Advocate Condell Focuses on Stroke Education, Prevention

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May is Stroke Awareness Month, and Advocate Condell Medical Center is offering several community education programs to make sure make sure everyone knows the signs and symptoms of stroke, and what steps to take if you suspect someone is having a stroke.

Wenda Hunt, Advocate Condell’s Stroke Coordinator, will present “Stop Stroke – Act FAST – Spread Hope” on May 8 at the GLMV Chamber Women’s Networking Group lunch, which runs from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at White Deer Run Golf Club, 250 W. Greggs Parkway in Vernon Hills.

Hunt will dispel myths about strokes, and talk about the physical changes that take place in the brain. She will review the risk factors, and the signs and symptoms of stroke. She’ll also talk about what steps to take if you suspect someone is having a stroke, and stroke treatment.

Cost is $15 in advance, or $20 at the lunch. Lunch is included. Register online at or by calling 847.680.0750.

John Piotrowski, MD, Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and the Physician Champion for the Advocate Condell Stroke Center of Excellence, will present “Always an Emergency -- Stroke is No Joke,” on Monday, May 21, at 7 p.m. in Advocate Condell Medical Center’s Conference Center, 700 Garfield Avenue.

Piotrowski will talk about the importance of recognizing stroke symptoms, and acting quickly when you suspect someone is having a stroke.

“Time is of the essence when you suspect someone is having a stroke. Getting to an emergency room within an hour has been found to significantly improve chances of recovery,” Piotrowski said. “Every minute counts. The longer blood flow is cut off to the brain, the greater the damage. Immediate treatment can save people's lives and enhance their chances for successful recovery,” he said.

Ischemic strokes, the most common type of strokes, can be treated with a drug that dissolves blood clots obstructing blood flow to the brain. The window of opportunity to start treating stroke patients is three hours, but to be evaluated and receive treatment, patients need to get to the hospital within 60 minutes, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

A five-year study by the NINDS found that stroke patients who received the drug within three hours of the onset of symptoms were at least 30 percent more likely to little or no disability.

Audience members will be able to participate in a Q&A following Piotrowski’s lecture, which is free. Registration is required by calling 800-323-6822. The registration code is 5C42.

After undergoing an on-site evaluation and demonstrating compliance with nationally developed standards for stroke care, Advocate Condell Medical Center recently earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™ for certification as a Primary Stroke Center.

“In stroke care time is brain,” says Jean E. Range, M.S., R.N., C.P.H.Q., executive director, Disease-Specific Care Certification, The Joint Commission. “By achieving certification as a Primary Stroke Center, Advocate Condell has proven that it has the ability to provide effective, timely care to stroke victims and can significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients.”

Each year about 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke, which is the nation’s third leading cause of death. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and someone dies of a stroke every 3.1 minutes. Stroke is a leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States, with about 4.7 million stroke survivors alive today.

“We’re proud to achieve this distinction from The Joint Commission,” says Ann Errichetti, MD, MBA, President of Advocate Condell Medical Center. “This was a team effort, and we are pleased that The Joint Commission recognized Advocate Condell’s commitment to providing the best possible care to our patients and our community.”
The designation of Primary Stroke Center adds to a comprehensive array of heart and vascular services offered at Advocate Condell Medical Center, from routine heart screenings to open heart surgery. Advocate Condell was also the first hospital in Lake County to receive accreditation as a Chest Pain Center from the Society of Chest Pain Centers for a higher level of expertise in treating patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack.

You can learn more about Advocate Condell’s Primary Stroke Center by visiting This page contains information about the certification, as well as important information about symptoms and risk factors associated with stroke.

About Advocate Condell Medical Center
Advocate Condell Medical Center is the leading provider of comprehensive medical and surgical services in Lake County, with state-of-the-art heart, neurosurgical, maternity and emergency services. Condell's emergency department is the only Level 1 Trauma Center in Lake County, Illinois. It also features the only dedicated pediatric emergency department in the county. Condell holds accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers for cardiac patients, and is accredited by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center. Advocate Condell is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best hospitals in the Chicago metro area for superior results in patient safety and health outcomes.

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Sarah Toomey
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