Stephens County Hospital partners with Wellstar Health System to expand stroke care in Northeast Georgia

A new partnership between Stephens County Hospital (SCH) and Wellstar Health System will offer expanded stroke care to patients in Northeast Georgia.

The vascular neurology team at Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center will support SCH stroke patients virtually. The team will connect with patients and collaborate with emergency room physicians, radiologists, and hospitalists to manage patient care.

“Stroke is among the leading causes of death in our region, and this initiative will allow us to do more at our hospital in managing stroke patients than we’ve ever before been able to do,” says Stephens County Hospital Chief Executive Officer Van Loskoski.

Loskoski points out that, historically, SCH stabilizes stroke patients and then transfers them to other hospitals. The support from Wellstar’s vascular neurology team will allow the hospital to keep many stroke patients at its facility and closer to home for their entire treatment.

“This is better for the patients and their families, but also for the overall safety of our region,” he says. “It also reduces the burden on our EMS, limiting the number of transfers they have to coordinate outside of our county.”

Mid-February launch date

Stephens County Hospital will add new technology to its radiology equipment that will use artificial intelligence to detect certain types of strokes immediately. This will allow for faster notification to the medical team.

“Time is everything when it comes to treating a stroke,” says SCH ER physician Dr. Brody Reid. “Having faster notification of a stroke through this advanced technology can make a world of difference in recovery.”

Vascular neurologist Dr. Ashis Tayal says Wellstar is committed to providing expert neuro care for stroke patients.

“This partnership with Stephens County Hospital will have a great impact on the Northeast Georgia region. Together, we will give patients the best opportunity for optimal recovery and treatment after experiencing a stroke,” he says.

The program will launch in mid-February 2023.

Stephens County Hospital is a 96-bed acute care hospital in Toccoa. Wellstar Health System is one of the largest health systems in Georgia and is based in metro Atlanta. Wellstar operates nine hospitals and has over 400 medical office locations and numerous specialty clinics located in the northern and central parts of the state.

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