Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Community Healthcare - 51

and technology to provide that same high
level care at Community Hospital."

A commitment to care

The neuroendovascular surgical team at Community Hospital includes (left to right) Adrian
Scott, Demetrius Lopes, MD, Joey Luka, Justin Earl, Jennifer Ewing and Wesley Knight.

community. While Fointno's condition
was not stroke-related, each year there
are thousands of individuals in Lake
County alone who experience stroke and
rely on their neighborhood hospitals as
their first line of care.

A perfect storm

According to Lopes, part of the reason Northwest Indiana has such a high
incidence of stroke is that the area's
residents have the "perfect storm" of
prevalent medical conditions.
"There is a high incidence of atrial
fibrillation, diabetes, heart disease and
obesity, which all contribute to stroke,"
explains Lopes. "Add to that the number of smokers in the area and you have
what we consider a high-stroke region."
Of the more than two thousand
strokes that occur in Northwest Indiana,
about 80 percent of them are the type
where blockages occur in the blood vessels, says Lopes. "The other 20 percent
are bleeding or hemorrhaging vessels in
the brain. As they say, 'time is brain.' The

sooner we can implement the correct
treatment for the type of stroke, the
better the outcome."
Many hospitals in Northwest Indiana
have done a good job developing teams
trained and equipped to diagnose and
treat stroke symptoms quickly. Called
Primary Stroke Centers, these hospitals
have undergone certification by The
Joint Commission to verify that performance and outcomes meet accreditation standards. All three hospitals of
Community Healthcare System are certified as Primary Stroke Centers.
"These programs do a great job at delivering the first line of treatment for ischemic stroke called tPA (tissue plasminogen
activators, which work to break down
blood clots)," says Lopes. "But when clots
don't respond to medication, a higher level
of intervention is required. Until recently,
Northwest Indiana patients would need
to be transferred to a medical center in
Chicago to access the teams and equipment for emergent neuroendovascular
intervention. Today, we have the teams

"Several years ago, we made a commitment of time and resources as far as
our neuroendovascular capabilities at
Community Hospital," says Lou Molina,
CEO. "Our partnership with Rush
University Medical Center and Dr. Lopes
has ensured that we could expand this
program with the right foundation and
direction to deliver top-of-the-line care
for our patients and the community."
Acquisition of a powerful 3T MRI,
capable of providing precise imaging of
even the smallest blood vessels, as well
as the construction of a state-of-the-art
hybrid operating room, included in a
$20 million surgery department renovation, have provided the necessary tools
and technology.
"Today, we have all the pieces in place
to change the way stroke is treated in
Northwest Indiana," says Jill Conner, RN,
administrative director of Neuroscience,
Cerebrovascular and Structural Heart
Services at Community Hospital.
"Working with our EMS providers and our
healthcare colleagues across the region,
we are able to significantly improve the
outcomes of patients who have had an
acute hemorrhagic stroke." ■

WEBSITE

Advanced
Stroke Care
For more information about
stroke care at the hospitals of
Community Healthcare System,
visit comhs.org/stroke.

FALL 2018

51


http://www.comhs.org/stroke

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Community Healthcare

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Community Healthcare - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Community Healthcare - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2018 - Community Healthcare - Contents
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