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Vidant North Hospital announced it has been designated as a primary stroke center by The Joint Commission and the American Heart/Stroke Association, recognizing the hospital’s preparedness and expertise to care for stroke patients. 

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the state, resulting in more serious long-term disabilities than any other disease.  

According to the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics, both Halifax and Northampton counties show increased incidences of stroke disease and mortality compared to the North Carolina average. “Here in eastern North Carolina we are at the center of a lot of strokes. North Carolina is about 8 percent worse for stroke mortality than the rest of the nation and in eastern North Carolina it is even a bigger risk,” said Dr. Richard Dalyai, neurosurgeon and surgical director of stroke services at Vidant. “Providing high-quality stroke care close to home is central to our mission of improving the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina.”

As a primary stroke center, Vidant North can treat and stabilize patients experiencing an acute stroke and care for more complex patients. 

Because time is one of the most important factors in treating stroke, it is vitally important to provide stroke care close to home. 

Vidant North’s stroke certification increases proximity to quality care in the Roanoke Rapids area, which reduces the risk of mortality, permanent brain damage and other side effects including memory loss, difficulty speaking and potential paralysis.

During the certification process, Vidant North was evaluated on performance measures in stroke care, including education for patients and families on stroke risk factors and recognizing symptoms of stroke. 

Other performance measures included staff education on stroke protocols and the appropriate prescription of medications to address stroke risk factors such as elevated cholesterol.

“Stroke certification from The Joint Commission represents Vidant North’s commitment to provide high-quality stroke care to not only patients experiencing stroke symptoms, but to all of our patients,” said Jason Harrell, president of Vidant North. “We are proud of being designated a primary stroke center and the commitment and diligent work of our team members across all levels and services to make this a reality.”