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Frequently Asked Questions


If you present your valid Health Card number to Southlake’s Financial Services Department within 24 hours of your visit, you will not be billed for non-physician services. You may call-in your number within this timeframe as well.

No. Physicians bill separately for their services and may request immediate payment at the time of your visit. If this is the case, you will be given a receipt and may use it to receive reimbursement from OHIP.

Call your patient representative at the appropriate number and extension listed below.

For surnames starting with:
A – E, call 905-895-4521, ext. 2361
F – L, call 905-895-4521, ext. 2261
M – Q, call 905-895-4521, ext. 2135
R – Z, call 905-895-4521, ext. 2156

For general cashier enquiries call 905-895-4521, xt. 2262 or email: patientaccounts@southlake.ca

For information or questions on OHIP or your Health Card,  visit the Ontario Ministry of Health website.

Payment for uninsured services and personal accounts are due upon discharge. Payment for these services can be made via credit card, debit, cheques or e-transfers.

Services and items not covered by OHIP include:

  • Ambulance transportation (some exceptions apply)
  • Cast sandals
  • Fiberglass casts
  • Knee immobilizers
  • Soft collars
  • Aerochambers
  • Shoulder immobilizers
  • Aircast foam walkers
  • Clavicle braces
  • Ankle splints
  • Crutches
  • Preferred accommodations such as private and semi-private rooms

The Ministry Of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Long Term Care (MOLTC) along with the Canada Health Act, rule that any individual who receives medical care but cannot show proof of valid OHIP coverage, can be personally billed for both hospital and physician services provided.

All non-residents of Canada must pay for services received at Southlake. Inpatients are required to pay a $7,000 deposit (to be arranged with Finance Services) and sign a guarantee of payment for the balance of their account.

As a convenient way for patients paying for uninsured services or items (e.g. crutches, splints, etc.), Southlake accepts credit card payment at the Registration desk in the Emergency Department. 

In addition to the uninsured services/items listed, Canadian residents who do not provide a valid Provincial Health Card Number and residents from other countries (e.g., US) will be charged by the Hospital for use of the Emergency facility and by the individual physician for the cost of medical services incurred. Physicians are not employees of Southlake Regional Health Centre and, therefore, bill separately for their services.


At the Stronach Regional Cancer Centre (SRCC) at Southlake, we know a cancer diagnosis may affect many aspects of your life: physical, financial, emotional, occupational, and spiritual. If you have been diagnosed, remember that you are a person who happens to have cancer. Cancer is not who you are and it does not define who you will be. It is normal to feel scared, anxious or unsettled when diagnosed with cancer.

You might find that you are worried about your emotional well-being, or you may have worries about finances or transportation.

That’s why it’s as important for you and your family to receive emotional, spiritual and social guidance, as well as your radiation or other treatments. At the SRCC at Southlake, we’re here to help every step of the way.

There are common side effects associated with radiation therapy, as it’s hard to destroy cancer cells without damaging some normal cells too. These side effects vary depending on the area being treated, the prescribed radiation dose and the length of your overall treatment.

Your radiation oncologist and radiation therapists will discuss any possible side effects with you and provide methods for managing them. The SRCC at Southlake also offers classes and information sessions to help you manage your side effects. We will also monitor you throughout your treatment and during weekly visits with your healthcare team.

Remaining as still as possible is important when the radiation is on. Relax and breathe normally. If you need to cough, don’t be polite and cover up. Cough straight up or down, depending on your position and you will naturally relax back into the correct position.

The machine will not touch you. It may move close to your treatment area, but it will not make contact with your skin.

You will feel a slight pinprick as a fine needle is used to place the tiny tattoos. Remember to relax and communicate with the staff about any concerns you may have.

Yes, once you have been placed into position, your radiation therapist will deliver your treatment from outside the room. Your treatment room has cameras and an intercom system, so staff will be able to see and hear you at all times. If you require assistance, feel free to call out and they will assist you, as needed.

No, just like taking an x-ray, once the radiation is turned off, radiation does not stay in your body. It is safe to be around family and friends while you are undergoing your treatments.

No, radiation is similar to having an x-ray taken. There is no pain or any sensation involved.

You will not see or feel anything during treatment. You will only hear noises from the radiation machine.

We offer you a range of clinics and support group programs to improve your quality of life throughout your treatment and beyond. Clinics are held on level one (1) and most support group programs are held in our auditorium on the lobby level of the SRCC at Southlake.

To hear about the SRCC at Southlake’s supportive care clinics and programs that can help you, watch the less than two-minute video below.

If you would like to arrange a virtual visit with your loved one please email the patient’s name and your contact information to VirtualVisit@southlake.ca.

Depending on your needs, your team may include a combination of: registered dietitians, a medical psychotherapist, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, palliative care physicians, physiotherapists, psychiatrists and social workers.


Seeing your healthcare provider is essential for regular physical appointments to promote healthy styles that manage your cardiac risk factors before symptoms occur. If coronary artery disease is suspected, you will be referred for cardiac testing. Once diagnosed, a referral will be made to see a cardiologist.

A heart attack is a blockage in one of the arteries that feed your heart muscle with blood rich in oxygen. Over time or due to risk factors, these arteries become narrow and finally block. This means the part of the heart muscle not receiving oxygenated blood may risk permanent damage or loss of pumping action.

If you suspect you are having symptoms of a heart attack, CALL 911. Do not drive yourself to the hospital.

We understand this type of test can be stressful. Please let the care workers know you have this fear when you arrive. Please know, you will not be entirely enclosed in the machine and it will not touch you.

Most importantly, it is important to never get the monitor wet. As for showering, ask your care provider what conditions are practiced for your individual monitoring period. There are no side effects or symptoms produced from wearing your heart monitor.

Yes, exercise has huge benefits by reducing blood pressure and manufacturing good cholesterol. This will improve the effectiveness of your blood vessels in the heart and in the rest of the body.

Our nutritionists will provide information on a diet when you come into the program. Below are areas you can focus on now. If this is too overwhelming, choose one that is important to you.

  • Increase your fibre intake: Eat more wholegrain bread, cereals, pasta, and rice, and eat seven servings of fruit and vegetables per day.
  • Increase your healthy fat intake: Eat unsaturated fats found in a handful of unsalted nuts, canola, or extra virgin olive oil. Eat two to three servings of fish per week.
  • Cut your saturated fat intake: Choose low-fat dairy products and lean meats. Eliminate trans fat in your diet.
  • Limit your salt intake: Consume one teaspoon (5 grams) or less per day. Limit most processed foods and the use of condiments such as ketchup and soy sauce, which have added salt. Avoid adding salt to food altogether.
  • Read all food labels: Read the “nutrition facts” labels on food. Pay attention to sodium and fat content.
  • Watch your portion size: If you need to lose weight, reduce your portions, learn about appropriate serving sizes, use a smaller plate, and avoid taking seconds.    

