OLEAN, NY -- Olean General Hospital, member hospital of Upper Allegheny Health System and a Kaleida Health affiliate, has earned recognition by the New York State Department of Health as a designated stroke center.

Stroke center designation means that care for stroke patients at OGH meets strict guidelines as prescribed by the Department of Health. In order to receive stroke center designation, the hospital was required to demonstrate adherence to precise treatment protocols, which begin with emergency medical service (EMS) providers, to emergency department treatment and continue through patients’ entire stay, including discharge.

“The initiative to become a designated stroke center is part of OGH’s overall effort to provide the safest and highest quality care possible,” said Timothy Finan, president and CEO, Upper Allegheny Health System. “It is imperative that our stroke patients receive evidence-based care and treatment in the most timely fashion,” he said.

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 “The collaboration and support of our EMS partners, including Southern Tier Health Care System, were instrumental in the hospital’s receipt of this important designation,” Finan said.

“Time is the critical factor in successfully treating stroke patients, said Vaijayantee Belle, MD, neurologist and medical director of the Stroke Center, OGH. “The quicker patients are seen and treated for stroke, the better the chances for recovery. As clinicians say, ‘time is brain,’” Dr. Belle said.  “In treating stroke, minutes, even seconds, count.”

“The Stroke Center at Olean General Hospital provides immediate stroke care by staff who have trained specifically to care for stroke patients,” said Denise O’Neil, RN, director of the Stroke Center. “The clinicians on the stroke care team at OGH have undergone specialized training, which includes identification of the appropriate level of stroke care directed by neurologists and neurosurgeons,” she said.

In addition, the OGH Stroke Center is directly linked to the only comprehensive stroke care center in Western New York, Kaleida Health’s Gates Vascular Institute. Because time is a critical factor in the treatment and recovery of strokes, this relationship allows enhanced consultation and diagnosis for patients at OGH from the region’s leading neurologists and neurosurgeons. When necessary, an expeditious transfer to the Gates Vascular Institute can be implemented in a seamless manner. 

Upper Allegheny Health System is the parent company of Bradford Regional Medical Center and Olean General Hospital, members of Kaleida Health, Buffalo. An integration of two prominent community hospitals in Southwestern New York state and Northwestern Pennsylvania, Upper Allegheny Health System’s goal is the enhancement of each hospital’s mission of care and service to their respective communities with the common goal of improving care, enhancing clinical programs and providing best-in-class service for various health needs.

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