On Monday January 14th, health advocates and Greenville area lawmakers were treated to a presentation and tour of Vidant Medical Center’s Primary Stroke Center (PSC). You’re the Cure advocate, nurse practitioner and neurosciences administrator, Susan Freeman led the program providing everyone with insight into the state of stroke in eastern North Carolina and what it takes to be a Joint Commission Certified PSC. Senators Louis Pate (R-Wayne) and Don Davis (R-Greene) were joined by Representative Brian Brown (R-Pitt) for the program and tour.
The AHA/ASA supports the designation of accredited PSCs to improve the quality of acute stroke care, support stroke systems of care, and improve access to life-saving stroke care. This year, we will advocate for legislation that designates PSCs in our state be based on Joint Commission/American Stroke Association accreditation or an equivalent process by a guidelines-based, nationally recognized accrediting organization. PSCs were designed to improve the efficiency of patient care and increase the use of acute stroke therapies so that there are fewer stroke-related complications, reduced morbidity and mortality, improved long-term outcomes, and increased patient satisfaction.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability among North Carolinians. Our state is part of the stroke belt – an eight to twelve state region that historically has had substantially higher stroke death rates compared to the rest of the nation. And as Susan pointed out in her presentation, “NC isn’t just in the stroke belt, we are in the buckle of the stroke belt, and eastern NC is the eye of the buckle of the stroke belt.”
Everyone was impressed with how they work to improve stroke patient outcomes. This was a great opportunity for advocates and lawmakers alike to have an inside peek at the work of one our state’s leading medical facilities. We thank Susan Freeman and the entire Vidant Medical Center family for welcoming us and helping raise awareness about stroke and the importance of certified PSCs.
Blog material provided by Betsy Vetter, NC Government Relations Director.
Map provided by Elynor Wilson, NC Quality Improvement Director.