Yes. If you are using nitroglycerine, take it immediately (sit down when you are using it). Repeat in five minutes if symptoms persist. If needed, you may take a third spray in another five minutes.

If your symptoms do not resolve, call 911. DO NOT DRIVE YOURSELF TO THE HOSPITAL.

Yes, sexual activity may resume when you feel well and can climb two flights of stairs without shortness of breath or angina.

Absolutely. A regular exercise plan with preferred days and times will be worked out with your care providers. A typical weekly exercise class starts with a 30-minute education session, then followed by 60 minutes of exercise. You will be responsible to record your home exercise on the provided weekly exercise logs for review with your exercise therapist.

The Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Clinic offers personalized exercise programs to assist individuals with cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and those who are at high risk of cardiovascular disease to develop healthier lifestyles. Healthy practice that can reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the future.

Southlake follows the Cardiac Care Network of Ontario Standards for the Provision of Cardiovascular Rehabilitation

Our rehabilitation program includes weekly exercise sessions for six months. You will be assigned to an exercise therapist who will work with you throughout the program.

If you have had cardiac surgery, follow the guidelines in your surgery discharge package. Start out with walking short distances (5-10 minutes) several times per day. Then gradually increase the amount of time you are walking to 30 consecutive minutes. Follow the talk test rule: You should be able to talk while you walk without feeling out of breath.

If you feel symptoms such as chest pain or chest discomfort or shortness of breath, slow down and stop.

Do not lift anything heavier than 10 pounds (equal to a 4L bag of milk).

Cardiovascular rehabilitation adds to and builds on the treatments you received while in hospital. As a chronic condition, cardiovascular disease requires a lifelong behavioural change. You will finish the program with the tools and confidence to continue making healthy choices on your own.

Yes, a light breakfast is allowed with all types of Stress Tests (Nuclear, Stress Echo and regular Stress Tests). There is a caffeine restriction for 24 hours only with a Nuclear Stress Test.

It will take an average of five hours for completion of this test.

There are different ways of doing a Stress Test. If ordered by a physician, we can chemically stress the heart (e.g. Dobutamine/Persantine).

Comfortable clothes and shoes, preferably running shoes. You will be asked to remove all clothing from the waist up, so please come dressed in a shirt and pants.

With a regular Stress Test, no needle is involved. With a Nuclear Stress Test, you will be receiving an intravenous.

Someone with heart disease will develop symptoms such as, but not limited, to chest pain and/or tightness, or pressure that occurs during both an activity and rest periods. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, breaking out in a sweat, palpitations or dizziness. Getting to Emergency is important so treatment can be started immediately.

If you suspect you are having symptoms of a heart attack, CALL 911. Do not drive yourself to the hospital.

There are many health factors that contribute to developing heart disease. Genetics, elevated cholesterol levels and hypertension are only a few that play a role in diagnosis. Talk to your physician about not only identifying risk factors but ways you can lessen the effects of heart disease.

If you feel angina during activity, slow down and gradually stop over a couple of minutes.

Always follow the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada’s FAST assessment.

Freezing is injected into one side of the patient’s groin area. The patient may feel some pressure in this area as the doctor finds the artery and makes a small incision. Once the incision is made, a sheath is inserted into the artery and acts as a guideline or tunnel for the catheter to follow to the heart. The patient will not feel the catheter as it moves through their artery and into their heart.

During this time, the patient may be asked to take a deep breath and hold it while a series of x-rays are taken and recorded onto film.

The patient will then be transferred to a stretcher and taken to the recovery area for approximately three to four hours for close observation and routine care.

The cardiologist will briefly review the results with the patient immediately following the test.

An angiogram is a complex procedure that allows a cardiologist (a heart physician) to guide a thin plastic tube called a catheter into the arteries of the heart muscle to determine if there is any narrowing or blockage.

Angina is pain or discomfort that occurs when the heart does not receive adequate blood flow to maintain a constant flow of oxygen to the heart muscle. Angina may be experienced in the chest, neck, jaw, arms, shoulder or back.

The aorta may enlarge due to high blood pressure, abnormal aortic valves or genetic factors. If it reaches a certain diameter and depending on any associated heart problem, it may be recommended that the aorta be replaced with a graft. This may be done as scheduled surgery, and in addition to other procedures on the heart.

The wall of the heart that divides the left and right chambers; occasionally fails to close during development before birth, leaving an opening. This opening may increase the workload on the heart and needs to be surgically repaired.

Congestive heart failure is a condition where the heart does not pump normally. It does not mean that your heart is failing and going to stop. It just can’t cope with the normal flow of blood through the arteries and veins because the pumping or squeezing of the heart is reduced, and it becomes congested. 

Typical symptoms include and are not limited to: feelings of fatigue and shortness of breath, due to the left side not working well. Or, developing swelling of lower limbs due to the right side not working well.

Coronary artery disease, or more commonly known as heart disease, is a disease of the blood vessels that feed the heart muscle. If they get clogged and narrow, this results in a reduction of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. This results in angina (chest pain) — or in a more extreme example, a heart attack — if not treated immediately.

If you would like to arrange a virtual visit with your loved one please email the patient’s name and your contact information to VirtualVisit@southlake.ca.

While preparing for care, we asked you to bring in all your medications. Now as you are ready to go home, you may have additional prescriptions. We know this can be overwhelming, however, your medications are a key part in optimizing your health. If you have questions, please ask your care team. 


The ROE is a formal opportunity for learners to:

  • Learn about the roles of others on healthcare teams.
  • Recognize how stereotypes can impact patient care.
  • Apply learnings about interprofessional care.


Southlake is seeing high levels of patients. To keep everyone safe and avoid overcrowding, one visitor per patient will be permitted, depending on the current volumes in the department and with the discretion of staff.

Designated Care Providers (DCPs) provide support to specific patients and are designated by the patient/substitute decision maker/POA. DCPs provide support to patients with significant developmental, intellectual or functional disabilities such as cognitive impairment or communication barriers. They may provide direct care to the patients such as feeding, mobility, hygiene, cognitive stimulation, communication and meaningful connection or may assist with decision making. 

  • DCPs must be at least 18 years of age.     
  • DCPs must follow Southlake visitor guidelines.  
  • DCP access will be determined based on compassionate circumstances surrounding the individual patient. 

