Phoebe Sumter earns stroke treatment certification

Published 12:40 pm Wednesday, June 26, 2019

AMERICUS — Phoebe Sumter Medical Center recently earned state certification as a Remote Treatment Stroke Center (RTSC). All Phoebe hospitals are now certified in stroke treatment, highlighting Phoebe’s efforts to improve stroke care across its system, benefiting patients throughout southwest Georgia. “We are proud to join this network of stroke centers across Georgia as we continually work to improve and expand services available to our patients. This certification reinforces our commitment to reducing the incidence and the impact of strokes on people in and around Sumter County,” said Brandi Lunneborg, Phoebe Sumter CEO.

Phoebe Sumter earned the certification through the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Office of EMS and Trauma. Certification requirements include having immediate tele-health access to neurology specialists, as well as developing stroke treatment protocols with physicians and local EMS and aligning those protocols with Phoebe’s main campus in Albany.

“Our system-wide goal is to provide care as quickly as possible to all patients who may be having a stroke,” said Faryn Hackett, RN, Phoebe Stroke coordinator. “The immediate delivery of clot-busting drugs can minimize damage from a stroke and potentially save lives. The teams in all our emergency centers are trained to administer that medication. With Phoebe Sumter’s new certification, EMS will transport stroke patients near Americus to Phoebe Sumter for immediate treatment and stabilization. Those patients may then be transferred to our main hospital for closer neurologic monitoring and follow-up care,” Hackett added.

Phoebe Sumter is the 17th Georgia hospital to earn certification as a RTSC. In a letter announcing the designation, Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey wrote, “We believe that improving stroke care throughout Georgia can best be achieved by adopting a ‘system approach’ to care. You have become an integral part of a comprehensive and growing stroke care system throughout the state. The Department applauds Phoebe Sumter for this achievement and appreciates the contributions that you make to the health and well-being of Georgians, as well as to those visiting our state.”

Phoebe Worth in Sylvester earned RTSC certification earlier this year. Phoebe’s main hospital in Albany is certified as a Primary Stroke Center (PSC) by DNV GL, an international accredited registrar and classification society which is the global leader in certifying management systems across all types of industries, including healthcare. Phoebe is the only health system in southwest Georgia providing this level of care to stroke patients.