Valley Health Stroke Service
Winchester Medical Center (WMC) is an Advanced Primary Stroke Center certified by the Joint Commission. Patients who receive treatment at a Primary Stroke Center have the best chance to survive a stroke and go on to have meaningful recovery. Valley Health (VH) and WMC have one of the most advanced stroke centers in the region and is currently the only Primary Stroke Center in the Shenandoah Valley. To learn more about the advantages of receiving treatment at a Joint Commission Advanced Primary Stroke Center, click here.

The residents of the Shenandoah Valley and beyond who receive care at any of our Emergency Departments in other VH facilities in the state of Virginia also benefit from advanced stroke care any time of the day or night. Neurologists who are based at WMC can provide expert consultation via state-of-the-art video conferencing technology known as telestroke 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Rapid Identification of Stroke 
From the time a patient arrives to the Emergency department, the stroke team is able to diagnose and provide treatment within minutes. The rapid, coordinated efforts of our team of physicians, nurses, and technicians quickly identify patients with symptoms of stroke and fast-track them to appropriate medical and surgical interventions. TIME is BRAIN – nearly half of patients who receive treatment for stroke within 3 hours of symptom onset will experience little and sometimes no disability from stroke. To learn more about signs and symptoms of stroke, factors associated with increased risk of stroke, and how to prevent stroke from occurring, please click here

Advanced Imaging 
Quick access to advanced diagnostic neuroimaging techniques, such as computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are essential to the stroke team in providing key information about the type of stroke, the blood vessel that is blocked, and the extent of damage that has occurred. This information is critical and helps define the course of treatment that is best for each patient. Other sophisticated diagnostics tests, including angiography, transcranial doppler (TCD), electroencephalogram (EEG), echocardiogram, and carotid duplex are also important to assist the care team in prescribing ongoing treatment to prevent stroke from reoccurring in the future. 

Rehabilitation 
Rehabilitation is an essential part of the treatment program for patients who have had a stroke. Each patient is evaluated by trained experts in physical, occupational and speech therapy to determine an individualized plan for recovery. Many patients experience weakness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, learning difficulties, memory loss, vision changes, or emotional/behavioral changes as a result of stroke. These physical or psychosocial deficits can range from mild to severe depending on the size and location of the stroke in the brain. 

Our team of rehab specialists will prescribe a course of treatment that will help each patient return to the highest possible level of function and independence. Rehabilitation is comprehensive, ranging from intense therapy in the hospital to outpatient rehabilitation. To learn more about the options available within Valley Health, click here.

Stroke Research 
Winchester Medical Center was one of the facilities involved in the original ground-breaking clinical trial that determined the effectiveness of tPA (clot buster drug) for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke in 1996. Today, this is still the only FDA approved medication that is known to reduce permanent deficit associated with stroke in a significant number of patients. Valley Health and WMC continue to enroll in stroke related clinical trials to help in the fight to reduce the devastating disability associated with this disease process. In many cases, patients who have received stroke care at our facility are included in advanced or investigational stroke therapies not always available at other stroke centers. For more information about our recent and past involvement in research in stroke care and other neuroscience disease processes, click here.

Community Outreach 
One of the primary goals of the Valley Health Stroke Service is to help the members of our community prevent stroke before it occurs. On several occasions throughout the year, staff members from our stroke center provide educational and screening programs at little or no cost to the participant. Education is focused on identification of individual risk factors for stroke, lifestyle changes to prevent stroke, early identification of signs and symptoms of stroke, and immediately calling 911 or emergency medical services as soon as signs and symptoms occur. For a list of upcoming events offered by the Neuroscience Center, please see our EVENTS page. 

For more information about the Valley Health Stroke Service, please contact: 

Debby Massie BSN, RN, CNRN 
Neuro Program Manager 
(540) 536-4157