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SJRMC Brings World-Class Stroke Care to Michiana Through Telemedicine

May 16, 2012

   05/17/12 A stroke happens fast, and when one occurs, every second counts.  That’s why Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center continues to invest in state-of-the-art technology to ensure that the community has access to the most advanced stroke care in the country.

As the first hospital in the region with a Primary Stroke Unit certified by the Joint Commission, our Code Stroke emergency activation system is in place to ensure that patients who exhibit signs of a stroke, receive the fastest possible treatment. Now, through a new partnership between Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center and Loyola University Medical Center, SJRMC will continue to lead the charge in stroke care by developing the first stroke telemedicine program in Northern Indiana. Telemedicine at SJRMC enables local neurologists to get a second opinion from stroke specialists at Loyola, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, when decisions about treatment options are most critical. “This ability to activate a world class stroke team—in a matter of seconds—provides prompt access to cutting edge stroke care to patients who are candidates for more specialized testing or treatment,” said Dr. Paula Toth-Russell, a board certified neurologist with South Bend Neurology and SJRMC physician.

Offered at both the Mishawaka and Plymouth campuses, the technology behind the stroke telemedicine program has been endorsed jointly by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. In fact, in a 2009 policy statement, the association said stroke telemedicine can “overcome barriers to the delivery of proven, evidence-based therapies that might otherwise be unavailable to stroke patients.”

“By investing in this remarkable technology, SJRMC offers the region instant access to the expertise of one of the nation’s leading stroke centers,” said Albert Gutierrez, President and CEO of Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center. “Through telemedicine, we are cutting down the boundaries of geography and time, when every second counts.” For more information on stroke telemedicine care, visit the SJRMC website at