Patient Care

AHA Recognizes UR Medicine for Excellence in Stroke Care

Oct. 27, 2021

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has recognized UR Medicine’s Comprehensive Stroke Center for providing lifesaving stroke care, including the administration of interventions capable of improving outcomes, especially when provided as soon as possible after the onset of a stroke.

Strong Memorial Hospital received AHA/ASA’s new Advanced Therapy award, which indicates that surgical intervention was employed in at least 50% of applicable patients within 90 minutes for direct arriving and within 60 minutes for transfer patients.  This award was created in recognition of new acute stroke care guidelines that recommend endovascular therapy for eligible patients. Thrombectomy is credited with leading to faster and more complete reperfusion for certain patients and is considered a mainstay of effective stroke care. Strong Memorial is one of only two New York State hospitals outside of New York City to be recognized with Advanced Therapy designation.

Strong Memorial Hospital also received the AHA/ASA’s Stroke Gold Plus with Honor Roll Elite award, which recognizes a door-to-clot-busting medication time within 60 minutes for at least 85 percent of applicable stroke patients.

“Our team is driven by the mantra that ‘time equals brain,’” said neurosurgeon Tarun Bhalla, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Surgery the UR Medicine Comprehensive Stroke Center. “The investments made in surgical personnel and technologies to provide 24/7 access to emergent stroke care, along with the UR Medicine’s Mobile Stroke Unit’s ability to essentially bring the hospital to the patient, have transformed how we provide stroke care to our regional community.”

Since its launch in October, 2018, the UR Medicine Mobile Stroke Unit has transported over 350 patients to area hospitals.  The unit is equipped with a portable CT scanner to image the brain to detect the type of stroke a patient is experiencing.  Based on this scan, and in consultation with stroke specialists at Strong Memorial Hospital, the EMS staff can begin administering anti-clotting drugs immediately on scene and is able to activate interventional services at receiving hospitals if surgical treatment is indicated. 

UR Medicine’s F.F. Thompson, Noyes Health, and Highland Hospitals were recognized with Stroke Gold achievement.  F.F. Thompson and Highland were also designated Honor Roll Elite and Honor Roll, respectively.

“We are extremely proud of the teams that provide stroke care across UR Medicine hospitals,” said neurologist Curtis Benesch, M.D. M.P.H., Chief of Stroke and Medical Director of the UR Medicine Comprehensive Stroke Center.  “This is truly a system-wide approach that brings together neurologists, neurosurgeons, emergency room physicians, anesthesiologists, technologists, and acute care nurses and providers, and harnesses technologies such as telemedicine to deliver fast, high-quality care regardless to which hospital a stroke patient is transported.”