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SAMC’s stroke program earns advanced certification

When stroke patients are brought to Southeast Alabama Medical Center (SAMC), they are treated by the region’s most experienced team of physicians and nurses.
When stroke patients are brought to Southeast Alabama Medical Center (SAMC), they are treated by the region’s most experienced team of physicians and nurses.

SAMC recently earned advanced certification for primary stroke centers from The Joint Commission in conjunction with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

So what does this mean to you, our patient?

It means SAMC is dedicated to providing the highest standard of stroke care to our patients in a timely manner. It means we have a dedicated stroke team, which results in better patient outcomes.

The stroke committee consists of more than 40 SAMC physicians and nursing personnel who represent a wide range of clinical areas. The committee is led by Cecilia Land, division director Rehabilitative Services. Other key members include: Angie Sims, director of Emergency Services, Levonne Outlaw, coordinator of the Stroke Care Network, Jason DeLeon, MD, Emergency Medicine and Steven Fernandez, MD, Interventional Radiologist.

The Primary Stroke Center certification is the latest achievement in providing the region’s most comprehensive stroke care. SAMC’s Stroke Care Network was formed last spring in conjunction with five Wiregrass hospitals to provide quality stroke care in rural areas.

Medical Center Barbour in Eufaula, Mizell Memorial Hospital in Opp, Dale Medical Center in Ozark and Troy Regional Medical Center joined with SAMC to form the Stroke Care Network.

Each community hospital has a telemedicine monitor to provide access to a neurologist. When a patient presents at a network community hospital with stroke symptoms, the neurologist will conduct a real-time video examination of the patient. This will allow the neurologist to diagnose and possibly prescribe life-saving drugs to the patient in a matter of minutes. A coordinated and faster response time, including transfer to a regional stroke center such as SAMC, can result in less permanent damage caused by the stroke.

Through the Stroke Care Network and thanks to funding from the SAMC Foundation, the telemedicine based network allows for 24/7 stroke care. The Stroke Care Network ensures patients in surrounding rural communities have access to the most experienced stroke care available.

The Stroke Care Network was also recently named “Partner of Year” at the Alabama Rural Health and Telehealth Summit.

For more information on SAMC’s comprehensive stroke program, call 334-793-8107 or visit www.samc.org.

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