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Primary Stroke Center


When every second counts, you can be assured that at Dignity Health St. John’s Regional Medical Center, our experts focus on the rapid diagnosis and treatment of stroke. As a certified Primary Stroke Center, our team is committed to improving stroke outcomes through a multifaceted approach of prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration into the community. Our team works together to deliver exceptional care with a warm, personalized approach.

What is Stroke?

A stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or when a blood vessel breaks and stops blood flow to an area of the brain. When either of these things happen, brain cells begin to die, causing damage to the brain. Every stroke is different and the severity is largely dependent upon the area of the brain affected and the length of time that area was without oxygen.

Types of Stroke

There are three types of stroke:

  • Ischemic strokes are the most common type. They are caused when blood vessels leading to the brain become blocked, preventing oxygen from reaching the brain.
  • Transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) are indicators of a high risk for stroke. In a TIA, the blood clot occurs for a short time and resolves itself. Although TIAs are temporary, they are strong indicators of a possible major stroke.
  • Hemorrhagic strokes occur when blood vessels in or around the brain break.

Symptoms of Stroke

Learn the signs of stroke so you are ready if you or a loved one ever suffers a stroke and always call 9-1-1 immediately. The difference between a recovery from stroke and a lasting disability depends a lot on response time.

Signs of Stroke: ACT F-A-S-T

Face Does one side of the face droop? Ask them to smile. 
Arms   Does one arm drift downward? Ask them to raise both arms. 
Speech  Are words slurred? Ask them to repeat a phrase. 
Time   If they show any of these symptoms, time is important. 

Call 9-1-1 immediately.

St. John’s Stroke Program Offers

  • Immediate access to neurologists specializing in stroke care within minutes of arrival in our ER
  • Neurosurgeons, neurointerventionalists, neurocritical care specialists, neuroradiologists, and anesthesiologists
  • Dedicated stroke nurse practitioners
  • An acute stroke team
  • Faster turnaround times for CT scans and lab results to improve timeliness of treatment
  • Advanced imaging capabilities including 3-Tesla MRI, CT perfusion, and RAPID software
  • Staff receive special training to care for stroke patients
  • Inpatient Acute Rehabilitation Program

Top Rated Stroke Care

The Stroke Center is nationally recognized for excellence:

  • Get With the Guidelines® - Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, 2017-2019
  • Recognized on the Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, 2017-2019
  • Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Stroke, Healthgrades, 2013-2017, 2019
  • America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Stroke Care, Healthgrades, 2014–2017
  • Top 10% in the Nation for Treatment of Stroke, Healthgrades, 2014–2017
  • Top 5% in the Nation for Treatment of Stroke, Healthgrades 2014–2017
  • Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll from American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, 2016
  • Stroke Care Excellence Award, 2014–2017
  • Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll from American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, 2016

Additionally, St. John’s Regional Medical Center is accredited by The Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center. As a Stroke Center, St. John’s reports outcomes related to interventional procedures (click here).

stroke data

Awards

Get With The Guidelines
Recently we were honored with the 2019 Get With The Guidelines® - Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and also qualified for recognition on the Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll. This award recognizes St. John’s commitment and success in implementing a high standard of stroke care by ensuring that our stroke patients receive treatment that meets nationally accepted, evidence-based standards and recommendations.

Gold Plus Quality Achievement Recognition
Hospitals receiving Get With The Guidelines® Gold Plus Achievement Award have reached an aggressive goal of treating patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care as outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association® for 3 consecutive calendar years. In addition, those hospitals have demonstrated 75 percent compliance to (four out of ten heart failure quality measures or seven out of ten stroke quality measures) during the 12-month period.

Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll
Hospitals achieving Time to Intravenous Thrombolytic Therapy ≤ 60 minutes in 75 percent or more of applicable acute ischemic stroke patients to improve quality of patient care and outcomes.

Stroke Health Assessment

Our brains are incredible. They hold our personalities, our memories, our ability to feel and learn things. Our amazing brains can also become the victim of stroke. Knowing the signs and risks associated with stroke can save your life, or the life of someone you love. Take our quick stroke health assessment and learn about your risk. Click on the button below now to take our free and confidential online assessment:

Take the Assessment

Our Amazing Brains Video

Stroke Rehabilitation

St. John’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Center is the beginning of the recovery phase for adults who have experienced a stroke. In this recovery phase, patients are assisted with restoring their maximum levels of strength, movement, and independent functioning. Patients and their families actively participate in planning and implementing a comprehensive treatment plan in which specific goals are established. Attainment of these goals is measured throughout the inpatient rehabilitation program.

Call 805.988.2667 to learn more about St. John’s comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation services.

Learn More About St. John’s Stroke Program

To request additional information about St. John’s Stroke Program, please call our dedicated stroke nurse at 805.988.7144 (Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).