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Geneva General Hospital Recertified as Designated Stroke Center

GENEVA—The New York State Department of Health has recertified Geneva General Hospital as a Designated Stroke Center. Geneva General Hospital is one of 119 hospitals in New York that has achieved this distinction, and was the first to do so in the Finger Lakes region. This award is based on the efforts of a multi-disciplinary team who have developed systems and procedures to deliver the highest standard of care for stroke patients.

Geneva General is the only hospital in the region to be recognized by both the Department of Health and Joint Commission for its stroke care. Geneva General Hospital also received the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association’s Get With The GuidelinesSM Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award.

The ability to provide the complete continuum of stroke care within specific time frames is a key element of this recognition. Geneva General has been working with the emergency medical community to coordinate timely transport and educate the public on the importance of receiving treatment within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. Once a patient arrives at the ER, a set of diagnostic tests is performed. If a patient meets certain medical criteria, they may receive a special injection called Thrombolytic Therapy, also known as “clot busting” medication. This treatment is the hallmark of the Stroke Center designation, because it breaks down the blood clots that cause certain types of strokes and has been proven to reduce the debilitating effects of strokes.

Because the specialized medication must be administered within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms, there is real value to our rural communities in having high quality stroke care provided right here at Geneva General Hospital.

“Finger Lakes residents are fortunate to have access to such high quality care for this life-altering and life-threatening condition. We have made a significant commitment over several years to ensure that our patients receive the highest level of stroke care available. Our ability to provide exceptional stroke evaluations and treatments across the continuum of care has allowed patients to regain the functional activities of daily living and return to independent living," said Dr. Jason Feinberg, Vice President of Medical Affairs & Chief Medical Officer for Finger Lakes Health.

Once stabilized, patients receive high quality care in the ICU and are monitored through the use of telemetry. An interdisciplinary team including physicians; nurses; physical, occupation and speech therapists; and care managers assess and manage each patient’s care. Following a stroke, rehabilitation therapy at the Acute Rehabilitation Unit rounds out the program, providing treatment that promotes functional independence and improved quality of life. Geneva General Hospital is home to the region’s only inpatient acute rehabilitation unit, which was recently ranked in the top 1 percent of 850 rehabilitation units nationwide.

One other function of this Stroke Center designation is focusing efforts on community education to help people become more aware of the risk factors and symptoms associated with stroke, in an effort to ensure patients are identified and receive treatment within the critical window of opportunity. One such educational event is scheduled for May 10, 2011 at Belhurst Castle in Geneva, when Dr. Jason Feinberg will present a “Dine and Discuss” lecture on stroke addressing causes, prevalence, acute evaluation, treatment, and the importance of Stroke Center designation. The presentation will also include Dr. James Inzerillo, board certified Physiatrist and Geneva General Hospital’s Acute Rehabilitation Unit’s Medical Director, and Judy McTigue, ARU Assessment Coordinator. The presenters will provide an interdisciplinary approach to stroke education, covering the spectrum from emergency department treatment through the rehabilitation process. Reservations for this event are required. For more information or to reserve your space, please call 787-4636 or visit www.flhealth.org/events.

In 2010, Finger Lakes Health also partnered with New York State Department of Health and other providers on a campaign broadcasted throughout the Rochester/Finger Lakes region to educate the community on the signs and symptoms of stroke, and emphasizing that emergency medical treatment is critical to achieve optimal recovery outcomes. In addition, a blood pressure screening and stroke support group are held on the second Tuesday of every month at the Acute Rehabilitation Unit at Geneva General Hospital. The blood pressure screening is from 1 to 3 p.m., and the support group is immediately following at 3 p.m. These sessions are free, and all are welcome to attend. For more information, please call Diana Modera at 787-4464.

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