FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2020
Cody Regional Health partners with Wyoming Medical Center for TeleStroke Wyoming
Cody, Wyo. (Sept. 1, 2020) – Cody Regional Health (CRH) is proud to announce its TeleStroke Wyoming
partnership with Wyoming Medical Center (WMC). TeleStroke will connect
local ER physicians in Cody with WMC neurologists to collaboratively devise
the best treatment plans for stroke patients in real-time!
Life-saving stroke care is measured in minutes. Time is brain, and the
faster the blocked vessel is cleared, the better the chance for a patient’s
survival and recovery. While studies show that treatment times decrease
and treatment choices improve when a neurologist is involved early in
the care of a stroke patient, few Wyoming hospitals have 24-hour neurology coverage.
“TeleStroke Wyoming allows WMC neurologists to actively participate
in patient care and decision making from the moment the patient arrives
at Cody Regional Health,” said neurologist David Wheeler, M.D.,
Ph.D., F.A.A.N., medical director of
WMC’s Primary Stroke Center.
“Having neurologists involved early increases the likelihood that
patients will get the appropriate diagnosis and treatment quickly, and
that’s the metric of excellence in stroke care,” Dr. Wheeler said.
WMC’s TeleStroke partners are equipped with InTouch Health’s
Vici robot at no cost to the hospitals. The Vici is a scalable, mobile
cart system that can be rolled into any patient room. From Casper, WMC
neurologists can examine and speak with patients and ER physicians at
Cody Regional Health through the high-definition cameras and display monitors.
They can zoom in or out or swing their view from the side to side to ensure
a complete field of vision. The system shares a patient’s history,
vital signs, and other data in real-time in consultation with the on-site
“We are excited to be partnering with Wyoming Medical center. This
is a great opportunity for us to better serve our patients to make sure
they are receiving the best medical care possible in our rural setting,”
states CRH Emergency Director, Loretta Stapleton.
Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death and the leading cause of long-term
disability in the United States. One in every three strokes occur in people
younger than 65. Advancements in stroke care over the last several years
have vastly improved patient outcomes, but that treatment must be started quickly.
There are basically two ways to treat an ischemic stroke —the kind
in which a clot blocks blood flow in arteries leading to or in the brain:
- IV administration of the clot-busting medication tPA (tissue plasminogen
activator) within the first 4 ½ hours after onset of symptoms.
- Mechanical thrombectomy – removing the clot from the brain with a
specialized stent and image-guided technology, performed by the Interventional
Radiology team. Wyoming Medical Center is the only hospital in the state
with this capability. New guidelines have extended the time window for
mechanical thrombectomy by up to 24 hours for some stroke patients, and
TeleStroke will help facilitate the quick transfer of qualifying stroke
patients to Wyoming Medical Center.
Nearly half of Wyoming citizens live an hour or more from the nearest hospital,
and that hospital is typically a critical access hospital. Quick, accurate
diagnosis is essential for such patients to ensure they are treated in
time for the best possible outcome. Wyoming Medical Center has been engaged
with community hospitals for many to years to develop a statewide system
of care for stroke patients. TeleStroke Wyoming is the next step in that process.
“We want to help every hospital become certified as Acute Stroke
Ready or as a Primary Stroke Center,” Dr. Wheeler said. “We’re
bringing up the quality of care in these other facilities, and I see that
as the most important thing: Making cutting-edge stroke care available
for every citizen of Wyoming.”
WMC’s Primary Stroke Center is Wyoming’s only center certified
by the Joint Commission. Our stroke team is made up of members from nearly
every department in the hospital including EMS, ER nurses and physicians,
radiology, laboratory, pharmacy, ICU, neurology, therapies, case managers,
and more. The team meets monthly to analyze the latest data, collaborate
on best care practices and troubleshoot areas that need improvement.
TeleStroke is the inaugural program of TeleMed Wyoming, WMC’s state-of-the-art
telehealth system connecting Wyoming hospitals, physicians, and patients
with the widest network of medical specialties in the state, from the
convenience of their local hospital.
“We are passionate about providing exceptional quality care to all
patients and families across the state,” said Michele Chulick, President
and CEO of Wyoming Medical Center. “We are pleased to to work with
other hospitals to extend WMC’s mission of service to everyone in
When it comes to stroke, time is of the essence. If you or a loved one
shows any of the signs of a stroke, Act F.A.S.T. Call 911 immediately.
F – Face: Ask the person to smile. Look to see if one side droops or the face is
A – Arms: Have the person raise both arms in front of them at shoulder height. Watch
to see if one arm drops lower than the other.
S – Speech: Ask the person a question or to repeat a phrase back to you. Listen for
slurred or garbled speech or signs the person doesn’t understand
what you have asked of them.
T – Time: If any of the three signs is present, time is of the essence. Call 911
immediately. Do not attempt to drive to the hospital yourself. Emergency
medical responders will activate the stroke team on the way to the hospital,
saving valuable minutes.
For assistance with this story, please contact Cody Regional Health at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (307) 578-2512.
About Cody Regional Health
Cody Regional Health (CRH) is a national leading critical care access healthcare
system serving Northwest Wyoming. CRH employs and partners with over 100
providers offering a wide variety of compressive services including a
walk-in clinic, Orthopaedic clinic, wound care clinic, and cardiology
center. Adjacent to our hospital is a 94-bed Long-Term Care Center and
16-bed chemical dependency center. CRH offers an 8-bed hospice care house
and a regional cancer center. CRH abides by the Planetree philosophy as
a model of health care. The Planetree model strives to enhance patient
comfort by personalizing, humanizing, and demystifying the health care
experience. More information can be found at
About Wyoming Medical Center
Wyoming Medical Center is the state’s largest hospital with 235 beds,
more than 45 medical specialties and 13 primary, specialty and immediate
care clinics. As a regional trauma and referral center, we serve more
11 Wyoming counties with more than 250,000 people. We are Casper’s
only full-service, non-profit hospital with comprehensive heart, stroke
and trauma care.