Regional Hospitals Collaborate for World Stroke Day

Crouse Health, Mohawk Valley Health System, Samaritan Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Health, and Upstate University Hospital have joined forces to raise awareness of the signs of stroke and when to seek help in recognition of World Stroke Day, Oct. 29.

The five hospitals—all members of the CNY Regional Stroke Advisory Council—have collaborated in the creation of two public service messages highlighting the FAST message. FAST stands for: Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, and Time to call 911.

“Stroke is a preventable cause of death and disability. As a neuropathologist, I encourage everyone to recognize the early signs of stroke outlined in the American Heart Association’s FAST model on this year’s World Stroke Day,” said Robert Corona, DO, MBA, chief executive officer of Upstate University Hospital.

In addition to recognizing the signs of stroke in yourself or a loved one, the CNY Regional Stroke Advisory Council encourages individuals to seek appropriate hospital-level care when appropriate.

Josh Onyan, BSN, RN, SCRN, manager of Upstate’s Comprehensive Stroke Program, says stroke centers across the nation have reported a severe decrease in patients seeking care in a hospital due to novel coronavirus fears. “We have created this message for our community so they not only know how to spot signs of stroke, but also to get the word out that our region’s hospitals are working together to remain a safe place to seek stroke care during this covid pandemic,” said Onyan.

Upstate follows a universal masking policy for staff, provides a new mask to all patients upon arrival, and Upstate’s Environmental Health and Safety department utilizes rigorous cleaning procedures.

At Samaritan Medical Center, safety precautions are in place, appropriate PPE is available, and they rely on their well-trained staff to keep patients safe. “As the tri-county region’s only Primary Stroke Center, Samaritan Medical Center is committed to fast, reliable and skilled stroke care,” shared Thomas H. Carman, president and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center. “On World Stroke Day, we celebrate our collaboration with the CNY Regional Stroke Advisory Council to care for stroke patients. This collective team has the knowledge, experience and dedication to care for any patient in need. During this pandemic, patients have been hesitant to seek care, but rest assured, we are here for you and we are safe,” said Carman.

Crouse Hospital Chief Executive Officer Kimberly Boynton says, “As a New York State-designated Comprehensive Stroke Center and member of the CNY Regional Stroke Advisory Council, Crouse Health is proud to partner with our colleagues to increase awareness of stroke symptoms and treatment. Joining together for this important initiative underscores the commitment of our regional hospitals to deliver superior stroke care to Central and Northern New York patients—not just on World Stroke Day, but every day.”

The CNY Regional Stroke Advisory Council, formed in 2017, was designed to provide these key health care institutions a way to share information on stroke care, best practices, and national guidelines. The council encourages the exchange of ideas, allowing for critical consultations on stroke treatment protocols for patients requiring care throughout the region. The council includes experts in EMS, emergency medicine, nursing, stroke coordination, and stroke medicine. The Central, North Country and Eastern regions are all represented.

Learn more about the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Crouse Health