PARK RAPIDS, MN (September 7, 2023) – Every second matters when it comes to stroke care. A new designation means patients coming to CHI St. Joseph’s Health can rest assured they’re receiving stroke-ready care.
CHI St. Joseph’s Health is one of 119 hospitals recognized in Minnesota for their preparedness to evaluate, stabilize and provide emergency treatment to patients with acute stroke symptoms. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death and one of the leading causes of disability in Minnesota, and outcomes improve for patients when they can get to the hospital for treatment as soon as possible.
In 2013, the Minnesota Legislature authorized the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to designate hospitals in Minnesota as “stroke hospitals.” Facilities may be designated as Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals, Primary Stroke Centers, and Comprehensive Stroke Centers. These hospitals are prepared to provide quick and appropriate treatment to stroke patients, increasing the likelihood of better patient outcomes.
“One of our goals this year was to obtain designation as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital. I am proud that we had a successful site visit and survey by the Minnesota Department of Health and that we completed all of the required criteria to earn this designation. Congratulations to our team for implementing a successful program to continue to better serve our patients and our community,” said Ben Koppelman, President, CHI St. Joseph’s Health.
Minnesota has seen significant increase in access to stroke care, and 94% of Minnesotans now live within 30 minutes of a designated stroke system hospital. MDH has designated 119 stroke hospitals as part of the Minnesota Stroke System including 96 Acute Stroke Ready Hospitals throughout Minnesota.
“Stroke is an emergency and timely treatment decreases the chance of disability or death from stroke,” said MDH Stroke Program Supervisor Nicky Anderson. “Every second counts. That is why it is so crucial that all Minnesota hospitals are ready to recognize and deliver timely stroke care close to home.”
“We are giving patients an even better chance of recovery and survival by earning this designation,” says Koppelman.
It is important for everyone to know how to spot a stroke quickly and call 9-1-1 at the first sign of a stroke. Local Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers are trained to recognize stroke symptoms and will ensure patients are taken to the closest designated stroke center quickly. You can recognize the signs and symptoms of a stroke by remembering B.E.F.A.S.T.
B – Balance loss – Is coordination or balance suddenly difficult?
E – Eyesight change – Is there a sudden change in vision?
F – Facial drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb?
A – Arm weakness – Is one arm weak or numb?
S – Slurred speech – Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand?
T – Time to call 9-1-1 – If the person shows any of these symptoms call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital immediately.