Lansing's Sparrow Hospital has been named one of the nation's best in stroke-care.
The facility has earned the first "Comprehensive Stroke Center" designation in Michigan, putting it among just 19 in the nation.
The recognition comes after an intensive certification process by the independent non-profit Joint Commission, which certifies U.S. health care facilities.
"We have to meet rigorous guidelines in every single station, from the pre-hospital phase, through the hospital, all the way through discharge and rehabilitation," Dr. Syed Hussain, Director of Sparrow's Stroke Center explained.
Hussain says Sparrow brings a streamlined approach to stroke care, offering highly-trained specialists from a variety of areas; neurology, radiology and rehabilitation, under one roof. The commission tested that approach with a two-day site visit. It examined Sparrow's advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized stroke treatments and results, particularly with complex strokes.
"The people of mid-Michigan should feel confident that they have a center that can provide quality of care that meets national standards," Hussain said. "We can stand toe to toe with a lot of the other (leading) institutions."
Stroke patient James Cady agrees. He felt surrounded with a team of physicians and therapists, focused on him.
"From physical therapy people coming in all times of day, to speech therapists and my doctors checking on how I was feeling, checking my motor skills, my dexterity," Cady said.
A massive stroke left the 42-year-old with left-side paralysis. His left arm, hand and side of his face were affected. Now, looking at Cady, you would never know it happened.
He is still doing rehabilitation, but says his recovery has been remarkable.
"I still fight fatigue a little bit and as fatigue sets in my deficits will show a little more," he said. But Cady is determined and says he's glad to find the care he did, so close to home.
"They know that they'll be well taken care of here in mid-Michigan," Syed said, of local stroke patients.
According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, with nearly 800,000 Americans suffering the condition each year.