Access Granted: Northeast Texans Can Get the High-Level Stroke Care They Need, Close to Home


CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital – Atlanta has been re-designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services as a Support (Level III) Stroke Facility in Trauma Service Area-F, continuing their tradition of providing high-quality, lifesaving care to the people of Cass County and the surrounding region.

“This Level III Stroke re-designation with the State of Texas reiterates our commitment to offering excellent clinical services to our area, being prepared and ensuring our communities receive top-notch stroke care,” said Jason Adams, President, CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System.

Northeast Texans can access this care thanks to the CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital – Atlanta specialized Stroke Team composed of Stroke-Certified Registered Nurses, ER physicians, and featuring 24/7 CT, lab, teleneurology services and tPAw (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) “clot buster” capabilities.

Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes; and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Every Associate, nurse and physician have worked together to ensure that we maintain this high level of care accessible to patients it when it matters most,” said Matthew Hogan, M.D., Medical Director – Trauma/Stroke/Chest Pain, CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital – Atlanta. “The recognition earned from this re-designation is notable, but what is most important to us is what this means to our patients. Our team’s commitment to training, transport plans and communication is focused on making sure our patients get the treatment they need as quickly as possible.”

“In stroke care, there is a phrase we always refer to: ‘time is brain,’ which means being able to respond quickly and skillfully is paramount to saving lives,” said Heather Biddy, BSN, RN, VA-BC, RN Program Manager – Trauma/Stroke/Chest Pain, CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital – Atlanta. “It is critically important to never ignore the signs and symptoms of a stroke.”

Biddy also encourages the public to remember “B.E. F.A.S.T.” to improve the likelihood of surviving a stroke.

B – Balance: sudden loss of balance, unsteady gait
E – Eyes: sudden double vision or loss of vision in one or both eyes

F – Face: is one side of their face drooping?
A – Arm: does one arm drift down?
S – Speech: sudden difficulty speaking, slurred words, or inappropriate words
T – Time: Time to call 911

CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital – Atlanta offers patients a chance to learn more about their risks and what options for prevention they have in just a few short minutes through taking a free health risk assessment online at

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