[Skip to Content]

Cortland Regional Med Center becomes 5th area hospital to partner with Upstate on stroke care

Cortland Regional Med Center becomes 5th area hospital to partner with Upstate on stroke care

SYRACUSE, N.Y.-- Every minute matters when treating a patient with stroke symptoms, and Cortland Regional Medical Center is now partnering with Upstate University Hospital’s Comprehensive Stroke Center to ensure that patients have access to excellent stroke care, regardless of where they live. When patients with stroke symptoms arrive at the Cortland Regional emergency department, CRMC physicians will now be able to consult with neurologists at Upstate through a new telemedicine program.

The signing of Cortland Regional brings to five the number of regional hospitals partnering with Upstate to provide telemedicine support for stroke care. The others are Carthage Area Hospital, Carthage; Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Ogdensburg; River Hospital, Alexandria Bay; Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown.

This technology connects Cortland Regional physicians to neurologists in Syracuse, allowing them to talk with the patient and share other vital information via videoconference. Within minutes an Upstate neurologist will be able to review the CT scan, examine the patient, and determine the best course of treatment in consultation with Cortland Regional emergency physicians.

“Acute stroke care is both complicated and very time critical. This partnership will enable us to get guidance from the stroke experts at Upstate so that we can provide the best possible care to our patients here in Cortland without delay,” says David Wirtz, MD, medical director of the Emergency Department at Cortland Regional Medical Center.

“About 1.9 million neurons die every minute after a large vessel occlusion or stroke,” says Jennifer Schleier, RN, BSN, CCRN, and program manager of Upstate’s Comprehensive Stroke Center. “Having access to an Upstate neurologist at a moment’s notice can make all of the difference in the world to the outcome of that stroke patient. We want to give stroke patients the best chance at not only survival but for a life with little or no disability.”

The standard protocol for ischemic (non-hemorrhagic) stroke treatment is intravenous tPA, a clot-busting drug that can provide the best benefit to patients if administered within a short time after the first signs of stroke.

“This new technology will also allow us to deliver high quality care without the stress of transferring patients unnecessarily,” adds Tammy Aiken, Cortland Regional’s director of Emergency Services.  CRMC’s Emergency Department will be encouraged to keep uncomplicated patients in Cortland. Should a patient need to be transported to Syracuse for advanced care, an Upstate Comprehensive Stroke Center specialist will provide support.

Upstate is the region’s only Comprehensive Stroke Center as designated by DNV healthcare, a national hospital accrediting body. Upstate is also recognized as a primary stroke center as designated by the state Department of Health.

Cortland Regional Medical Center is an independent, nonprofit, 162-bed acute care facility with attached 80-bed residential care center.