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With 750,000 cases nationwide each year, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States and the leading cause of disability in adults. As a nationally recognized leader in stroke care, Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California provides integrated services in diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.


What is a 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, brain damage occurs and abilities controlled by that area of the brain are lost.

Problems resulting from stroke can range from minor to major depending on where in the brain the stroke occurs and how much damage is done.

Symptoms of stroke

Watch for these signs and symptoms if you think you or someone else may be having a stroke:

  • Trouble with walking
  • Trouble with speaking and understanding
  • Paralysis or numbness of the face, arm or leg
  • Trouble with seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden, severe headache


Diagnosing stroke

What's done in the first minutes or hours after a stroke may determine the level of recovery the person will achieve. That's why Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California treats every incoming stroke patient as an emergency.

Patients arriving in the Emergency Department experiencing stroke symptoms are evaluated for possible treatment with t-PA or evaluated for one of the stroke investigational medicines. Dignity Health's emergency medicine physicians have been trained in the assessment of acute stroke patients and work in collaboration with our stroke neurologists. 


Award-winning stroke program

The Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California is the regional leader in stroke care, treating the highest volume of neurovascular patients in Greater Sacramento. Mercy San Juan Medical Center was the first Comprehensive Stroke Center north of the Bay Area, as recognized by The Joint Commission. This advanced certification recognizes the hospital for its ability to treat the most complex cases of stroke. All other Dignity Health hospitals are certified Primary Stroke Centers.

For assistance with a physician referral, call (888) 800-7688. To request additional information from someone at the Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California, email us today.


Suffered a stroke or need care for a loved one?

Join us for our Stroke Support Group

Mercy San Juan Medical Center
Lukens Auditorium
6555 Coyle Avenue
Suite 150 
Carmichael, CA 95608
Every first Wednesday and every last Monday of the month 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.
For more information, call (916) 537-5177
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Woodland Community & Senior Center
2001 East Street
Woodland, CA 95776
Every 3rd Monday of the month, 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
For more information, call (530) 669-5540
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Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital 
Building 3
155 Glasson Way, Grass Valley, CA  95945
For more information, please email 
[email protected]
Every first Tuesday of the month from 1 - 2 p.m. 
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No registration required. All are welcome and there is no cost to attend.