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Penn State Stroke Center Earns Highest Level of Stroke Center Designation

Reading, Pa., May 13, 2016, The Penn State Stroke Center has once again earned a designation that recognizes the high level of care it provides to patients with the most severe and challenging types of strokes.

The Center has been re-certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is the only Comprehensive Stroke Center in central Pennsylvania. Seven hospitals statewide and 100 in the United States have earned the designation.

“This designation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center reassures the people of central Pennsylvania that the resources and expertise to treat the most difficult stroke cases will be ready and waiting when needed,” said Dr. Kevin Cockroft, co-director, Penn State Stroke Center.

Penn State Health St. Joseph has direct access to the Stroke Center through LionNet, a telemedicine program which provides real-time remote audio-visual access to a neurological consult with a stroke neurologist or neurosurgeon.

At Penn State Health St. Joseph, when a suspected stroke patient arrives in the emergency department (ED), the ED provider calls LionNet and is connected with a stroke expert. Using a sophisticated computer system and a webcam, the physicians provide consultation, examine the patient, review scans, and speak to the patient and family in real-time. A treatment recommendation is made and the St. Joseph ED physician determines the best course of action. The benefits to the patient include faster treatment which can reduce brain damage and improve recovery time, and often times treatment can be provided locally reducing the need for a patient to travel.