Easton Hospital and St. Luke’s Announce Partnership to Save Time When Treating Stroke Patients

Two leading regional hospitals committed to utilizing technology resources to provide faster care for patients experiencing stroke symptoms.

EASTON, PA (June 12, 2019) – Easton Hospital, a member of the Steward Health Care family, and St. Luke’s University Health Network have announced a new partnership and clinical affiliation that will provide tele-stroke services to stroke patients at Easton Hospital.

Tele-stroke is the advanced telecommunications technology that enables real-time delivery of care via audio and video between different locations.

Easton Hospital, a certified Primary Stroke Center, and St. Luke’s, a Comprehensive Stroke Center, formed this partnership to better serve patients in Easton and across the region with stroke symptoms that require immediate treatment.

“Every minute during a stroke episode, your brain ages by 3 weeks,” said Dr. Tariq Mahmood, Neurologist at Easton Hospital.  “Our team at Easton Hospital is trained to care for stroke patients and if a patient is nearby and experiencing stroke symptoms, it is important to ‘think F.A.S.T.’ and seek care at the closest certified stroke center.”

F.A.S.T. – an acronym that is used to identify stroke symptoms – stands for face, arms, speech, and time. A person experiencing a stroke may display drooping or numbness on one side of the face, weakness or numbness in the arms, and difficulty talking or slurred speech.

“In stroke care where ‘time is brain’ and every second counts, the ability to care for the patient as quickly as possible is critical in making life-saving decisions,” said Daniel Ackerman, MD, Director of Stroke and Vascular Neurology at St. Luke’s. “Working together, Easton Hospital and St. Luke’s will improve stroke outcomes throughout Easton and surrounding areas.”

As a Comprehensive Stroke Center, St. Luke’s is one of 163 hospitals nationwide (11 in Pennsylvania) to offer the most advanced level of stroke care.

“St. Luke’s Comprehensive Stroke Center designation means that St. Luke’s can partner with Easton Hospital to provide care for the entire range of different types of strokes, and that stroke patients can receive state-of-the-art care in their own community,” added Jonathan Hosey, MD, Chairman of St. Luke’s Center for Neuroscience.

Someone in America suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, killing about 130,000 people each year, according to the American Stroke Association.

“Easton Hospital and St. Luke’s are neighbors joining forces for the benefit of their community,” said St. Luke’s Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Strategy Officer Hal L. Folander, MD, who also serves as the Network Chairman for Radiology. “This is a win for both organizations and, most importantly, for patients who can receive quality stroke care close to home.”

 

About Easton Hospital

Easton Hospital, a part of Steward Health Care, is a fully-integrated, national health care service organization. Steward’s service delivery model leverages technology, innovation and care coordination to keep patients healthier. Steward Easton Hospital is a 196-bed acute care teaching hospital serving more than 300,000 residents in Northampton County and five surrounding counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The hospital offers an active Emergency Department which sees more than 33,696 annual visits; a cardiac care program recognized as an accredited Chest pain Center and one of over 50 designated Heart attack Receiving Centers in the country; a Center for Orthopedics, Joint and Spine care; a certified Primary Stroke Center; and the Easton Regional Cancer Center, a member of the Jefferson Sidney Kimmel Cancer Network. In addition, the hospital maintains two freestanding, fully accredited residency training programs with Drexel University.

 

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 15,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and over 320 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the Lehigh Valley’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 28 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 226 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only Lehigh Valley-based health care system with Medicare’s five- and four-star ratings (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s is both a Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades Top Hospital and a Newsweek World’s Best Hospital.  In 2019, three of IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals were St. Luke’s hospitals.  St. Luke’s University Hospital has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health seven times total and five years in a row. St. Luke’s has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program.  Utilizing the Epic electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.