May is National Stroke Awareness Month and the Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) is spotlighting its Comprehensive Stroke Center at the St. Luke’s Campus – the only one in the Mohawk Valley. The Comprehensive Stroke Center has continuously received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll Elite for its commitment and success in providing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines.


The Comprehensive Stroke Program excels in patient care due to its partnerships with Midstate Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Emergency Department (ED), Radiology, Critical Care Services, Acute Rehabilitation Unit and other hospital departments who support patients in their journey. With stroke, immediate treatment is critical to prevent loss of function. The Stroke Team uses standardized and timely protocols along with RapidAI advanced imaging to ensure that stroke patients are diagnosed quickly and are treated within 60 minutes of arrival in the ED. Therapies include clot busting TPA and the newest catheter-based interventional stroke rescue technology, all available locally at the St. Luke’s Campus.


Stroke signs and symptoms can be remembered by using the acronym FASTER:

  • FACE – Uneven smile. One side of the face droops or is numb.
  • ARMS – One are drifts down when raising both or is weaker and more numb than the other.
  • STABILITY – Dizziness. Hard time keeping balance. Trouble walking. Loss of coordination.
  • TALKING – Slurred words. Unable to speak. Hard time being understood or understanding speech.
  • EYES – Difficulty seeing out of one or both eyes. Double vision.
  • REACT – Call 911 immediately! Even if symptoms go away. Remember when symptoms first began.


“Strokes are treatable and preventable; seeking treatment for them should not be postponed regardless if it is unclear the symptoms are stroke,” said Jennifer Hurd, RN, Stroke Program director. “Call 911 and come to the Comprehensive Stroke Center at the St. Luke’s Campus right away even if the symptoms improve or resolve altogether. It is important to find out what caused the symptoms and to have it treated so a full-blown stroke can be prevented.”



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