Wallowa Memorial Hospital: With Stroke, Every Second Counts


The sensation hits you abruptly. You have difficulty speaking or comprehending what’s going on around you. You lose feeling in an arm or leg. Your head is pounding. These are some of the telltale symptoms of stroke, and it is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. and affects an estimated 700,000 people each year.

“Once a patient has a stroke, every second counts,” said Laurie Marcum, chief nursing officer at Wallowa Memorial Hospital in Enterprise, a small town located in the northeast corner of the state.

Wallowa Memorial was recently recognized for excellence in stroke care at the Providence Telestroke Network Annual Telestroke Summit in Portland. The Telestroke Network is a program that connects top stroke specialists to stroke patients in rural areas by a two-way video system, allowing them to receive the best possible care even if they are hundreds of miles away.

Wallowa was recognized in three categories:

  • Best Door to CT Time: This is the amount of time it takes from the moment a patient begins receiving care to the moment he or she is given a CT scan. The American Heart and Stroke Association lists the goal for Door to CT Time as 20 minutes. Wallowa’s median time over the last year was 9 minutes.
  • Best Door to Needle Time: This is the amount of time it takes from the moment a patient begins receiving care to the moment he or she is given clot-busting medication. The national goal is 60 minutes. Wallowa’s median over the last year was 35 minutes.
  • Fastest Door to Needle Time: Wallowa had the fastest door-to-needle time of every other participating Telestroke Network hospital.

“We are happy to have been acknowledged for our work with stroke patients and even happier to be able to provide our patients with excellent care and the best possible chance for a good outcome with our program,” said Marcum. It’s all part of giving premier care.”

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