Discharge Services

Southlake partners with CHATS and their Home at Last program in order to provide our patients with a smooth transition from hospital to home. To learn more about what CHATS has to offer please call 1-877-452-4287, or email them at seniorshelp@chats.on.ca

For more information about billing please follow this link to our Billings page.

Improving the patient experience is crucial towards improving the overall quality of care at Southlake. Please follow this link to our Office of Patient Experience for further information on how to provide your important feedback.

Going home should be a comfortable transition once you leave Southlake. To ensure this happens we ask our patients and families to follow these planning instructions:

  • Be available to receive necessary instructions for you or your family member’s care prior to discharge.
  • Inform your care team if there are circumstances which may delay you getting picked up.
  • If a family member or loved one is picking you up, have them be available during the day — preferably in the morning — to take you home.
  • Provide the necessary clothing to be worn at the time of discharge.
  • Pack, remove and transport all your personal belongings.
  • Fill your prescriptions for medications prior to your discharge. For your convenience, Centric Health Pharmacy is located next to the East Entrance and an automated pharmacy kiosk is available 24/7 in the Emergency Department waiting area.
  • Work with your care team on making sure the necessary equipment or modifications are delivered and completed at your home.
  • In the case of an infant, or small child, have a certified car seat available at the time of discharge.

Your care team will provide you with specific instructions to follow once you leave the hospital. These instructions may include prescriptions for medication and follow-up appointment information. If you have not received any follow-up instructions, or have any questions about them, please ask someone from your care team to help before you leave Southlake.

If you are discharged to another hospital or healthcare facility, your care team will look after your transition to your new destination.

Discharge time at Southlake is 10 a.m.

Families and Babies

Please visit the page on our website: Doctors Taking New Patients

If you have any security concerns, inform a staff member immediately. They will notify the Security Office at 905- 895-4521, ext. 2385. If ever in any doubt, contact your nurse immediately.

All normal vaginal deliveries are generally discharged approximately 30 – 36 hours following delivery. In the case of caesarean delivery, in approximately 48 hours.

Our NICU contains courtesy accommodation for mothers whose babies must remain in the NICU after mom is ready for discharge.

Southlake offers a labour and delivery hotline for expectant mothers who require labour and pregnancy support. This hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Southlake provides families with direct communication with a registered nurse in the Birthing Unit who will discuss your concerns and provide you with labour and delivery information.

Call our hotline at 905-895-4521, ext. 2225

Our special care nursery is sometimes called a level 2 NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). The NCIU will care for your baby if he or she is born at 32 weeks or greater from conception to delivery — often referred to preterm babies. Other full-term babies may require close monitoring after birth at the NCIU.

Your baby’s safety is an important part of our care at Southlake. It is mandatory for all staff, volunteers and physicians to wear their Southlake ID badge. Immediately after delivery, you, your support person and your baby are identified with matching arm bracelets. Remember to not remove these bracelets until you arrive home.

It is important to not release your baby to any individual who is not wearing an appropriate Southlake photo ID and never leave your baby unattended.

If families wish this service you will need to make arrangements to bring baby back to the Ambulatory Day Care area. Information is available on your unit. Please be reminded the cost of newborn circumcision is not covered by OHIP. Circumcision includes two fees — a hospital fee and a physician’s fee. Once the hospital’s fee is made, a receipt will be issued and must be presented to the nurse before the procedure can be performed. You will need to talk to your physician about their costs. 

Payment can be made at the Cashiers’ Office located on level 1 of the East Building at the main entrance, or the nursing station. Physician fees vary and it is recommended that you speak in advance to the doctor who will perform the procedure about fees and method of payment.

Our Birthing Unit offers private birthing rooms for mothers during labour, the baby’s birth, and recovery. Each room is spacious and includes modern amenities and a pull-out chair for family members to spend the night. Our operating rooms and a recovery room are located within the Birthing Unit for both elective and emergency caesarean sections.


Your undirected gift to Southlake will allow us to put your money where it is needed most to ensure that our clinical teams continue to provide the compassionate and leading edge care you need, when you need it most. If you would prefer to direct your gift to one of our Giving Priorities, you may do so.

Thank you for considering a stock gift to Southlake! Visit Ways to Give for guidance on how to make a stock gift and to download the form, or call 905.836.7333.

Thank you for updating your information with us! Email foundation@southlake.ca with the complete updated information or call us at 905.836.7333 and we’ll be happy to assist you in making the update. 

That’s ok! It happens.  If your donation was made online, take a look in your junk folder. If you’ve already checked and it isn’t there, email foundation@southlake.ca and we will resend it. If you have misplaced a tax receipt received in the mail, call us at 905.836.7333 and we will resend it to you.  

Absolutely. You can call us at 905.836.7333, Monday-Friday from 8:30-4:30, or you can mail us a cheque or visit us at:

Southlake Foundation

102-581 Davis Drive, Newmarket, ON, L3Y 2P6

The privacy and confidentiality of your credit information is a priority. Please do not send credit card updates over email. Instead, call us at 905.836.7333, Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm and our gift processing team will take your new card number.  

First off, thank you! Your donation to Southlake will help ensure that our expert clinical teams have the tools they need to provide you with the care you need, when you need it most. Making a one-time or monthly gift is quick and easy.

By phone:

Call us at 905.836.7333 and we’ll be happy to assist you.


Click here to Donate

By Mail or In-Person:

Send a cheque or visit us at:

Southlake Foundation
102-581 Davis Drive
Newmarket, ON, L3Y 2P6

For other ways to give including tribute donations and legacy gifts, please visit Ways to Give.

All gifts to Southlake Foundation will receive a tax receipt as per CRA guidelines. One-time online gifts are receipted immediately to the email address provided. One-time mail or in-person gifts are receipted by mail shortly after the Foundation receives your gift. Monthly gifts are receipted for the total annual amount at the beginning of the next calendar year.

Health Information

If the patient is 15 years of age or younger, parental consent is required. If the patient is 16 years of age or older, they are capable of requesting their own records and can consent to disclose their health information.

Whether you want your records released to a relative or friend, you must submit a signed Access to Personal Health Information and Disclosure Consent Form. This form allows us to release the records.

You must also provide a written note, signed and dated, permitting that individual to pick up the records. The individual picking up the records on your behalf must show their photo I.D.

To obtain records for individuals who are deceased, proof of executorships or legal signing authority must be submitted with the request. The Power of Attorney does not have the right to access records of a deceased patient.

If you are looking for birth/death/proof of hospitalization information (e.g. proof of birth/death, time of birth/death), submit a signed Access to Personal Health Information and Disclosure Consent Form. This form allows us to release the records to you or another authorized individual of your choice (we need proper documents to release to another individual, their photo I.D. and a permission letter from you). Print and complete the form and bring it with you to request your records. You must provide photo I.D. to pick up your records.

