The UHN Post ICU program is the longest continuously running clinic for post-ICU care in Canada and began in 1998. Follow-up was initially focused on outcomes for patients and families after the Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome from one to five years after ICU discharge. The group then completed a one-year follow-up study on survivors of SARS. The RECOVER Program is a clinical and research program that began in 2006 and is an ongoing national, multi-centre program that promotes patient- and family-centred care after critical illness concurrent with an ICU-outcomes educational program.

Our interprofessional health care team provides systematic, longitudinal follow-up care for patients and families after ICU discharge and facilitates both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation to meet the challenging physical, cognitive and mental health needs of patients and families recovering from critical illness. The program offers educational support for patients and families to promote, maintain and improve health outcomes. This program has provided the platform for the CANCOV ICU Outcomes program currently ongoing and is part of the Canadian Critical Illness Recovery Consortium National ICU follow-up program in collaboration with the Canadian Critical Care Trials Group.

RECOVER Program logo  

Supported By:

  • Family Donors: John and Gail MacNaughton Family Fund, the Jason Tham and Andrea Chan Family Fund and the Don and Jane Luck Family Fund.
  • Agencies: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canadian Critical Care Foundation, Ontario Ministry of Health Innovation Fund, Physician Services Incorporated Foundation, Ontario Thoracic Society and the University of Toronto-Department of Medicine Fund.
  • UHN Foundation














 What We Do

The ICU Outcomes group led by Dr. Herridge has pioneered ICU outcomes work in Canada and internationally for the past 26 years and has made seminal contributions to understanding the post-ICU condition of patients and families. Dr. Herridge currently holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Critical Illness Outcomes and the Recovery Continuum. Her ICU Outcomes Program has contributed seminal observations to the international ICU Outcomes literature and has taught us that critical illness may be a transformative life event for patients, their families and the health care team.

Patients experience functional disability, complex multisystem morbidities and important cognitive and mood disorders that lead to significant future health care needs and compromised quality of life. Family caregivers experience a traumatic life event and the burden of providing complex care which may precipitate severe mood disorders and compromised health. Care transitions are complex and the multidimensional health needs of the ICU patient and family caregiver are often unmet worldwide.

Our team is dedicated to helping ICU patients who have been on mechanical ventilation (breathing machine in ICU) for more than one week with post-ICU physical disability and mental health or cognitive challenges with their family caregivers. Patients and families may initiate a referral to our group.​

 Ongoing Research and Clinical Programs

National RECOVER Program: ICU Care Continuum for Patients and Families after Critical Illness

The RECOVER Program is ongoing and was established in 2006 and supported by CIHR and private donors. It is an innovative collaboration among UHN, the Toronto Grace Health Centre (TGHC) and the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (TRI). It is designed to address health care gaps and challenges related to post-ICU care transitions beginning from one week of mechanical ventilation in the ICU through community reintegration at one year. It includes:

  • Early transition to rehabilitation
  • Ambulatory clinic for follow-up care to one-year after ICU discharge
  • RECOVER navigator for ongoing care continuity
  • RECOVER Knowledge transfer for patient and family education

Patients and family caregivers are followed up at the multidisciplinary and family-centred RECOVER clinic at UHN where they receive ongoing assessment, treatment and support after critical illness. At the clinic, patients undergo physical examination, breathing, walking and muscle strength testing, blood work and clinical consultation with ICU physicians and nurses. Patients and family caregivers are evaluated and research data is collected at each follow-up visit. The RECOVER team identifies functional, cognitive and mental health needs and provides care and facilitates referrals as required.

The Program aims to improve patient and family outcomes through optimized care transitions, appropriate patient disposition, improved long-term functional independence, mental health, quality of life and reduced health care utilization post-ICU discharge.

National CANCOV ICU Follow-up Program

The RECOVER Program has served as the platform for the development of the CANCOV ICU program which is also a clinical and research group focused on optimizing multidimensional outcomes for those Canadians who became critically ill after COVID-19 and who were also in the ICU on the mechanical ventilation. Follow-up care is ongoing and offered in the context of this research program extending to five years after ICU discharge.

Patients and families may initiate the referral to the RECOVER program for post-ICU care after critical illness/critical illness related to COVID-19.

Learn more about the Inpatient Rehab Streams:

RECOVER Program for Chronic Critical Illness in Collaboration with Toronto Grace Health Centre (TGHC)

This inpatient program began in April 2020 at the TGHC and represents an upstream extension of the RECOVER Program and the critical illness care continuum. It is an innovative program created in collaboration with the Toronto Grace Health Centre (TGHC), Salvation Army, Ministry of Health in Ontario, University Health Network and Critical Care Services Ontario. It arose from the urgent need to create capacity for acute ICU beds in the Greater Toronto area during COVID and now occupies a unique niche of providing care for those patients able to transition to the community having been liberated from mechanical ventilation or requiring ongoing home ventilation.

The RECOVER Program for Chronic Critical Illness offers a 34-bed unit and a comprehensive multidisciplinary/interprofessional team to meet the needs of chronically critically ill patients and their families who would benefit from an alternate disposition focused on rehabilitation and mental health as they recover and wean from protracted critical illness. It is the only program in Canada designed to mitigate care transitions, optimize the education of patients and families about outcomes and disability after critical illness, optimize transition to the community and foster ongoing follow-up care.

