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Stroke Program

Each year, thousands of families in our community are impacted by stroke — a brain attack that can occur at any age.

At WakeMed, we offer a full continuum of compassionate, innovative stroke care — from diagnosis in our emergency departments to rehabilitation in both our award-winning inpatient and outpatient facilities.

As leaders in stroke care, we also collaborate with less capable hospitals through our Telestroke Program to ensure that patients in various regions of the state receive the timely support required to recover from stroke.

WakeMed's Award-Winning Stroke Program

WakeMed Raleigh Campus and Cary Hospital are Joint Commission-Certified Primary Stroke Centers. We’ve also received the Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval for Stroke Care.

Our Stroke Program is distinct in providing a comprehensive approach, moving from prevention to management. Our dedicated team of specialists, renowned for their expertise, use physical medicine and rehabilitative techniques at strategic steps along the route to recovery to support the best outcomes. Here are just a few of our impressive features:

  • Collaboration with EMS providers to facilitate rapid assessment and transport to the hospital
  • Team approach that helps minimize time from arrival to administration of thrombolytics 
  • Availability of neuroradiologists for quick, expert interpretation of imaging
  • Neurology and neurosurgery coverage 24 hours a day, seven days a week for evaluation and treatment
  • Neuro intensive care unit for optimization of care for patients with severe strokes
  • Nursing staff skilled in assessment and care of stroke patients
  • Designated nursing unit for the care of patients with neurological and neurosurgical diagnoses
  • Interdisciplinary care planning involving physicians, nurses, case managers, therapists and other services such as nutritionist consultation and pastoral care
  • Comprehensive post-discharge rehabilitation services, including specialty services such as vestibular rehab  to treat dizziness and vertigo and stroke VNS rehab to improve upper limb function for stroke survivors
  • Public education and awareness programs that focus on risk factor reduction for stroke prevention 
  • A variety of stroke support groups  at several locations throughout North Carolina

WakeMed has also been awarded top honors from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for success in implementing a higher standard of care for stroke patients. We are accredited by the Commission of Accreditation on Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), due to our comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation programs  and commitment to specialty rehab. Our Stroke Program is Stroke Specialty Program Certified (CARF-SSP).

Additionally, WakeMed Raleigh Campus has received official certification as a Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center from The Joint Commission. This certification is the second highest of the four advanced stroke certifications offered by The Joint Commission in collaboration with the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. This certification recognizes hospitals that meet rigorous standards for performing endovascular thrombectomy and providing post-procedural care for patients.