ALTON, IL – Alton Memorial Hospital has been added to the list of Primary Stroke Centers approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health, as of April 30, 2014.

The Illinois General Assembly passed House Bill 2244 in 2009, allowing the creation of stroke systems of care in Illinois. The law identifies hospitals capable of providing emergent stroke care (Primary Stroke Centers and Emergent Stroke Ready Hospitals), and directs Emergency Medical Services personnel to transport possible acute stroke patients to these hospitals. The Illinois Hospital Association worked with the American Heart Association and the IDPH to create regulation and enact the landmark legislation.

In January 2014, IDPH released the hospital stroke center designation form, allowing hospitals to voluntarily pursue stroke center designation as a Primary Stroke Center (PSC) or Emergent Stroke Ready Hospital. AMH was granted designation as an IDPH Primary Stroke Center after providing evidence of Primary Stroke Center certification by The Joint Commission.

“Providing excellent care for stroke patients is just another way Alton Memorial Hospital has the best care close to home,” said AMH President Dave Braasch.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. When it’s a stroke, delays in treatment can lead to loss of brain function, or worse. The sooner that tPA -- a clot-busting drug -- is administered, the greater the chance symptoms of stroke, such as paralysis and speech problems, can be greatly reduced.

“Alton Memorial Hospital is thoroughly committed to providing our patients the highest quality stroke care centered on current scientific research to ensure continued improvement in treatment,” said Stephanie Watson, coordinator of the AMH Stroke Center.

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