|J. Robert Galvin, MD, MPH, MBA, Commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, presented a certificate to Saint Mary’s Hospital on March 19 in recognition of the hospital’s designation as a Primary Stroke Center.
This achievement indicates that Saint Mary’s has met the criteria for providing quality stroke care in accordance with guidelines established by the American Stroke Association and the Brain Attack Coalition to ensure rapid diagnostic evaluation and treatment of stroke patients. Commissioner Galvin (photo at right) presented the Primary Stroke Center certification to Chad Wable, President and CEO of Saint Mary’s Hospital, Dr. Stephen Holland, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Peter Greco, Stroke Program Director at the hospital.
According to the American Stroke Association, an estimated 700,000 patients in the U.S. have a new or recurrent stroke each year. In Connecticut, stroke strikes about 6,000 people per year.
"Stroke is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. — right behind heart disease — the number one cause of long-term disability, and the most expensive of all disease processes,” said Dr. Holland, who said Saint Mary’s is taking the lead on community education and helping to raise greater awareness of the risk factors and warning signs of stroke, and preventive measures. “The quicker a stroke patient seeks medical attention after their first symptoms occur, the better their outcome is going to be."
"When it comes to stroke, minutes matter, and we are pleased to report that our performance exceeds the state’s standards," Dr. Greco said, referring to the response time of Saint Mary’s Stroke Team, emergency physicians and CT-scan team.
"To receive this recognition from the state is truly important and meaningful for us,” Wable said. “As we begin our second century of caring, programs like this one demonstrate our vitality and ongoing commitment to improving access to quality care and meeting the healthcare needs of this community."