, or in-person. I usually meet with four clients per day. We receive referrals to our program on a regular basis and in between sessions I am often contacting potential clients to book their first appointment. I am also involved in other projects and initiatives that are part of our overall Stroke Navigation program.

Q: How does the Stroke Navigation program help individuals who have experienced a stroke?

The Stroke Navigation program really focuses on each of our client’s unique needs – these can range from educating clients about the effects of stroke, risk factors and how to prevent future strokes from happening, to obtaining resources that are helpful along the stroke recovery journey. Our Stroke Navigation program is there so that individuals who’ve had a stroke don’t have to go through it alone. It offers peace of mind by ensuring they’re referred to the right health care professionals and services to help them along the way.

Q: What are some of the challenges stroke survivors face when transitioning back to everyday life, and how do you assist them?

Some of the common areas of challenge for my clients include physical, cognitive and emotional changes. Sometimes they have difficulties resuming daily living activities, or struggle with mobility issues, communication, fatigue, vision, not being able to drive and even financial needs. The good news is that there are several services available to help in these areas! By getting to know our clients, I am able to connect them with appropriate programs or services and set them on a successful track forward.

Q: As a Stroke Navigator, what advice or encouragement would you give to stroke survivors who may be feeling overwhelmed?

I would encourage them to contact us and discover how a Stroke Navigator is able to help support them through their journey. We know that a stroke can be overwhelming and challenging, but no one has to go through this it alone. Call us at 1-800-663-3600 - we are here to help!

Q: What kind of impact does Stroke Navigation have on family members or caregivers of those who have experienced stroke?

We provide support to family members and caregivers – which can be as simple as answering their questions, providing guidance for referrals, offering education and resources, or serving as a listening ear. We can ease the feeling of uncertainty by offering a direction forward.

Q: What inspires you most about being a Stroke Navigator, and why is this work so important to you?

The ultimate goal of our Stroke Navigation program is to give our clients the tools, education, and resources so they feel confident in being able to self-manage after discharge from hospital.

Every day I get the privilege of helping people which fuels my soul! Being able to work with clients soon after returning home, helping them through their challenges and seeing them gain knowledge, skills, and confidence to return to their life after stroke is so inspiring. I am so fortunate to be able to be part of their journey!

Jannick Theriault’s role as Stroke Navigator showcases the support provided by the Stroke Navigation program. Through this program, stroke survivors receive the guidance and resources they need to rebuild their lives. To learn more or for a referral, click here.

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