When it comes to treating a stroke, every second counts. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. Early treatment can make a big difference in helping to limit damage to the brain and the potential for stroke complications. At Community Hospital's Stroke Center of Excellence, our caring, specialized team understands time is crucial to recovery and works to reduce death and damage caused by stroke.
A stroke takes place as the blood supply to part of the brain is interrupted or severely limited, depriving brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Each year about 700,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation's third leading cause of death. Stroke also ranks number one in terms of causing serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.
"Our dedicated stroke team ensures that stroke patients are diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible knowing that every minute counts, limiting brain damage and the risk for complications," says Don Fesko, chief executive officer of Community Hospital. Community Hospital's Stroke Center of Excellence team is comprised of neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, clinical nurse specialists, registered nurses, therapy and rehabilitation professionals who get involved with the patient and their family from the first point of contact, often in the Emergency department. All staff members work together to diagnose and develop a plan of care to help patients who suffer strokes and those at risk, live longer, fuller lives.
Stroke patients at Community Hospital benefit from individualized care that aims to optimize recovery and maximize independence. Members of the stroke team meet on a regular basis to review care guidelines and treatment regimens and analyze quality measures. Community Hospital's Neuroscience Intensive and Intermediate Care units, as well as the Rehabilitation Center provide specialized care to help stroke patients recover with fewer complications and with less time in the hospital. An important part of stroke care at Community Hospital is the individualized assessment each patient is provided to determine their continuing care needs after leaving the hospital. Supported by the expertise of Community Hospital's Rehabilitation Center, patients and their families are given a variety of additional resources to help maintain their health.
"Community Hospital has an expert stroke team that has set the stroke care protocol and provides ongoing evaluations of its effectiveness," said David Rozenfeld, M.D., neurologist and medical director of Community Hospital stroke program. This stroke team is so expert that in March, 2010, the Stroke Center of Excellence at Community Hospital earned the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM from the Joint Commission for Primary Stroke Centers. This recognition is presented to stroke programs that follow stringent national standards and guidelines that significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients, according to the Joint Commission.
Community Hospital is a recipient of the Stroke Care Excellence Award from HealthGrades®, the nation's leading healthcare quality ratings company for 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2002, Community Hospital was one of the first hospitals in the country to perform carotid stent placement that involves expanding a tiny wire mesh tube, called a stent, inside the neck's artery to keep it open, therefore reducing the patient's chance of stroke. Because the carotid artery feeds blood to the brain, blockages in it can cause a lack of sufficient blood supply to the brain, resulting in a stroke.
Community Hospital also has been recognized by HealthGrades as one of America's 50 Best Hospitals in 2008, 2009, and 2010 and is the only hospital in Indiana to achieve this national ranking. The HealthGrades America's 50 Best Hospitals designation is the only national hospital quality rating based solely on clinical outcomes, recognizing hospitals that have demonstrated superior clinical quality across 27 different medical procedures and diagnoses. "We are committed to meeting the needs of our community and provide compassionate care with the finest technology and services available today," says Fesko.
Community Hospital's 425-bed hospital has a medical staff of more than 600 physicians. Community Hospital operates among its services a 24-hour Emergency department, Intensive Care, Intermediate Care, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Neonatal units, Oncology Center, Women's Diagnostic Center, , Rehabilitation Center, Orthopedics Unit and Outpatient Surgery. In addition, Fitness PointeTM, a medically based fitness facility that encompasses general fitness, cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy and sports medicine,y furthers the hospital's mission to improve the health and well-being of our community.
The Stroke Center of Excellence at Community Hospital is part of Community Healthcare System - one medical provider organized across three hospital campuses. It links three Indiana hospitals: Community Hospital in Munster; St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago; and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart; as well as many outpatient clinics and physician offices. Through integration, the system is able to better serve our patients, physicians, and employees by offering advanced technologies, programs and services and operating efficiencies.
Today, Community Hospital remains at the forefront of cardiovascular disease treatment, stroke care, and prevention. Their stroke program's state-of-the-art acute stroke management focuses on prevention of future strokes with a combination of medications and changes in lifestyle. By decreasing the risks for this debilitating condition, the Stroke Center of Excellence at Community Hospital can help improve quality of life.
For more information about the
accredited Stroke Center of Excellence at
Community Hospital in Munster, visit online at
or call 219-852-6499
"Community Hospital has
an expert stroke team that
has set the stroke care
protocol and provides
ongoing evaluations of
said David Rozenfeld, M.D.