Saving lives is a team effort. From the EMTs to the admission staff to the doctors and nurses to everyone in between, it takes a lot of people to save one person.
At a press conference Thursday, CHI St. Luke's Health-The Woodlands Hospital acknowledged that team effort as it accepted its third award from the American Heart Association for it’s comprehensive stroke care.
As one of 37 comprehensive stroke care facilities in the state, but only one in The Woodlands area, St. Luke’s has been participating in the necessary programs with the American Heart Association to earn these awards since 2011. Since then, the hospital has accepted three awards for its stroke care.
At Thursday’s press conference, Jim Parisi, the president of CHI St. Luke’s Health-The Woodlands, commended the team and staff who have helped the hospital earn each award. Allison Capetillo, representative from the American Heart Association, shared with the gathered crowd how the hospital’s numbers have improved since 2011, including wait times for patients and percentage of patients who arrive via ambulance.
In 2011, the hospital had significantly fewer patients arriving by ambulance, at 24.9 percent. In 2018, 59.6 percent were arriving by EMS. The increase is likely due, in part, to the community education the hospital has done to let people know how critical those first few moments were after a stroke occurs.
Dr. Jeremiah Johnson, cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgeon at St. Luke’s, thanked the team, including the EMS members in attendance, for their work in achieving the award. While the numbers and metrics that helped the hospital achieve the award are important, Johnson said he wanted the hospital staff to remember what it’s all about before he introduced Janie Tsai, a patient who was taken St. Luke’s after suffering a stroke, and her husband Albert Yang.
Janie collapsed one day while the family was getting ready to go to church. When he noticed that the left side of her face wasn’t working correctly, Yang called 911. Before he was even off the phone, EMS had arrived.
Janie had suffered a stroke with 70 percent blockage and was almost immediately whisked into surgery. When she woke up, she asked her husband if she was going to need surgery, which made her nervous. He told her that she had already been through surgery and was going to be okay. She has since made almost a complete recovery.