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At the UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center, experts offer various levels of care for people who have strokes.

Inpatient services

Once someone has been admitted to UF Health Shands Hospital with a stroke, he or she receives state-of-the-art care as quickly as possible. Our physicians will take images of the brain and will conduct numerous tests. Patients are evaluated and specific, individualized treatment plans begin. Patients may require various medications and/or surgery to treat stroke.

Neurointensive care unit

Most patients recover in our designated neurointensive care unit, one of the largest in Florida, where they have the comfort of private rooms with 24/7 access to highly skilled nurses and physicians. During a person’s stay, our physicians will determine the underlying cause of the stroke, and will perform an in-depth evaluation of risk factors for stroke. Patients at the UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center may receive expert evaluations from physicians in other specialty areas, including cardiology, endocrinology (diabetes), internal medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Patients receive care from an interdisciplinary team that includes vascular neurologists, neuro critical care specialists, certified physical medicine and rehab physicians in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Outpatient services and stroke rehabilitation

Patients treated in the UF Health Shands Comprehensive Stroke Center often have ongoing rehabilitation needs and evaluation by our rehabilitation medicine specialist in conjunction with treatment by our physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech language pathology team addresses early rehabilitation recovery. Upon discharge, people may require further rehab in which case our physicians may recommend admission to the UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital or to a skilled nursing facility.

Our physicians will help with stroke prevention and management of risk factors. Additionally, if rehabilitation needs continue after hospital discharge, a stroke rehabilitation medicine physician, or physiatrist will develop an ongoing outpatient rehabilitation program. At UF, our physiatry team cares for stroke patients across our entire system of care, from the acute care hospital, to the inpatient rehabilitation center to our outpatient clinics. We work closely with our rehabilitation therapy teams and other medical specialists. Our goal is to provide care for the whole person after stroke which will allow them to achieve maximum functional recovery and quality of life.

Disability after stroke is related to the amount of brain that is injured and the location of the injury. Stroke rehabilitation uses a team approach to relearning/compensating for skills that have been lost due to the stroke and also focuses on preventing development of new medical problems after stroke, like fall, pain and infections.Specialized services offered include comprehensive spasticity management including treatment with Botulinum Toxin and motion/functional analysis. People may also continue with rehab therapy after discharge. UF Health Shands has several outpatient rehab facilities with physical and occupational therapists and speech language pathologists trained in stroke rehabilitation.

Upon discharge, people may require further rehab in more of an inpatient setting, in which case our physicians may recommend admission to the UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital or to a skilled nursing facility.

Learn more for appointments and directions.

Stroke support groups

  • The Life After Stroke Support Group, or LASSG: Meets every Thursday from 3:30 – 5 p.m. at the Alachua County Senior Recreation Center. The Senior Recreation Center is located at 5701 NW 34th Street in Gainesville. This group welcomes anyone who has had a stroke, as well as family, friends and care providers. For more information, call 352-745-3672, email or visit
  • The UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital Aphasia Book Club: Meets every other Wednesday at 5 p.m. at UF Health Shands Rehab Hospital at 4101 NW 89th Blvd. in Gainesville. The club is free but space is limited. Please contact Kerry Lenius at 265-5491 x70144 if you are interested in attending. Visit the UF Health master calendar for a list of book club dates.

Diagnostic testing

The types of diagnostic tests include:

Patient resources

UF Health Resources

National associations

Home care after a stroke

  • Eldercare at HomeThe Health in Aging Foundation offers an online book for caregivers. This is intended as a supplemental resource guide for family members providing care in the home. This caregiver’s guide is not stroke specific.
  • Aging Parents & Elder Care: This website provides a variety of resources, from advice articles to information about Medicare, and from online sources for home medical supplies and living assistance products to checklists on a variety of topics designed to assist in determining the needs and abilities of your loved one.

Nursing care

  • Guide to Choosing a Nursing HomeThis booklet is published by the US. Department of Health & Human Services. Topics include how to find and compare nursing homes, how to pay for nursing home care, your nursing home resident rights and where to call for help.
  • Find and Compare Nursing HomesThis tool is provided by the official U.S. government website for Medicare. It allows you to search for nursing homes by name, city, county, state or zip code and compare the quality of the nursing homes using Five-Star Quality Ratings, health inspection results, nursing home staff data, fire safety inspection data and other quality measures.

American Stroke Association

Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. Created in 1997, the American Stroke Association is dedicated to prevention, diagnosis and treatment to save lives from stroke — America’s No. 5 killer and a leading cause of serious disability. The American Stroke Association funds scientific research, helps people better understand and avoid stroke, encourages government support, guides healthcare professionals and provides information to enhance the quality of life for stroke survivors. To learn more, call 1-888-4-STROKE, or browse