If you were a patient of Southlake Regional Health Centre, you can receive a copy of your health records for personal, legal or insurance use by submitting a signed Access to Personal Health Information and Disclosure Consent Form. This form allows us to release the records to you. Please note that you must provide photo I.D. to pick up your records. A basic search charge/s will apply.  Refer to the table below.

Patient Connect is an online tool that gives patients and families access to their health care information, health records, appointments and notes from clinical visits 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To self-enroll please visit Patient Connect or call the hotline at 877-733-5033.

Once you have placed your order, your records will typically be available within a few days, but for some more complex records it may take up to 30 days. Once your records are available, you will receive an email notification.

MedChart eliminates mailing and in-person pickups, reducing the overall time to get your records.

The Release of Information team requires an original request from the requester stating what is needed. Included with the request must be an original signed consent of patient/client or substitute decision maker with the paperwork proving such.

We no longer require prepayment. Once we receive the request with all proper documentation, we invoice for the full amount. When the payment in full is received, the records are released.

Forward these requests to the Release of Information Team in the Health Information Department.

MedChart is a secure online platform which allows you to order your health records from any healthcare institution within Canada. Southlake has chosen to partner with MedChart to help patients order their hospital records electronically, without the inconvenience of coming into the hospital in person.

Using MedChart, you will create a user profile and select the records you would like to request. Your request will be sent directly to the Health Information Department to be processed, and you will receive an email notification once your records are in your secure portal, ready to be viewed and/or shared with your circle of care.

There is an administrative cost for non-medical requests.

Charges are as follows:

Item Description Fee Additional Fee
Medical Records on CD Providing a PDF copy of patient records on CD. (encrypted) $30.00 .25¢ for each page. (no free pages)
Medical Records paper copy For making and providing photocopies or computer printouts of a record. $30.00 .25¢ for each page after the first 20 pages
Microfilm/Microfiche for records older than 2006 For making and providing a paper copy of a record from microfilm or microfiche. $30.00 .50¢ per page (no free pages)
Computer Disk For making and providing a floppy disk or a computer disk containing a copy of a record stored in electronic format. $30.00 .25¢ cents per page
Reviewing the Record For supervising an individual examination of original records. $30.00 $6.75 for every 15 minutes after the first 15 minutes
Letter of Visit History

Blood Type Letter

Death/Birth Verification Letter

Flat Fee for any type of letter. $30.00 no additional fees


Fees not indicated above:

Requester Description Fee
CD DI images copied to a disk $10.00 per CD
WSIB Flat Fee $48.15
College of Physicians and Surgeons Flat Fee $0.25/page
College of Nurses of Ontario Flat Fee $0.25/page


Patients, Parents/Guardians, Powers of Attorney, Executors of Estate, Lawyers, and insurance companies can all use MedChart with the appropriate consent. Visit medchart.ca for more details.

Ordering your records online has several benefits, including:

  • Saving you the time and expense of traveling to the hospital
  • Receive your records electronically means you can securely view and share the records with anyone in your circle of care

Southlake’s fee schedule for releasing information will apply when requesting records online, but there is no additional fee for using MedChart to order your records from Southlake.

Health Information is responsible for the release of patient health information for the timelines required by law. Currently, we are responsible to keep patient records for 10 years. If the patient was a child, the records are kept for 10 years past the year the patient reaches their 18th birthday.

We also release diagnostic images on CD or film. By law, we are required to keep the images for 5 years from the exam date. If the diagnostic image is of the breast we must retain it for 10 years. If the patient was a child, the mentioned timelines apply once the patient has reached their 18th birthday.


If you are younger than 60 years of age and have one or more of the risk factors for osteoporosis, you may want to consider whether BMD testing is right for you. It is possible to reduce your risk for broken bones and other effects of osteoporosis with treatment and/or lifestyle changes. Talk to your physician.

Typically, the exposure for a BMD exam is less than for a standard chest x-ray. As with any x-ray procedure, inform the technologist prior to the exam if there is a chance you may be pregnant.

Bone Mineral Density (BMD) is a measurement of the concentration of minerals in the bones which are vital for strong bones. A high BMD indicates above average amounts of calcium and phosphates in the bones, while a below-normal bone mineral density can indicate a loss of bone mass, possibly from osteoporosis.

The Osteoporosis Society of Canada recommends that people aged 65 or older should have a BMD to screen for osteoporosis. However, if you are at increased risk for osteoporotic fractures, screening should begin earlier.

Physicians often use CT scans to:

  • Promptly identify injuries to the lungs, heart and blood vessels, liver, spleen, kidneys, bowel, or other internal organs suffering trauma
  • Guide biopsies and other procedures (i.e. abscess drainages and/or minimally invasive tumours)
  • Determine the results of surgery (i.e. organ transplants and or gastric bypass)
  • Set-up and allow for the proper administration of radiation treatments for tumours and/or gauge response from chemotherapy treatment

Computed Tomography or CT scans, combine the use of a computer with a rotating x-ray device to create detailed cross-sectional images or “slices” of the different organs and body sections. These slices are then assembled in two-dimensional, high-resolution images by a computer.

A CT image of the head, for example, allows physicians to also see soft tissue structures, such as the brain and blood vessels. As a result, CT scans provide better precision and reveal more information than a regular x-ray exam.

While no treatment is risk-free, the risks of interventional radiology procedures are far lower than the risks of open surgery. Most procedures can be performed on an out-patient basis or require only a short stay in hospital.

Interventional Radiology is a radiology specialty devoted to the least amount of surgical interruption during your diagnosis and resulting treatment. Our physician radiologists specialize in targeted treatments using image guidance (ultrasound, CT, or x-rays). This helps them to guide small instruments, such as catheters, through blood vessels or through the skin to treat diseases without surgery.

A general anesthetic is usually not required, but sedation may be offered to keep the patient comfortable during the procedure. Risk, pain, and recovery time are often significantly reduced.

Your appointment will take approximately 30 minutes to complete.

During the mammogram, each breast will be compressed for only a few seconds. Compression is extremely important as it provides a clearer image of the breast by separating the tissue and also reduces radiation exposure. This should not be painful, although it can be uncomfortable.

