Acute Care Transport Service
- 555 University Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5G1X8
The Acute Care Transport Service (ACTS) provides 24-hour medical advice, stabilization and inter-hospital transport for critically ill and injured newborns and children.
ACTS is comprised of specially trained registered nurses and registered respiratory therapists who are supported by critical care physicians. In partnership with Toronto Paramedic Services (TPS), dedicated paramedics and ambulances allow ACTS to respond to all emergent and urgent transports in a timely manner. Aimed at improving patient care and enhancing patient outcomes, ACTS provides a ‘mobile intensive care’ to bring critical care to kids in our community hospitals.
ACTS receives approximately 2500 calls per year from provincial, national and international communities requesting advice or transfer for their patients. ACTS was awarded the SickKids President’s Award for ‘Championing the Evolution of Health Systems’ in 2019.
ACTS retrieves upwards of 1,400 patients annually, of which just over half are neonatal.
ACTS utilize dedicated Toronto Paramedic Services ambulances and paramedics to facilitate ground transfers, and coordinates with ORNGE air ambulance program for utilization of helicopter or airplane for longer distance transports. Our primary area of coverage stretches from Mississauga to Cobourg and north to Sudbury, representing about 50 per cent of all annual call volumes for Ontario.
To request advice and/or transport services offered by ACTS, please call CritiCall Ontario at 1-800-668-HELP (4357).
What we do
We provide consultation to community hospital colleagues 24 hours a day, seven days per week (together with intensive care physicians).
We attend deliveries of premature infants less than 32 weeks gestational age in the community if the mother or fetus are too unstable to be transferred for specialized care. Learn more about high risk delivery guidelines (PDF).
We offer high-quality transport service to ensure optimal care and safety with a patient and family centred focus. ACTS brings the expertise of an intensive care unit to the referring facility.
We ensure stabilization and transport of all critically ill and injured patients requiring a higher level of care to or between tertiary centres, or in some situations, to level 2C (PDF) facilities if deemed appropriate. This includes but is not limited to:
- Patients with a compromised airway (breathing) or requiring ventilatory support
- Patients with the potential for deterioration and/or requiring multiple or complex interventions during transport
Finally, we also assist in the return of patients who remain on respiratory support or have specific needs during transfer to hospitals in the community.
We provide international transports for newborns and children in conjunction with an air ambulance provider. This may be offered to patients needing repatriation closer to home or acute care to be provided at SickKids. Only patients who cannot receive tertiary or complex care locally will be considered for SickKids admission.
Our team coordinates with all specialty services (e.g. Cardiology, Neurology, Surgery, Neurosurgery) to ensure the safe transport of babies to tests and procedures within SickKids. We stay with the patient for the duration of the test or procedure providing procedural sedation and monitoring for ongoing safety.
Meet the ACTS team
ACTS Transport Staff Physicians
ACTS Transport Fellows
Dr. Marko Culjat MD PhD, FAAP, FRCPC
Chief Clinical Fellow, ACTS
Dr. Maher Shahroor, MD
Clinical Fellow, ACTS
Dr. Mehmet Cizmeci, MD
Clinical Fellow, ACTS
ACTS Transport Clinicians
ACTS is composed primarily of clinicians who are RNs or RRTs who have completed a rigorous training program in transport medicine to ensure patients are transported safely. Members who are new to the team are designated as Transport Associates (TA). They continue to have this designation until the training program is completed.
All team members have completed:
- Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP)
- Paediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)
- Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS)
- Paediatric International Trauma Life Support (P-ITLS)
- SickKids Procedural Sedation Course
- End of life care and Bereavement Course
Our team of registered nurses (RNs) and registered respiratory therapists (RRTs) have experience in both newborn and paediatric intensive care, and emergency medicine. ACTS operates on a model of collaborative practice based on an inter-professional team who are cross trained in each other’s disciplines.
ACTS is supported by transport fellows who have completed training in either neonatal or paediatric intensive care, or paediatric emergency medicine. Medical advice is provided to community doctors by staff physicians from neonatal, paediatric or cardiac intensive care units, with the ability to call upon subspecialty medical and surgical services as required at the time of the first call for advice or transfer.
Fred Ballard, RRT
Chantal Beaudoin, RN
Jennifer Bizzarri, RN
Heather Colangelo, RN
Nicole Coutu, RRT
Andrea Deluce, RN
Catherine Doobay, RRT (TA)
Kelly Hayes, RRT
Jennifer Fawcett, RN
Jill Gardiner, RN
Miriam Godfrey, RN
Jayme Gowanlock, RN (TA)
Debby Holden, RN
Anthony Iacolucci, RRT
Krista Iacolucci, RN
Mark Lepine, RRT
Ilona Levit, RN (TA)
Bridget Liriano, RN
Wendy Mak, RRT
Michelle Manning, RN
Annette Martens, RN
Debbie McFarlane, RN
Jaclyn Murray, RN
Sabrina Persaud, RRT
Lori Richmond, RRT
Melissa St-Onge, RN
Amanda Stewart, RN
Gillian Toni, RN (TA)
Shirley Tran, RN (TA)
Chrissy Walmsley, RN
Francesca Yensu, RN
- Immediate and ongoing medical advice and support to the physician in the community. This is accessed by calling CritiCall Ontario.
- Coordination of patient transport for all Emergent and Urgent calls as defined by Ontario’s Life or Limb Policy.
- Timely dispatch of the ACTS team to the referral facility and locating an appropriate bed for the patient.
- All expectant mothers threatening delivery who are less than 30 weeks gestational age should be transferred to a hospital with a level 3 NICU prior to deliver, when possible. ACTS facilitation and reinforcement of this message will improve compliance with maternal transfer.
- ACTS provides support for palliation and bereavement in the community and through transport to Emily’s House, family’s home or a community facility closer to home.
To request advice and/or transport services offered by ACTS, please call CritiCall Ontario at 1-800-668-HELP (4357)
For non-patient-related requests:
Acute Care Transport Service
Hospital for Sick Children
555 University Avenue