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Spokane Primary Stroke Program

A Nationally Recognized Program

Honors and awards at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA.In January 2004, Sacred Heart was first recognized for its superior stroke care program when the Medical Center received the Gold Seal of Approval—the highest recognition possible—from the Joint Commission for its Primary Stroke Program. The three-year certification was renewed in 2007, 2010 and again in 2013, assuring you of the most advanced care for you or your loved one … when every minute counts.

Collaboration among key areas of our hospitals plays a major role in the stroke team’s success. Experts who treat stroke patients—including neurologists, neurosurgeons, emergency physicians, neuroradiologists, nurses, radiologic technologists, rehabilitation therapists, researchers and educators—work together as a team to provide the most advanced care.

Sacred Heart is working toward the next level of certification – a Comprehensive Stroke Center – which is capable of handling the most severe stroke patients, with the technology and specialists on hand to perform interventional procedures.

Technology and speed: the winning combination

When it comes to treating stroke patients, time is critical. Using new technologies and reviewing clinical information before the patient arrives in the emergency room—plus our partnership with Northwest MedStar air ambulance to get patients to Providence hospitals quickly from rural areas—really makes a difference.

Medical personnel at Sacred Heart Medical Center’s Primary Stroke Center in Spokane are pioneering team protocols used to diagnose and treat a stroke while a patient is still in the emergency room. Once patients are here, they have the advantage of a full slate of options for treatment, including carotid endarterectomy (surgery on the blocked blood vessel in the brain used to reduce stroke risk), neuroendovascular and catheterization techniques for patients unable to undergo surgery, and interventions such as balloon angioplasty and aneurysm coiling, among others.

Through a partnership with rural hospitals, Providence can provide around-the-clock access to acute stroke experts via a secure Internet connection. Using Telestroke, our skilled stroke neurologists can be "in the room" with physicians, helping to evaluate patients and consult on diagnosis, treatment or transfer.

Scientific research related to stroke and cardiovascular disease is a key component of the Stroke Program. New evidence suggests that a noninvasive technique may be the best way to treat patient who are at risk of a stroke and who are poor candidates for surgery. Patients often fare well when tiny, wire-mesh tubes called stents are implanted to open clogged carotid arteries. In fact, Sacred Heart is one of only a handful of hospitals nationwide to have an individual FDA-approved study for carotid stenting.