Yes. Women automatically become part of the Ontario Breast Screen Program (OBSP) when they are referred for a mammogram provided they:

  • Are 50 years of age and older
  • Have not had previous breast cancer
  • Do not have breast implants
  • Are not experiencing acute breast symptoms
  • Have not had a mammogram within the last year
  • Are a current resident of Ontario

The OBSP offers important advantages for women and their primary care practitioners by sending recall and result-letters to women. They also will arrange follow-up services for women if further tests are required. Women who are screened for breast cancer within an organized screening program like the OBSP further benefit by participating in a program that undergoes ongoing quality assurance, program monitoring, and evaluation to ensure that its clients receive high-quality screening.

MRI imaging has no known side effects or risks.

Physicians use MRIs to assist in diagnosing and or monitoring treatment for conditions such as:

  • Tumours of the chest, abdomen, or pelvis
  • Blockages or enlargements of blood vessels (i.e. aorta, renal arteries and/or arteries in the legs)
  • Liver and abdominal disease
  • The small intestine, colon and rectum disease
  • Cysts and kidney tumours (including other parts of the urinary tract)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a safe and painless way to take pictures of soft tissues of the body and is especially valuable in diagnosing brain and nervous system disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. An MRI provides greater accuracy in detecting certain diseases and does not require radiation or surgery.

Absolutely. In nuclear medicine, a small amount of radioactive tracer is introduced into the patient to obtain images that show the performance of your internal organs. This radioactive dosage is carefully prescribed to allow for minimal radiation exposure while the patient is positioned under a gamma camera. This camera detects and scans the distribution of the tracer within the patient’s body.

No. You will not feel anything with these drugs and by the following day, most of the radioactive tracer is eliminated from the body by the normal passing of your waste.

No. Your technologist performing the ultrasound cannot provide any results. This includes information regarding the gender of the fetus in pregnant women. Ultrasound information can only be provided by your referring physician.

An ultrasound test can indicate if and when surgery is needed. It can identify and locate aneurysms, blood clots, damaged tissues, heart problems, abnormal growths, and other diseases. It also offers an accurate way to diagnose any fetal abnormalities, multiple pregnancies, tubal pregnancy, cysts, and tumours in the pelvic organs.

Medicine scans will:

  • Analyze how kidneys are functioning and help visualize your blood flow
  • Scan patient lungs for respiratory and blood flow problems
  • Identify inflammation of the gallbladder and locate an infection
  • Evaluate bones for fractures, infection, tumours or arthritis
  • Determine cancer presence and to track it from spreading
  • Evaluate bleeding of the bowel
  • Gauge thyroid function to detect over or underactive thyroids
  • Explore abnormalities in the brain and blood flow
  • Localize lymph nodes before surgery for patients with melanoma or breast cancer

Yes. Radiation has been known to affect the fetus in pregnant women or women who think they may be pregnant. If this is your case, it is advised you should avoid having an x-ray examination. Talk to your physician or technologists if you have any questions about not just an X-ray but any other tests you have been referred for.

Southlake’s Imaging program uses modern and advanced techniques and equipment which leaves slight risk to radiation exposure. Lead “aprons” and lead shields are used to protect the reproductive organs during most x-ray procedures.

Learning at Southlake

The ROE is a formal opportunity for learners to:

  • Learn about the roles of others on healthcare teams.
  • Recognize how stereotypes can impact patient care.
  • Apply learnings about interprofessional care.

Medical Assistance in Dying

Yes. You can change your mind at any time, for any reason. Simply tell your physician, nurse practitioner or a member of your health-care team that you have changed your mind. Your physician or nurse practitioner will discuss what other options are available for your care, and you can be assured that they will all be high-quality and compassionate.

Your provider will also give you an opportunity to change your mind just prior to the provision of MAID.

You must be able to ask for medical assistance in dying at the time of the request. It cannot be written down ahead of time and no one else, including family, can make the decision.

No, you do not have to undergo treatment before requesting medical assistance in dying. The assessor will confirm that you are aware of what is available to you to relieve your suffering, including counselling services, mental health and disability support services, community services and palliative care.

In order for MAiD to occur a series of steps must be followed. There are two pathways for patients. The first id if you have a reasonably foreseeable natural death the second is if your death is not reasonably foreseeable. Your health condition will determine which pathway you are required to follow in order to determine if you are eligible to receive MAiD. Timing will be discussed with a member of the MAiD program, and/or the physician or NP doing the assessment for MAiD.

Step 1: Written Request

  • You must make a written request for medical assistance in dying.
  • You can access the Ontario Ministry of Health MAiD Written request form here:

Clinician Aid A

  • Your signature must be witnessed by one independent witness, who must sign the document at the same time.
  • An independent witness must be 18 years of age or older and understand what it means to request medical assistance in dying.

To be considered independent, the witness cannot:

  • Be your assessor or provider of MAiD
  • Be named in your will, or benefit from your death
  • Be an owner or operator of any health care facility where you live or are being treated, and
  • Be your unpaid caregiver

There is a provision for patients who cannot sign for themselves.

Step 2: Assessments and Eligibility

You will be assessed by at least two independent assessors, (physician or nurse practitioner). The assessment can take up to 1-2 hours per assessment. You may need assessments by other health care professionals to help determine if you meet the eligibility criteria.

For MAiD to occur, both assessors must agree that you meet the eligibility criteria

The assessment may include the following:

  • A review of relevant medical history and your current medical situation.
  • An assessment of your capacity to make decisions.
  • A review of your current medications.
  • A psychosocial assessment.
  • A limited physical examination.
  • A detailed explanation of the MAiD medications and process including which pathway you will follow based on whether your death is reasonably foreseeable.
  • Answering any questions or concerns you or your family may have.

Step 3: Possible waiting period

If it is determined that your death is not reasonably foreseeable and you meet all the criteria, at least 90 days must pass between your first assessment and when MAiD is provided. If your death is determined to be reasonable foreseeable you do not need to wait the 90 days.

Step 4: Provision of MAiD

If you are deemed eligible and decide to proceed with MAiD, some from the MAiD program and/or physician, will work with you to create a detailed plan. This will include a discussion of the date, location, who will be present, and any special arrangements that are required.

It is necessary for the provider to confirm your decision-making capacity and to receive your consent immediately prior to the provision of MAiD. This is an important safeguard for your protection.

In Ontario a law has been passed that ensures that the choice of MAiD as an end-of-life option may not be used as a reason to deny insurance benefits under a valid policy.

If you are eligible for publically funded health care services in Canada then the cost of the assessments, medication and procedure are fully covered.

Yes, you can call our MAiD program at 905-895-4521, ext. 2326 or email maid@southlake.ca

To be capable to make decisions about your healthcare, you must:

  • Understand and remember information that is relevant to making a decision about your medical treatment.
  • Appreciate the reasonably foreseeable consequences of a decision, or failing to make a decision.
  • The medical condition of people approaching end-of-life can change rapidly, and can result in loss of capacity. If you are at risk of losing capacity, options may be available to you, your MAiD assessor will discuss this with you.

