Metro Health – University of Michigan Health announces significant new clinical capability to provide comprehensive care for patients suffering from stroke with the hiring of three experienced, highly-trained specialty physicians.
Chief Medical Officer Peter Hahn, M.D., MBA, said expansion of the stroke physician team is evidence that “Metro is strengthening its comprehensive stroke care for the community and serving as a specialty referral center for the region.”
The new Stroke Center physicians include:
Augusto Elias, MD, the director of Neurointerventional Radiology, is fellowship trained in neuroradiology and neurointerventional radiology at the University of Michigan Medical Center, and is board certified in radiology and neuroradiology. He completed his residency in diagnostic radiology at the University of Michigan Medical Center.
Jeffrey Fletcher, MD, the director of Neurocritical Care, is fellowship trained in Critical Care Medicine at the University of Virginia. Board certified in neurology and vascular neurology, he completed his residency in neurology at the University of Texas Health Science Center.
Ravi Shastri, MD, is fellowship trained in neuroradiology and neurointerventional radiology at the University of Michigan Medical Center, and is board certified in radiology and neuroradiology. He completed his residency in radiology at the University of Arizona Medical Center.
These physicians join an established neurology team consisting of Kipp Chillag, DO, and Jordan Taylor, DO.
Any patient who presents with stroke symptoms is met by a team comprised of emergency physicians and staff, neurocritical care, neurologists, neurointerventional radiology, and neurosurgeons to assess and meet all needs.
Recently, Metro Health treated a patient who was found on the floor of their bathroom on a Saturday morning, unable to move, and showing signs of a stroke. Dr. Augusto Elias performed a minimally invasive catheterization and mechanical thrombectomy to remove a blood clot from the brain. Two days later, the patient was able to walk out of the hospital. Following outpatient occupational and speech therapy at Metro Health, the patient was cleared to drive and return to work within two months.
“A stroke is a ‘brain attack’. Two million brain neurons die every minute during a stroke,” said Dr. Augusto Elias. “As part of our comprehensive care, we collaborate with primary care physicians to educate the West Michigan area about having a sensible diet, controlling blood pressure and having a low glucose intake, so we can prevent these devastating diseases from happening.”
According to the National Stroke Association, more than 800,000 people suffer a stroke each year in America, and 80 percent of strokes are preventable. The American Heart Association recently announced new guidelines that a blood pressure of 130/80 is characterized as “stage one hypertension.”
Physicians in Metro Health’s neurology team support primary care physicians by meeting with patients showing neurological symptoms and conducting neural imaging to diagnose, and then working closely with the patient and doctor on a treatment plan.
Michael Faas, President and CEO, Metro Health – University of Michigan Health, said the expansion in neurology builds upon an already strong program which received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®
Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award with Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Award.
Get With The Guidelines® sets specific quality measures to ensure hospital teams follow the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. To receive these awards, Metro Health – University of Michigan Health had to provide patient care at or above certain achievement indicators for 24 consecutive months.
Faas added, “The growth in our comprehensive stoke program, which includes new technology and specialty physicians to supplement our staff of neurologists, neurosurgeons and rehabilitation specialists, is just another example of the benefits of our affiliation with University of Michigan Health. Our physicians are committed to providing comprehensive stroke care covering all areas including prevention, acute care and rehab.”