Residents of the Weirton area will have greater access to WVU Medicine specialists and subspecialists through a new clinical program collaboration agreement with Weirton Medical Center.

The program will begin with stroke specialists from the WVU Stroke Center providing telestroke services to patients at WMC.

Weirton Medical Center is a 238-bed community hospital, offering primary and specialty care services to residents of Brooke and Hancock counties in West Virginia, as well as those in Jefferson County, Ohio, and southwestern Pennsylvania. It employs more than 1,500 staff.

In addition to providing WMC patients with rapid and convenient access to its specialists and subspecialists, the West Virginia University Health System will also work closely with WMC to recruit additional physicians who will complement WMC’s medical staff by establishing their medical practices in the Weirton area.

The WVU Stroke Center at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital is the first and only hospital in the state to receive The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers. Both represent symbols of quality from their respective organizations.

After the onset of stroke symptoms, immediate treatment can decrease the long-term effects of stroke and can prevent stroke-related death.

Through telestroke, WVU Stroke Center neurologists can securely view and interact with the patient in the WMC Emergency Room and view diagnostic data over an encrypted internet connection. The WVU Stroke Center team and the WMC staff will communicate using video conferencing devices to develop a care plan for the stroke patient, share tests like computed tomography (CT) scans, and administer a clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) intravenously.

Through October, the WVU Stroke Center’s average “door-to-needle” time for 2019 was 38 minutes – 17 minutes below the national average for hospitals participating in the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines quality improvement program. Nationally, participating hospitals treated 53 percent of patients in less than 45 minutes, while the Stroke Center beat 45 minutes for 81 percent of patients through October.

For more information on Weirton Medical Center, visit WeirtonMedical.com. For more information on the WVU Stroke Center, visit WVUMedicine.org/Stroke.