The Office of the Chief Coroner must investigate cases of medical assistance in dying and will be contacted just after MAID has been provided. Usually, a representative from the coroner’s office will wish to speak briefly to a patient’s family member at this time.

Healthcare providers have the right to conscientiously object and not participate in medical assistance in dying based on moral or religious beliefs. If you request medical assistance in dying from a healthcare provider who objects, they have an obligation to provide you with an effective and timely referral.

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) is a procedure where the administrating of medication by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner is intentionally and safely given to end a person life. This is governed by federal law.

To be eligible, a patient must:

  • Be eligible for publicly funded healthcare services in Canada
  • Be 18 years of age or older and capable of making decisions with respect to their health
  • Have a serious and incurable illness, disease, or disability;
  • Be in an advanced state of irreversible decline in capabilities; and
  • Be enduring physical or psychological suffering, caused by the medical condition or the state of decline, that is intolerable to you and cannot be relieved under conditions that you consider acceptable
  • Have all the information required to make informed decisions; specifically about your medical diagnosis, available forms of treatment and options to relieve your suffering, including palliative care, and
  • Made a voluntary request for MAiD that was not made as a result of external pressure.

Mental Health

To begin the referral process, your family physician completes a referral form and sends it to our program by fax at 905-830-5979. Referral forms are also available from the Eating Disorder Program intake worker (905-895-4521, ext. 2825). Once we have received your referral, you will be contacted for a telephone intake interview. If this telephone consultation indicates that you may meet the criteria for our Eating Disorder Program you will be offered a date and time for an assessment. Participation in the program is voluntary.

Eating disorders are the definitions of food and weight issues that adults, children and adolescents experience. Both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are characterized by an intense fear of weight gain and low self-esteem.

What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is most often characterized by extreme weight-loss. Most individuals with anorexia have a distorted body image and may be convinced they are fat even if they are emaciated. These individuals typically have an intense fear of weight gain and may restrict their food intake to the point of starvation.

What is bulimia nervosa?

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by periods of secretive and/or uncontrollable binge eating. This behaviour may be followed by attempts to purge the body of the unwanted food by laxative abuse, self-induced vomiting, use of diet pills, food restriction or excessive exercise.

Our family-oriented treatment team respects each client’s individuality and encourages them to actively participate in their own growth and recovery. Treatment is designed to be collaborative rather than dictated, interactive rather than passive, and personal rather than distant or neutral. 

Our program fosters our clients’ reconnection with their feelings and helps them listen to their bodies. Our staff encourages self-awareness, self-understanding and self-compassion.

Payment for the program is covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) and a valid Ontario Health Card is required. You will not be required to pay anything to attend the program.

Unfortunately, we do not currently have the resources to treat patients over the age of 25 or those with a diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder. There are other OHIP covered programs that do. We recommend that you contact The National Eating Disorder Information Centre to speak with someone about all of the resources available to you in Ontario. 

You can speak to someone over the telephone if you are looking for help, support, resources, information about eating disorders or referrals to health professionals in your area by calling 416-340-4156.

Anorexia nervosa is most often characterized by extreme weight-loss. Most individuals with anorexia have a distorted body image and may be convinced they are fat even if they are emaciated. These individuals typically have an intense fear of weight gain and may restrict their food intake to the point of starvation.

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by periods of secretive and/or uncontrollable binge eating. This behaviour may be followed by attempts to purge the body of the unwanted food by laxative abuse, self-induced vomiting, use of diet pills, food restriction or excessive exercise.

The Physician Referral Form must be completed by your family physician. This will allow them to provide medical information and complete other tests to help us decide what type of treatment is right for you. If you are meeting with another therapist and you feel they have information relevant to your referral, please let Southlake know during your telephone consultation and we will seek your consent to exchange information with them at the appropriate time.

Navigator Support

The Southlake Health Navigator is a mobile app and a virtual ‘front-door’ to health information and services for citizens and patients in the area. This digital platform is an important step in transforming and streamlining how patients and families discover, navigate, and access health information and virtual care services.  

New information and integrated digital health services will be provided on the Navigator over time, so we encourage users to regularly check it out.

Our patients and their families have told us that they lack control of their health journey, including awareness and access to health information and services. Further, we have heard that some patients are frustrated with the number of patient portals, health apps, and other digital tools that exist in isolation and require separate usernames/passwords. 

In partnership with patient and family advisors, Southlake designed and prioritized content for the Navigator, which aims to facilitate seamless access to relevant health services and information provided by Southlake and its community partners. Through capabilities afforded through the Ontario trusted account, patients can create their digital identity and use this to seamlessly and securely access health services and their personal health information that requires a high-level of identity assurance. 

The privacy and security of your personal health information is important and Southlake takes this seriously. Like our other digital systems and procedures, the Navigator is subject to, comply with, and is guided by, the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) of Ontario. Southlake has assessed the risk of the Navigator app, the third-party services contained within it, and the vendor (IDENTOS Inc.) that provides the service. While strong physical, technical and administrative safeguards have been put in place to protect the privacy and security of your health information, any form of web-based technology inherently introduces riskTherefore, we encourage all users to adopt best practices and review the Navigator Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.  

Yes, access to our Patient Connect portal will remain as isthat is, patients can access Patient Connect through traditional means (i.e., via web portal or mHealth app) or through the Navigator app. In a future release of the Navigator app, patients will be able to use their Ontario trusted account to seamlessly access Patient Connect eliminating the need to remember your Patient Connect credentials (username/password). 

Patient and Family Advisory Program

That’s fantastic news! Click on the Apply Now button below and complete the PFA Volunteer Application Form.

  • Has been a patient or family member/caregiver or chosen support person of a patient who received care at Southlake in the past five years
  • Open to seeing beyond your own personal experience
  • Able to effectively share your thoughts and opinions
  • Able to maintain respectful communication and interactions with others at all times 
  • Be prepared to actively participate
  • Good listener
  • Comfortable speaking in a group

A Patient and Family Advisor (PFA) is a volunteer who provides advice from the perspective of the patient, family, caregiver or chosen support person in matters that relate to the patient. They work in partnership as advisors with hospital staff when discussions, plans, and decisions are being made about the delivery of healthcare services. This is accomplished by participating on:

  • Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs)
  • Hospital committees
  • Special projects or initiatives
  • Workshops
  • Patient education material or policy review teams

At Southlake, we believe that the patient’s perspective is key in our ability to deliver exceptional healthcare services. Your input and experience will help create an environment where the best experiences happen for staff, patients and families.

