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Phoebe Worth Earns Stroke Treatment Certification

Albany, Ga. – Phoebe Worth received certification as a Remote Treatment Stroke Center (RTSC) as part of Phoebe’s effort to improve stroke care across its system, benefiting patients throughout southwest Georgia.  “This certification shows our commitment to providing top quality care to our patients,” said Kim Gilman, Phoebe Worth CEO.  “To earn it, we had to complete a long checklist from the Georgia Department of Public Health that includes having immediate tele-health access to neurology specialists, developing our own stroke treatment protocols with our physicians and our local EMS and aligning those protocols with Phoebe’s main campus in Albany,” Gilman added.

The designation will result in quicker care for patients suspected of having a stroke.  “It gives the people we serve immediate access to stroke care.  EMS no longer has to take them 25 or 30 miles to Albany.  Because we have this certification, stroke patients will be brought to the Phoebe Worth emergency room where we treat them right away and stabilize them,” said Dawn Chapman, RN, Phoebe Worth Emergency Department Manager & Stroke Coordinator.

Phoebe’s main hospital in Albany is certified as a Primary Stroke Center (PSC), and Phoebe Sumter in Americus is currently undergoing the process to earn certification as a RTSC.  “Earning certification at all our hospitals shows Phoebe is dedicated to training our staff on the immediate response required to minimize damage from a stroke.  Our teams are trained on administering TPA (tissue plasminogen activator) clot-busting drugs and on the close monitoring patients require after receiving that medication.  Patients given TPA at Phoebe Worth or Phoebe Sumter can then be transferred to our main hospital for closer neurologic monitoring and followup,” said Faryn Hackett, RN, Phoebe Stroke Coordinator.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) recently highlighted Phoebe’s stroke care efforts during a site visit from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).  Georgia is one of nine states that receives funding and support from the CDC through the Paul Coverdell National Acute Stroke Program.  During a teleconference with DPH and CDC officials, Phoebe was singled out for its commitment to sharing data through the Coverdell program and to improving treatment for stroke patients.

May is National Stroke Awareness Month, a time to focus on educating the public about stroke prevention and signs of stroke.  “We’re very proud to have this certification,” Chapman said.  “Not only does it benefit the people in our community, it benefits our hospital.  Our nurses get a higher level of education that isn’t available for most rural hospitals, and it also helps us educate our community about stroke.”

Phoebe is the only health system in southwest Georgia providing this level of care to stroke patients.  Phoebe Worth earned its RTSC certification from the Georgia Office of EMS and Trauma.  Phoebe’s main campus earned its PSC certification from DNV GL, an international accredited registrar and classification society which is the global leader in certifying management systems across all types of industries, including healthcare.

Photo: Phoebe staff involved in a recent teleconference with DPH and CDC