Here when you need it: Primary Stroke Center is a great resource in our community

Samaritan Stroke Services
Apr 23,2013
By AmieJoe Roper, RN, stroke services coordinator, Samaritan Stroke Services
Samaritan Stroke Services provides coordinated care for stroke patients of Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties and beyond.Accredited as a Primary Stroke Center by DNV, a hospital accreditation organization with some of the toughest standards in health care, the stroke response team at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center follows clinically-proven best practices to fast-track patients with stroke symptoms, so that doctors can begin brain-saving treatments immediately.

But what is a Primary Stroke Center, and why is having one in our region important? 

Research has shown that stroke patients treated at Primary Stroke Centers experience better outcomes.

As such, Good Sam has neurological and neurosurgical services available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These specialists are joined by a team of Emergency Department doctors, specially-trained nurses, speech language specialists and many others who work together to stop and reverse the damaging effects of a stroke, using detailed protocol to streamline diagnosis and treatment. The entire team is trained in stroke response and complications that can arise.

This team works quickly. Remember, when it comes to a stroke, we say “Time lost is brain lost.” This means the sooner a person suffering a stroke is treated, the better the chances that we can help prevent life-long disability.

Our goal is to provide treatment within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms for all patients. Vital to reaching this goal is our partnerships with regional emergency medical transport services. These first responders are armed with knowledge, equipment and medications to provide the most effective pre-hospital care for stroke patients and they know that stroke patients, whenever possible, should be brought immediately to Good Sam if their closest hospital is not a Primary Stroke Center. (The closest Primary Stroke Centers, after Good Sam, are in Eugene and in the Portland area.)

As the coordinator for Samaritan Stroke Services, my main objective is to ensure each patient gets the best individualized care possible. I help the team consider the appropriate treatment for each type of stroke, and help ensure that they have everything they need to follow best practices in stroke response. I also help coordinate rehabilitation programs for each patient once the crisis has passed. Each patient and their family is provided education and follow up  to give them the highest possible likelihood of a positive outcome. Meanwhile, I continually evaluate the care provided to all stroke patients and look for ways to improve and enhance our program.

A part of my job that I enjoy is providing community education about stroke. You might find me speaking and handing out materials at your charitable club luncheon or community event.

Coming up soon, you have an excellent opportunity to attend a free seminar about stroke prevention with Richard Lafrance, MD, medical director for Samaritan Stroke Services and a neurologist with The Corvallis Clinic, and myself, on Tuesday, May 14, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at Good Sam.

Registration is required as space is limited, and heart-healthy refreshments will be provided.  To register, visit, call 541-768-4887 or toll free at 1-855-873-0647.

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