Patient Connect Portal

  1. Provide your email address when you register as a patient at the hospital.
  2. Follow this link https://patientconnect.shinepartners.ca, Click Enrollment Request and complete the form. You will need either your Ontario health card or (Medical Record Number MRN). The MRN is on your patient armband.
  3. You will then receive an email with a link to create your unique User Logon ID and password and set up your security questions.

Once you have completed the enrollment to Patient Connect, you will be able to view personal health information for the patient.

Alternatively, you can visit the hospital’s Health Information Department and register for Patient Connect; it only takes 15 minutes or less to register! You will need two pieces of identification (one piece of ID must be a photo ID).

You must be enrolled in Patient Connect to use the MEDITECH MHealth app.

To download the free app, visit the app store (Apple Store or Google Play), select the MEDITECH MHealth app and click to install.

Once installed:

  1. Open the MEDITECH MHealthapp.
  2. A pop-up message will appear requesting access to your location services. Select Yes.Make sure the Location Services in your device Settings is set to On
  3. Click on the MEDITECH MHealth app and click onPatient Connect.
  4. Enter your Patient Connect Logon ID and password


From the home screen menu, you can access all of your health information.

This is a two-step process. To ensure you receive update notices as well as any test results you can change your email address by:

  1. Select Preferences, on the Patient Connect home page and update your email address.
  2. Reset your Patient Connect User Login ID or Password, visit Patient Connect. Click on the link and follow the prompts accordingly

Sign into your Patient Connect account. Click on the Profile Icon. Click on Update My Profile. Enter the information (street address, phone number) you wish changed, and press submit. Health Information will review your request, so the change may not appear immediately.

Call 1-877-733-5033 or visit the Health Information Department to close your account.

You can also access your child’s record through proxy. To fill out the proxy form click here, after completing the proxy form, email the attached form and a picture of your ID to: PatientConnect@southlake.ca

Age 0 – 13

  • Parent on chart/legal guardian(s) need to visit Health Information Department to enrol in the patient portal (with legal documentation if required)

Age 14 – 15

  • The patient must go to the Health Information Department to enrol in Patient Connect
  • Parents cannot create an account for the patient without written consent from the patient

Age 16 +

  • The patient can provide email address at registration and self-enrol online
  • Parent(s)/Legal Guardian(s) are automatically removed from patient account when the patient turns 16 years old
  • The patient can re-consent to allow their parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to access their patient account

Patient Connect is an online tool that gives patients and families access to their health care information, health records, appointments and notes from clinical visits 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To self-enroll please visit Patient Connect or call the hotline at 877-733-5033.

To reset your Patient Connect User Login ID or password, visit the Patient Connect and click on either the “forgot LogIn ID” or forgot “password” link.

If you require further assistance, please call Patient Connect support at 1-877-733-5033

**If you believe that your Patient Connect account has been breached or compromised, please call the support number above.

Only you have access to your health information in Patient Connect. You have the ability to share this information at your discretion. You have the freedom to invite and/or revoke other people’s access to your health information, without needing to go through the healthcare organization.

You are able to determine access levels and choose what components of your health information each person is able to see. It is easy to see who has access to your information; you will also be able to see when the proxy user last viewed your information.

You can set this up by:

  • Log into your Patient Connect account
  • Select the Profile icon
  • Click on the Shared Access button on the right side of you demographic information


It is important to remember that if a proxy requests a change of information via the Update Profile option, such as a change of address or email, this will change information on the patient’s health record.

You can view information from August 7, 2019 forward. There will be no historical information before this date.

Images are not available through the Patient Connect portal, but you can request these by visiting the hospital website.

Yes, patients aged 14 and older can remove parents/legal guardians’ access to their patient account at any time. This can be done by visiting the Health Information Department within the hospital.

To request access to the health record, you must go to the Health Information Department

You will need government photo identification.

Parents with a proxy account access to their child’s health record will receive regular reminder notices that access to their child’s Patient Connect account will be automatically suspended when the child turns 16 years of age. The child will be required to set up their own user account in Patient Connect.

By allowing your parents to create a Patient Connect account for you, you cannot limit what information your parents see.

Parents are able to view lab results, visit history, upcoming appointments, diagnostic and other reports.

You must be at least 14 years or older to create your own account.

Parents only have access to your health record if an account was created between the ages of 0-13. Parents’ access are automatically removed from the patient account when they turn 16. Once the patient turns 16, they can re-consent to allow their parents to have permanent access to their health record.

These numbers are the unique medical record # for each hospital. The numbering legend is:

  • E00000000 – you are a patient at more than one site, so this is your enterprise medical record number
  • M0000000 – you are a patient at Markham Stouffville Hospital
  • S00000000 – you are a patient at Southlake Regional Health Centre
  • H00000000 – you are a patient at Stevenson Memorial Hospital

Patient Connect contains information on Laboratory results, Diagnostic and other reports, your appointment schedule and a list of your discharge medications from any visit to Markham Stouffville Hospital, Stevenson Memorial Hospital and Southlake Regional Health Centre. Your health care providers add this information during your hospital visit.

In addition to calling the support line at 1-877-733-5033, you can visit the hospital’s Health Information Department to get help with Patient Connect.

Southlake’s Health Information Department is located:
East Building, Level 1.
Hours: 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday (closed on statutory holidays)
You can also visit the health information departments at our SHINE partner hospital for assistance.
Markham Stouffville Hospital
Building B, level 1, Room A1681
Hours: 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday (closed on statutory holidays)
Stevenson Memorial Hospital

Basement level

Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Friday (closed on statutory holidays)

For assistance enrolling for Patient Connect, or question about your Patient Connect account call 1-877-733-5033  Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Self Check-in

In person registration will continue be available. We are providing self-service registration to reduce the amount of time that a patient needs to stand in a registration line.

Two hours in the general rule for most clinics. Some clinics may have slightly different rules due to specific operational requirements. In a location that has limited capacity (especially due to social distancing), the clinic may allow to check-in but they may send you text message to not come to the clinic until there is available space.

24 hours. You are able to complete your registration up to 24 hours before your appointment.

Each clinic is difference but as a general rule, you may not be able to check-in online after your scheduled appointment time. Clinics have allocated appointment times and if a person is late, it makes everyone else late.

Some areas like specific services within Diagnostic Imaging actually have pre-arrival deadlines because of required preparation activities. Your clinic will inform you of the expected arrive time.


Protecting patient information is important for us at Southlake. To ensure your personal health information is accurate andshared without delay with your healthcare team, it would be recommended only one member of your family is chosen to speak with our staff. This person can ask questions about your care on behalf of you and your family. Although not mandatory, this is where a Power of Attorney for Health would be best to help with this process.