Learn more about Toronto Grace Health Centre RECOVER Program:

Life After Critical Care | Margaret Herridge, MD, MPH, University of Toronto

 Meet Our Team

Our Program Team is staffed by dedicated multi and interdisciplinary clinicians and scientists committed to providing the highest quality of patient and family-centred care.

Margaret S. Herridge 

Margaret S. Herridge, MSc, MD, FRCPC, MPH

Program Director
 416 340 3057

Priscila Robles 

Priscila Robles, PhD, BSc PT, CCRP

Program Manager
 416 340 4800 ext. 6945

Laura Dragoi 

Laura Dragoi, MSc, MD

Post-ICU Clinic Physician
 416 340 4800 ext. 6009

Kali Barrett 

Kali Barrett, MD, MSc, FRCPC

Post-ICU Clinic Physician
 416 925 2251

Wendy Radovanovic 

Wendy Radovanovic, RN

Post-ICU Clinic Nurse
 416 340 4800 ext. 4493

Katherine Matthews 

Katherine Matthews, RN

Post-ICU Clinic Nurse
 416 340 4800 ext. 4493

Sadia Khan 

Sadia Khan, HBSc

Research Program Analyst and Clinic Coordinator
 416 340 4800 ext. 6945


Leslie Lee Pack

Administrative Assistant
 416 340 3057



  • Adrienne Tan, MD
  • Susan Abbey, MD


  • Mark Bayley, MD
  • John Flannery, MD


  • Hans Katzberg, MD

Critical Care Respiratory Therapist

  • Georgiana Sarita


  • Deanna Zidar
  • Jordan Mak

Critical Care Physiotherapist

  • Vincent Lo

Social Work

  • Emily Carreiro


  • Lisa Burry

Spiritual Care

  • Vicki Burns

Canadian RECOVER Fellowship Program at the UHN/University of Toronto

The RECOVER ICU Fellowship Program offers a unique educational experience with our unique ICU​ care continuum model. This includes clinical exposure to the RECOVER Program for Chronic Critical Illness at TGHC and the post-ICU follow-up clinic. Formal research fellowships in collaboration with the IHPME at the University of Toronto or more informal tailored programs are available. Fellows typically attend all clinical aspects of the RECOVER Program with the interprofessional/multidisciplinary team and through care transitions from the ICU to the community.

How to Apply

To apply to the RECOVER ICU Fellowship Program, please contact Dr Herridge's Administrative Office at with the "RECOVER Fellowship Program" in the subject line.


Hannah Wozniak

Dr. Hannah Wozniak
Former Clinical and Research Fellow

Joining Dr. Herridge's multidisciplinary research group and the post-ICU follow-up clinic significantly enriched my approach to critical care.

Working in the post-ICU clinic has been both a humbling and enlightening experience. The journey of ICU patients and their families often starts unexpectedly and is filled with challenges. It is a misconception to believe that this journey ends when the patient is stable enough to leave the ICU. The often-prolonged hospital stays, sometimes with readmissions to the ICU, continue to be fraught with difficulties. Transitioning home marks, a new chapter, that comes with its own set of difficulties, often underestimated. Recognizing the daunting nature of this transition for patients and families, Dr. Herridge's team is dedicated to extending support beyond hospital discharge, ensuring they have the necessary resources and support to navigate the complexities of life post-ICU.

A significant aspect of the clinic's work involves follow-up care for patients who have been critically ill with COVID-19. From my experience in the clinic, I believe that the common notion of "COVID-19 is behind us" is flawed and dismissive. Many patients and their families that we see were the scars of a prolonged ICU stay and continue to endure severe disabilities and challenges in their recovery. Through Dr. Herridge's group, we are committed to bringing these ongoing struggles to light and learning from them, advocating for recognition and support for those dealing with the aftereffects of COVID-19. Our work stands as a testament that for many, the journey is far from over.

The activities at the post-ICU clinic are an integral part of the group's research efforts, aimed at disseminating our findings to inform patients, family members and clinicians and shifting the focus from solely surviving the ICU to emphasizing long-term outcomes and quality of life. By learning from and advocating for our patients and their families, we are dedicated to enhancing their care and recovery process.

Erminio Santangelo

Dr. Erminio Santangelo
Former Clinical and Research Fellow

Participating in the RECOVER program is a transformative educational and human journey for trainees, like myself. The program offers a unique blend of research and clinical experiences, profoundly reshaping my perspective on critical care patients. Through RECOVER, I had the privilege of delving into a new comprehensive approach to patient care beyond the confines of the ICU. The clinical exposure to the patient in the post-ICU follow-up clinic provided me invaluable insights into the challenges faced by patients and families during their recovery from critical illness. Witnessing firsthand these challenges has broadened my horizon as a physician, enlarging my focus from the acute phase of critical care to the broader trajectory of patient recovery after critical illness.

Working alongside a diverse team of health care professionals within the program has been both inspiring and deeply enriching. The culture of mutual respect and shared learning in the group enhances the quality of care we provide but also fosters a collaborative spirit that is essential for addressing the complex needs of patients and their families.

In essence, the RECOVER program exemplifies the seamless integration of clinical research and health care delivery. It serves as a living example of the profound impact that research-driven initiatives can have on patient outcomes. Through its innovative approach, the program translates rigorous clinical research into tangible benefits for patients and their loved ones, underscoring the pivotal role of innovative clinical research in shaping the future of health care.​​

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