A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside the eye which, over time, progresses to the stage where vision becomes blurred. Cataracts are not uncommon and most cataracts are related to aging. According to research by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, about 50 per cent of people between 55 and 64 years of age, and 85 per cent of people over 75 years of age will develop cataracts in the next 10 years of life.

Cataract surgery is generally recommended when a cataract reduces your vision to the point that you are no longer able to read or drive.

Other than cloudy or blurry vision, are there any other symptoms of cataracts?
Other common symptoms of a cataract are:

  • Faded appearance of colours
  • Glare in headlights, lamps or sunlight may appear too bright (a halo may appear around lights)
  • Poor night vision
  • Double vision or multiple images in one eye
  • Frequent prescription changes in your eyeglasses or contact lenses

If you have any of these symptoms, please consult your ophthalmologist, optometrist or family physician.

Please visit our After Care page for this information after your surgery.

Anemia is a medical term that means a person does not contain enough red blood cells in his or her body. Red blood cells are crucial as they contain hemoglobin which carries oxygen to your lungs and then to your tissues. 

Some forms of anemia are temporary and may be caused by:

  • A poor diet that includes a shortage of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid in your blood
  • Blood loss such as during menstruation, a bleeding ulcer or surgery
  • Certain medications which interfere with your body’s ability to produce red blood cells

Other types of anemia are chronic and may include the following:

  • Cancer or cancer treatment
  • Chronic diseases such as kidney failure or severe arthritis 
  • Inherited blood disorders

A simple blood test will check your red blood cell and hemoglobin levels.

Southlake’s Peri-Operative Blood Conservation Program improves blood transfusion practices by promoting alternatives to blood transfusions. These alternatives concentrate on advancing patient care and well-being in a cost-effective manner. This program is part of the Ontario Nurse Transfusion Coordinators Program, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health — more commonly known as ONTrac. Southlake is one of 25 centres throughout Ontario with a Blood Conservation Coordinator. 

The blood conservation program aims to:

  • Decrease the need for blood transfusions during a scheduled surgery
  • Promote alternatives to publically donated blood transfusions in surgical patients
  • Educate patients and their families, physicians and staff about the benefits and risks of blood transfusions

Please visit both our Preparing for Care pages and Surgery’s Preparation and Registration page. Both have information on how you can prepare for your surgery by planning ahead with our Southlake health team.

Thoracic Surgery

We only accept referrals through another physician. Please have your family doctor send us a referral requisition.

Please bring a list of questions,  all your medications and your Ontario Health Card. You may need an X-ray before, if so we will organize this for you before your visit.

The results of your tests depend upon your individual care plan. Please discuss with your surgeon.

Results from surgeries are processed within a couple weeks but results are not discussed with patients until the follow-up appointment which is typically booked 2-6 weeks (depending on the surgery) to allow for proper recovery time.

All of our clinic locations including our Newmarket office are wheelchair accessible. For the chest x-ray that is required before your appointment with us, patients who are unable to stand from their wheelchair may request that we send an x-ray requisition to Southlake Hospital instead of X-Ray Associates

Once all preliminary tests are completed and cleared with Dr. Toth, Dr. Privitera, or Dr. Kavanagh. At this point we will be able to best assess you and book your surgery appropriately.

Visiting Hours

  • To keep everyone safe, avoid overcrowding and allow for physical distancing, one visitor per patient will be permitted depending on the environmental constraints and current volumes in the ED. 
  • Medical masks must be worn in the Emergency Department.
  • Outpatients are welcome to have a support person as an escort to an appointment or procedure.

If you are expecting to give birth at Southlake during the pandemic, or have a child in the hospital, please click here to visit our Families & Babies page for more specific information regarding Designated Care Partners.

If you are expecting to give birth at Southlake during the pandemic, or have a child in the hospital, please click here to visit our Families & Babies page for more specific information regarding Designated Care Partners.

Designated Care Providers (DCPs) provide support to specific patients and are designated by the patient/substitute decision maker/POA. DCPs provide support to patients with significant developmental, intellectual or functional disabilities such as cognitive impairment or communication barriers. They may provide direct care to the patients such as feeding, mobility, hygiene, cognitive stimulation, communication and meaningful connection or may assist with decision making. 

  • DCPs must be at least 18 years of age.     
  • DCPs must follow Southlake visitor guidelines.  
  • DCP access will be determined based on compassionate circumstances surrounding the individual patient. 

We are always looking to ensure a safe environment for everyone at Southlake. We understand how important visitors are to patients and the role they play in their recovery. Generally, visiting hours are between 11 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Please speak to the care team if you are planning to visit outside these hours.

Who cannot visit?

  • Anyone exhibiting the following signs or symptoms:
    • Fever, cough, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, sore throat, runny nose, loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
  • Those who are feeling unwell.


All volunteers who are accepted into the program must complete a 1-hour orientation session. In addition, each volunteer is required to complete an online training via the Volunteer Portal.

Upon completion of screening requirements, volunteers are trained on role-specific tasks.

It is important to ensure that we have a full complement of volunteers during each shift to allow us to provide the best experience possible for our patients, families, and visitors.

While the expectation is that you attend every shift, we recognize that unforeseen circumstances may arise. In such situations, we ask that you let us know as soon as possible so that we can discuss the possibility of a leave of absence.

New volunteers begin with one position. Additional opportunities may be considered if we have a suitable position available and a minimum of 6 weeks have passed since your first shift.

The list of vacant volunteer positions changes on a daily basis. Once you submit an online application, you will receive an updated list of volunteer opportunities.

We kindly ask that you choose a role based on your interest and long-term availability. Once you select a position from the list provided, we will invite you to attend an interview.

If you have a preferred volunteer area, we ask that you indicate this on your application. Please note that accommodating specific position requests may not always be feasible.

The minimum age to volunteer at all sites across Southlake is 16 years of age or older. You must be the minimum age when you submit your application.

Post-secondary students seeking placements at the hospital can obtain further information and fill out an application in the Learning at Southlake section of the website.

Volunteer roles do not include duties or responsibilities that are performed by a licensed or regulated profession (physician, physiotherapist, nurse, lab technician, etc.) All volunteers, regardless of their training, are restricted to only performing the duties outlined in their volunteer role description.

We recognize that life can be very busy. This is why we ask for a commitment of one shift per week for a minimum of 2 to 4 hours.

Volunteering at the hospital does not guarantee that you will receive a paid position. If you are interested in paid employment, please visit the career section of our website.

Volunteers receive complimentary parking during their volunteer shift.